Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 51–57 | Cite as

Euthanasia: A Buddhist perspective

  • Phillip A. Lecso
Article

Abstract

This paper introduces basic Buddhist cosmology and ethical teachings, emphasizing the concepts of rebirth and Karma. There follows a discussion of the Buddhist view of illness and its causes. Using these introductory concepts, the Buddhist view on euthanasia is explored and contrasted with the views of Marvin Kohl, a leading proponent of euthanasia. It is shown that Buddhism prohibits euthanasia as an option for the terminally ill but instead advocates hospice care. The paper is offered to expand the current dialogue on bioethical issues beyond the Judeo-Christian perspective.

Keywords

Ethical Teaching Hospice Care Bioethical Issue Current Dialogue Buddhist Perspective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Gyatso, T.,The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, Illinois, The Theosophical Publishing House, 1974, p. 52.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., p. 53–64.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jayatilleke, K. N., “The Case for the Buddhist Theory of Karma and Survivival.” InThe Message of the Buddha. New York, The Free Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gampopa, “The Vicious State of Samsara.” InThe Jewel Ornament of Liberation, H. V. Guenther, trans. and ed. Berkeley, Shambala Publication, Inc., 1971.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Longchenpa,Kindly Bent to Ease Us, H. V. Guenther, trans. and annotator. Emeryville, Calif. Dharma Publishing, 1975, p. 6.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rabten, G.,The Preliminary Practices of Tibetan Buddhism, C. Tulku and G. Driessens, trans. and eds. Burton, Washington, Tusum Ling Publications, 1975, p. 3.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dhargyey, G. N.,Tibetan Tradition of Mental Development. Dharamsala, India, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1974, p. 43; Stevenson, I.,Case of the Reincarnation Type. Charlottesville, Univ. of Virginia Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gyatso, S.,Essence of Refined Gold, G. H. Mullin, trans. and ed). Ithaca, New York, Gabriel/Snow Lion, 1982, pp. 87–88.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Burtt, E. A.,The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha. New York, The New American Library, Inc., 1955, pp. 30–31.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Milarepa,The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, G. C. C. Chang, trans. and annotator. Secaucus, New Jersey, University Books, 1962, p. 340.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibid., p. 55.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Donden, Y.,Introductory Lectures on Tibetan Medicine, unpublished lecture notes, Charlottesville, University of Virginia, 1980, p. 1. (soon to be published by Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Isarang, T. J.,Fundamentals of Tibetan Medicine. Dharamsala, India, Tibetan Medical Center, 1981, p. 7.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kunzang, R. R. J.,Tibetan Medicine. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1973, p. 86.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ibid., p. 91.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kohl, M., ed.,Beneficent Euthanasia. Buffalo, New York, Prometheus Books, 1972;The Morality of Killing, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, Humanities Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    —, Beneficent Euthanasia.—op. cit., p. 235.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    —,The Morality of Killing,—op. cit., p. 80.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ibid., p. 3.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gyatso, T.,Kindness, Clarity and Insight, J. Hopkins, trans. and ed. Ithaca, New York, Snow Lion Publications, 1984, pp. 170–171.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., p. 181.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kohl,—,Beneficent Euthanasiaop. cit., p. 234.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institutes of Religion and Health 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip A. Lecso
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Medicine, Office of GeriatricsMedical College of Ohio in ToledoToledoUSA

Personalised recommendations