Scripture References

Scripture has many themes that we can use to explain the dignity of the human person, the value of suffering and why euthanasia and assisted suicide are fundamentally wrong.

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The following verses are not exhaustive, but are helpful in orienting ourselves to God’s plan for human life.

The value and dignity of human life

Genesis 1:26-27

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:13-16

“For you did form my inward parts, you did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for you are fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are your works! You know me right well; my frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Prohibition of murder

Genesis 9:6

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.”

Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17

“You shall not kill.”

Respect for advanced age

Exodus 20:12

“Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

Leviticus 19:32

“You shall rise up before the hoary [grey] head, and honour the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.”

Jesus’ love of the sick

There are many instances where Jesus healed the sick. See, for example:

  • The hemorrhaging woman who touched his cloak. Here Jesus also raised a girl from death. (Matthew 9:18-26)
  • Cured every disease. (Matthew 9:35)
  • The crippled man walks. (Mark 2:9-12)

Suffering can be a good

2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1

“…knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

Romans 5:3-5

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

James 1:2

“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

1 Peter 5:12

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

Colossians 1:24

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.”

Trust in God in life and death

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

“Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead; he delivered us from so deadly a peril, and he will deliver us; on him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.

God has appointed a time for all to die

Hebrews 9:27

“And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.”

Ecclesiastes 7:17

“Be not wicked overmuch, neither be a fool; why should you die before your time?”

Learn more about euthanasia, assisted suicide and end of life care