Suicide And Religion Don't Always Mix, But I Believe That They Should

Suicide And Religion Don't Always Mix, But I Believe That They Should

Assisted suicide is a subject that is very blurry when it comes to religion, and I think that should change.

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Four years ago, almost to the date, Brittany Maynard took her own life through Oregon's right-to-die law. She garnered national attention by packing up her belongings and moving 600 miles from California to Oregon at the age of 29.

Most 29-year-olds do not get incurable brain cancer. Most young cancer patients do not choose assisted suicide when given a terminal diagnosis. Most people would not decide, as Maynard and her husband did, to pack up and move to another state so she could have that choice. Maynard even decided to let the world in on her excruciating choice, opening herself and her family up to criticism at a time when that is the last thing they needed.

Of all deaths, between 0.3% to 4.6% are reported as euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide in jurisdictions where they are legal. The frequency of these deaths increased after legalization. Brittany, in an interview, said "Having this choice at the end of my life has become incredibly important. It has given me a sense of peace during a tumultuous time that otherwise would be dominated by fear, uncertainty, and pain."

The subject of euthanasia has highlighted religious tensions among many groups of people. The ethical controversy surrounding the subject of euthanasia was founded on the moral and religious notion that it contradicted God's creation of life and injured others if someone decided to end their life.

Buddhists have a simple opinion on the subject of euthanasia, as Buddhism is comprised of the essence of the Four Noble Truths. These truths explain the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. Damien Keown, who is a professor of Buddhist ethics, says "The bottom line is that so long as there is no intention to take life, no moral problem arises." Buddhists are taught to have a great respect for life, Keown says, even if that life is not being lived in optimal physical and mental health.

This means, for instance, that while a terminally ill person should not be denied basic care, he or she could refuse treatment that might prove to be futile or unduly burdensome. Buddhists also believe that one does not need to go extraordinary lengths to preserve a dying one's life. Even though a terminally ill person should not be denied basic health care, they would refuse treatment to prolong their life.

On the other hand, all three major Jewish movements in the United States – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform – prohibit suicide and assisted suicide, even in cases of painful, terminal illnesses. Under Jewish law, the directive to preserve human life generally outweighs other considerations, including the desire to alleviate pain and suffering. According to Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer, associate director for bioethics at the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, Judaism teaches that life is a precious gift from God. He says that "A person's life belongs to God, and therefore deciding when it ends should be left to God." According to Jewish teachings, doctors and caregivers should not do anything to hasten death and generally must work to keep people alive as long as possible.

I am Jewish, and I do not stand for the opinion of the Jewish movements that prohibits an action for someone's right-to-die. It is ludicrous to assume that all people of a designated religion will have the same opinion. Death is a private matter and if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right to interfere.

In the case of Brittany Maynard, she suffered from a terminal brain tumor, greatly impacting her future quality of life. She pushed for her right-to-die, allowing her to end her life in the presence of friends and family through a specific process that allowed her to understand what the impact would be and the timeframe in which her life would end. Brittany said, "If you ever find yourself walking a mile in my shoes, I hope that you would at least be given the same choice and that no one tries to take it from you." Each person is entitled to their own decision about their life. I believe that a person should have the authority to exercise their right-to-die in cases where death is inevitable.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Staying Quiet Is Never The Answer

Never hold in anything—always talk to someone.

merew14
merew14
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"Talk to someone" may be a phrase used all of the time, but I'm serious when I say, talk to someone.

I cannot stress enough the importance of talking to someone when you are going through anything difficult that is bringing you down. Believe me when I say that this is something I had to learn myself. I'm the queen of not talking about anything to anyone and wearing my, "Everything is okay" mask, but that is one of the most unhealthy things you can do. Holding everything in is so damaging to you emotionally and mentally. When you bottle everything, it will eventually all come out and it will be on someone you are close to who had no idea about anything you tell them.

My reason for not talking was always that my problems would add a burden to someone else and I never wanted to do that; the truth is, those that care about you think more about ways they can help than your problems being a burden for them. I've always been the person to hold everything in until it got to be too much and then I would explode on one of the people closest to me; not only was that damaging to me, but it was damaging to my relationship with that person as well.

Talking to someone is one of the most serious things you can do. People have been placed in your life as people you can vent to and tell everything to. I'm not saying vent to everyone in your life, but find at least one person you can trust and talk to them. The more you talk to people and let them in, the easier it gets to become something you do normally and the easier life gets. Even if you don't want to talk to someone close to you, there are hotlines you can call and talk to people who literally do that as their job. Your problems are not a burden and do not need to be held inside.

Talk to someone; the more you do it, the easier it gets.


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


merew14
merew14

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