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The obligation to protect human life – Is mercy killing forbidden?

The Obligation to protect human life

The prohibition of murder and injury

Suffering of a person can sometimes appear as unbearable to the person and his surroundings. If healing is possible, one should always help and assist one’s neighbor by all means possible to bridge this difficult period in his life until better times.

Life is the greatest gift a human being has been given and should be guarded as best as possible.

However should a person’s suffering be so great, and healing impossible there is no commandment to lengthen one’s life if he can only live a short time and with suffering, since his life cannot be saved. If he does not want to be saved- when this is his expressed wish, is not an obligation to save him, even if it is possible.

Mercy killing is forbidden, even if the patient is suffering and wants his life to be terminated. Even if it is clear that the person will net emerge alive from his current sickness, it is forbidden to kill him.

Help the sick, relieve their suffering and give see love and comfort.

By Angelique Sijbolts

Sources: The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman

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