The introduction of “euthanasia” dates back to antiquity, yet it was not until the early 20th century that a political movement to secure access to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) began in Europe and the United States. Initially, the path to legalization was filled with obstacles, especially in the U.S.; however, in the last few decades advocates for PAS have seen success at the state level, sanctioning the once forbidden practice of PAS in medicine. Independent from the question of legalization are significant theological and ethical questions: how does the practice of PAS or euthanasia impact our attitudes toward death and what it means to “die well”? Should physicians, as healers, be involved in assisting patients who wish to bring about their own death? Are these methods significantly distinguished from other ethically justified practices in end-of-life care that also lead to a person’s death? Can Christians, both as patients and practitioners, justify the use of these methods to relieve suffering in this manner as compatible with the faith? Though these questions are not new to the debate, it is increasingly important that these controversies are brought to attention as the practice of PAS is popularized. This conference took up these and other questions, shedding light on historical arguments while introducing novel challenges from a variety of perspectives.
For a copy of the conference program, please click here.
An audio of the conference proceedings may be found here.
For more information regarding this and future conferences, please contact MaryKate Brueck at email@example.com.