Religious and Secular Perspectives on the Value of Suffering

Eberl, Jason T.
June 2012
National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly;Summer2012, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p251
Academic Journal
Advocates of active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide argue that a patient's intractable pain and suffering are a sufficient justification for his life to end if he autonomously so chooses. Others hold that the non- utilization of life-sustaining treatment, the use of pain-relieving medication that may hasten a patient's death, and palliative sedation may be morally acceptable means of alleviating pain and suffering. How a patient should be cared for when approaching the end of life involves one's core religious and moral values, particularly concerning whether pain and suffering can have some sort of instrumental value. The author reasons why a patient who is terminally ill can find his suffering valuable for both religious and nonreligious goals.


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