Euthanasia--Buddhist views

Posted in the Buddhism Forum

Hello

Flushing, NY

#1 Nov 28, 2010
I saw an interesting indian movie, Guzaarish, about a paraplegic who asked for mercy killing, ie euthanasia.

I than remembered that in Buddhism that a monk or nun falls out of communion with Lord Buddha if :

In Theravada Buddhism a lay person daily recites the simple formula: "I undertake the precept to abstain from destroying living beings."[1] For Buddhist monastics (bhikkhu) however the rules are more explicitly spelled out. For example, in the monastic code (Patimokkha), it states:

"Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (thus):'My good man, what use is this wretched, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,' or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated and no longer in communion."[2]

----------

I thought isn't allowing someone to suffer not compassionate? Should someone without any way of moving, or even comatose be put out of their misery?

Then I realized why Buddha said this...Were the Nazis compassionate in ending lives of "lesser" humans.. They killed handicapped people...

The slippery slope of mercy killing might not be so well, merciful!

Anyone has any views on this?

“Sabbe satta sukhi hontu”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#2 Nov 29, 2010
Well, it is certainly a slippery slope. Is the euthanasia voluntary or involuntary? Was it used to end an immense amount of pain and suffering, or was it simply used to get rid of "societal eye-sores"? Also, for those who are not liberated (i.e. those who haven't realized Nirvana), death is not the end of the life process. If they end this life in hopes of ending their pain and suffering, they only did so in vain.

There is an interesting article on euthanasia and Buddhism here: http://www.religionfacts.com/euthanasia/buddh...

The above article also uses excerpts from this lengthy study by Bhikkhu Professor Dhammavihari: http://www.metta.lk/english/euthanasia.htm
Hello

Bronx, NY

#3 Nov 29, 2010
Dhammachari wrote:
Well, it is certainly a slippery slope. Is the euthanasia voluntary or involuntary? Was it used to end an immense amount of pain and suffering, or was it simply used to get rid of "societal eye-sores"? Also, for those who are not liberated (i.e. those who haven't realized Nirvana), death is not the end of the life process. If they end this life in hopes of ending their pain and suffering, they only did so in vain.
There is an interesting article on euthanasia and Buddhism here: http://www.religionfacts.com/euthanasia/buddh...
The above article also uses excerpts from this lengthy study by Bhikkhu Professor Dhammavihari: http://www.metta.lk/english/euthanasia.htm
I agree! Indeed if they have not realized even the first stage or gained faith in the teachings, it isquite possible karmic retribution won't end with physical death.

A Sangha person helps through the teaching and becomes a shelter and guide for those in great pain and suffering. To tell anyone to die would essentially defeat their fighting spirit!

In Buddhism we have methods which even help those suffering as ghosts...after death! Whether they work is something we can figure out only with great practice.

A Buddhist can't give up on any being, including him/herself --that is the challenge.
Ricardo da Silva

Hlaing, Myanmar

#4 Mar 24, 2011
The slippery slope of mercy killing might not be so well, merciful!
Anyone has any views on this?

Euthanasia-- not accepted by Buddhism.
A patient with great sufferings and incurable, he/she himself/herself must not have a choice to die or live.
If the patient asks for euthanasia, family and doctors should refuse.
If family member of an unconscious patient ask for euthanasia, as euthanasia is mercy killing, family member are guilty of killing.

If sons and daughters of a patient ask for euthanasia to let their parent die, they commit a very grave sin, matricide or patricide.
And then they will go to hell as soon as they die.
It should not be happened.

If Buddhist monk (that monk may be family member of a patient) also includes among them who ask for euthanasia to let patient die, that monk will fall from the bhikkhuhood (parajika).

So Euthanasia is just a kind of killing other being.

“bungai terong”

Since: Mar 08

lantang senang belama

#5 Apr 3, 2011
Ricardo da Silva wrote:
The slippery slope of mercy killing might not be so well, merciful!
Anyone has any views on this?
Euthanasia-- not accepted by Buddhism.
A patient with great sufferings and incurable, he/she himself/herself must not have a choice to die or live.
If the patient asks for euthanasia, family and doctors should refuse.
If family member of an unconscious patient ask for euthanasia, as euthanasia is mercy killing, family member are guilty of killing.
If sons and daughters of a patient ask for euthanasia to let their parent die, they commit a very grave sin, matricide or patricide.
And then they will go to hell as soon as they die.
It should not be happened.
If Buddhist monk (that monk may be family member of a patient) also includes among them who ask for euthanasia to let patient die, that monk will fall from the bhikkhuhood (parajika).
So Euthanasia is just a kind of killing other being.
i present to you another case. If a patient is on life support machine,and the doctors have detected the major organs are failing. The doctors ask the family members whether they would like to take the patient off the life support machine.

In this real life situation,what should we do?

It was a dillemma for my family when my late grandma was put on life support after she slipped into coma after a failed corrective surgery. She was too old to respond positively to the treatment. She could respond through facial expressions when we speak to her though. So, being practical, we, the family members told her of the situation. We talked to her. Though she did not open her eyes, she could hear us.

