Hinduism Views on Euthanasia
Hinduism views on euthanasia vary. According to most Hindus, a doctor should decline or not accept a request by a patient for euthanasia because this will cause a separation of the body and soul at a time that is not natural. This will cause damage in the karma of the patient and the doctor.
Some Hindus believe that allowing euthanasia breaches ahimsa or doing no harm teachings. Nevertheless, there are Hindus who say that helping a person end a life that is painful is indeed participating in doing a good act and this in itself fulfills moral obligations of an individual.
Hinduism views on euthanasia can be understood properly by considering Hinduism first. Hinduism has not been interested much in the western philosophies of what is right or wrong. Instead, Hinduism focuses on consequences of the actions of individuals.
For Hindus, faith and culture are inextricable. As such, although some moral decisions of Hindus appear to be influenced more by their culture instead of faith ideas, the distinction is not clear like it may seem. Karma also has influence on Hinduism views on euthanasia.
Hindus believe in reincarnation of soul through different lives and not necessary all humans. They believe that the ultimate objective of life is achieving moksha which is liberation from rebirth and death cycle.
Karma decides the next life of the soul which is the consequence of the bad or good actions that were done in the previous lives. Karma of a soul can be regarded as a representation of the next worth of bad or good actions. For a soul to achieve moksha, it must have a good karma.
Non-violence principle also affects Hinduism views on euthanasia. Ahimsa is an important principle in Hinduism which prohibits Hindus from causing harm or being violent to the other beings. In addition, dharma which is the responsibilities and moral duties of Hindus require them to take care of the members of the community also affect their view on euthanasia.
According to Hinduism teaching, euthanasia interferes with the progress of the killed soul towards liberation. The person who participates in the act also gets bad karma because they violate the non-violence principle. Upon the reincarnation of the killed soul, it will suffer just the way it did in the previous life in a different physical body because it still has the same karma.
Thus, by inducing death through euthanasia, a person disturbs the timing of rebirth and death cycle which is not a good thing and the involved persons take remaining karma of a patient.
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