Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 339-354

First online:

The View of Religions Toward Euthanasia and Extraordinary Treatments in Japan

  • Noritoshi Tanida

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388 Japanese religious groups—143 Shinto, 157 Buddhist, 58 Christian and 30 others—were asked to answer questions regarding several forms of euthanasia and extraordinary treatment during the dying process. Passive euthanasia and indirect euthanasia were accepted by around 70% of the respondents. Active euthanasia was favored by less than 20% of them. Christians were less supportive of euthanasia than practitioners of other religions. Shinto and Buddhist corporations advocated “being natural,” when medical treatment became futile at the terminal stage. Religionists' views may deepen the discussion of end-of-life issues.

euthanasia extraordinary treatment religion Buddhism Shinto Japan