The word euthanasia was first used in written literature by the Greeks around 500 B.C. and it means “Good Death”. Also around that time it was condemned by Greek physician Hippocrates who is often referred to as the Father of Medicine. He coined the Hippocratic Oath which is still used today. The words evolved from the Epidemics, a part of the original oath, to be fully incorporated into the modern day Hippocratic Oath in the 19th century. The prime directive under the oath is “First do no harm“.
In that oath, abortion and euthanasia are specifically denounced. As stated therein “To please no one will prescribe a deadly drug, nor to give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure an abortion.” In many medical schools, a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath is given to the student on graduation or read by the deans to the students at the graduation ceremony. In French medical schools, it is common to have the student sign the oath on graduation. In the Netherlands, students must swear to it verbally. Very ironic and hypocritical when you realize The Netherlands was the first nation in modern times to aggressively practice euthanasia.
When abortion was made legal in the USA in 1973 it set into motion the devaluation of human life. The Industry of Death was formally introduced and echoed throughout the world. It was just a matter of time that euthanasia would eventually follow, most historically in The Netherlands, and now in Canada.
As Christians and Lutherans we believe that God is the creator and giver of life, and He alone has the dominion over life and it is not for ourselves to take it. We can not become our own gods. We are subservient to God. Once you devalue life, who has authority to say who gets to live or who gets to die? As Christians we don’t see death as the world sees it. As Christians we see death as not the end, but a transition or beginning into eternal life.