We told her, as per our family custom, not to worry about us. The grandchildren are all grown up.The children are all doing well. If it's already her time to go, do let go peacefully. That's what most of us in Southeast Asia do when we a comfronted with this kind of situation.

My granny too has a special liking for my Pali chanting,though she herself doesn't practise them.She heard them when i chanted the suttas for 2 of my aunts' funeral services. This i did for her,and i added the Salla Sutta,hoping that she'd understand the Pali content of it.

Her condition got worse,she was considered 'brain dead',it's just that the heart was beating.Her kidneys were as good as gone.She was passing black urine.So,with a heavy heart, we told the doctors our final decision to take her off the life support machine and bring her home.

My grandma breathed her last after an hour plus off the life support machine. She died listening to Salla Sutta.

Matricide? erm...in this situation, i'm really not sure.

“Rohingya is Bengali.”

Since: Mar 11

Save Myanmar!

#7 May 7, 2011
The following Q & A is from ksridhammananda.com website. Late Ven. Dr. K Sri Dhammananda answered the question.

Question :

If we find, for example, an ant dying because someone has stepped on it, what should we do? If we do nothing, it will continue to suffer. If we kill it right then, it will not suffer anymore. What do I do with an ant that is suffering because some one has stepped on it?

Answer:

Buddhists do not advocate euthanasia. Ending suffering in this lifetime by putting an end to that suffering life is not the answer as the being has to reap the fruit of the kamma in the next life. The suffering is merely postponed to a future birth, as the suffering must continue.

Beings are born and die in different life cycles and periods until the final liberation, Nibbana, is achieved. If we see any being in suffering, we try our best to relieve that suffering. If we neglect to do that, it does not create any bad kamma because we are not responsible for that suffering being inflicted. We can only try to alleviate that suffering. If we cannot, we must move on.

Similarly, in a hospice we encounter many terminally ill individuals. You see so much suffering around caused by the devastating effects of cancer, paralysis, AIDS, etc that you could easily begin to feel remorseful, helpless and drowned by the magnitude of the suffering. But you must remain focused to do what you can do within your means or network and not succumb to helplessness if you cannot help everybody. It is important to remain positive within in order to help. Succumbing to a sense of helplessness does neither you nor others any good.
Hello

Brooklyn, NY

#8 May 7, 2011
There is no one answer to these questions-- as a monk or nun, they are rightly advised to not speak of death-- they should stick to their practice.

It is as lay people that we must seek to find the most compassionate and selfless answer...as long as we have no selfish motive, we must try to give life whenever possible, but find the most compassionate way to end suffering for those in great suffering through the teachings.

“bungai terong”

Since: Mar 08

lantang senang belama

#9 May 9, 2011
Hello wrote:
There is no one answer to these questions-- as a monk or nun, they are rightly advised to not speak of death-- they should stick to their practice.
It is as lay people that we must seek to find the most compassionate and selfless answer...as long as we have no selfish motive, we must try to give life whenever possible, but find the most compassionate way to end suffering for those in great suffering through the teachings.
in the cese of my granny,we shouldn't have put her on the life support machine at the first place..what do you think?

When her body system started failing one by one,the doctor put her on the life support machine,a temporary measure to run an already broken up body so to say...hmmm...So,due to this,we were comfronted with the issue of whether to take her off the machine or not...If we were to let things be,..hmmm....
Hello

Brooklyn, NY

#10 May 11, 2011
sampuna wrote:
<quoted text>in the cese of my granny,we shouldn't have put her on the life support machine at the first place..what do you think?

When her body system started failing one by one,the doctor put her on the life support machine,a temporary measure to run an already broken up body so to say...hmmm...So,due to this,we were comfronted with the issue of whether to take her off the machine or not...If we were to let things be,..hmmm....
I didn't know you had a choice in the matter.

Either way, it's a hard decision when it comes down to the people you love. You are terminating life...assuming that the person will never recover...scary decision...
swami vivasmirti

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#11 Aug 29, 2011
i consider myself more b'ist than anything else. i dont know what any guru has said, but b'ism lets u think for yourself. as a b'ist or whatever, i think euthanasia is neither good nor bad. i guess u just need to do it mindfully and unselfishly.
i wd like to be able to plan for my death as much as possible. i mean, u never know when u r going to fall off a cliff or ladder or get hit by lightening, so u never have complete control. but i wd like to know when. that way, i cd decide things like-sd i buy a new car or will the old one hold up long enuf? sd i go to the dentist or will these teeth last to the end? sd i get cosmedic surgery or is this skin tight enuf for now? also, i cd plan how to spend my money. i cd figure out what i have and divide by how much i need per yr, and choose my span.
its also a question of individual needs vs social needs. do ppl depend on you or are u not responsible for others' welfare anymore.
its a decision to be made with lots of thot, but it is your own thot, not other's, that matter. no one sd tell you that their thots take precedence over your own. and you wd be wrong to passively accept others' thots.
Hello

Forest Hills, NY

#12 Aug 29, 2011
Welcome!As long as whatever decision was made through compassion and selflessness, it is a decision that one need not dwell on--losing sleep over it through a guilty conscience.
When it is done, it is done...and one should not dwell on it further knowing you tried everything to help this person.

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