Spiritual Leader

The interview was done with Kenya’s Cardinal John Njue, a spiritual leader who insisted that euthanasia is not permitted according to his Catholic faith. But faced with the ethical dilemmas arising from the advantages and disadvantages, the clergy preferred to side with the liturgical pedagogies which put life and its importance over everything.

The philosophy here is obvious. The sanctity of life is a gift of God and every human being has the moral obligation to conserve life and not to end it, even if one is undergoing untold suffering. The view of the clergyman is sanctioned by God, and man has the moral duty to suffer in order to appreciate God’s wish; anyone trying to ease the burden through voluntary euthanasia is a part of a conspiracy to usurp the work of God. The cardinal is also of the view that if one has decided to end his/her own life, then bringing in another party is not right for it means that even the second person becomes party to that suicide mission. The two thus become guilty of the offense of committing suicide and murder respectively.

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The person willing to die should carry his own cross instead of “smearing” others with blood. In this sense, even the nurse assisting in the voluntary euthanasia is guilty of manslaughter. According to the cardinal, developments in science are continuously posing great challenges to nurses and etiquette; religious values and codes of conduct for nurses must follow their guidelines at all times (LaFollette, 2002). Voluntary euthanasia must be discouraged at all costs. It denies people their right to life.

The line dividing what is moral and legal is always vague, and allowing nurses to carry out euthanasia may make it difficult to establish the genuineness of any such acts.