Sikhism Views on Euthanasia
Sikhism views on euthanasia can be understood by first knowing Sikhism ethics. Most ethics of Sikhism are largely derived from the teaching of its main scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib as well as the Sikh Code of Conduct also called the Rehat Maryada.
Guidance on euthanasia can also be derived from the set of the gurus as well as the experience of Sikh community. No detailed answer is given to some ethical question but a set of general principles has been set down and it offers a framework that Sikhs can use in answering questions about euthanasia.
Sikhism views on euthanasia are that it is forbidden because it interferes with the plan of God regarding life. According to Sikhism teachings, life should be respected highly. This is because life is a gift that comes from God. As such, most Sikhs oppose euthanasia because their belief is that death and birth’s timing should remain the hands of God and not humans.
Sikh Gurus were against suicide which by extension includes euthanasia because it interferes with the plan of God. They said that suffering was a part of operations of karma. As such, human beings have no alternative but to accept it and without complaining and act in ways that enable them to make the most from the situation give to them by karma.
Sikhism does not allow for absolutism. Sikhs believe that as a gift from God, life should be used in the most responsible way. Thus, any Sikh that is contemplating euthanasia either for themselves or their relatives or even any other person should consider the entire picture. This will enable them to make appropriate and clear distinctions between ending a life and not prolonging a terminal condition artificially.
Much of the moral teachings of Sikhism are devoted in caring for the other persons and the less fortunate. Thus, the suggestion is that the reaction of Sikhs to situations that one can think of euthanasia should be offering good care and determining whether euthanasia is really an attraction option.
In simple terms, Sikhism views on euthanasia can be summarized by the belief that life is a God’s gift. Only God has the right to time death and birth and that nobody is allowed to interfere with this timing. Sikh Gurus were against suicide including euthanasia and this is always used as a reference when the topic of euthanasia comes up. Sikhism teaches that suffering is caused by karma and humans should accept their predicaments and try to make the most out of them.
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