Buddhism and Euthanasia

Recently there has been widespread discussion in Singapore about the pros and cons of euthanasia. The government originally broached the subject, probably in response to rising health costs, and various medical and religious bodies have given their opinions on the matter. On Nov. 4th the Straits Times reported that Christian, Muslim and Buddhist religious authorities were opposed to any form of euthanasia and that Hindus were (on going to press) unable to give an opinion one way or the other. I suspect this means that they were simply unable to find anyone who could speak authoritatively on the matter, a sad reflection on the state of Hinduism in Singapore. Venerable Kwang Phing of the Singapore Buddhist Federation was asked for the Buddhist position and said that Buddhism would consider euthanasia to be unacceptable. I do not know exactly what Ven. Kwang Phing said but I would like to give some of my own thoughts on the issue.



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