Prolonging Life: An Orthodox Christian Perspective
Christian Bioethics. 1997 Dec; 3(3): 204-221.
While Orthodox Christianity does not find explicit statements about the morality of prolonging life in the usual doctrinal sources, the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church, there are elements in Tradition which bear upon the issue. These include Orthodox spirituality's emphasis on the "wholeness" of the human person, its liturgical and synergistic view of human life, and its understanding of our moral ambiguity as fallen human beings in a fallen world. This last point, in particular, means that we do not usually have a clear choice between right and wrong, and that we cannot always trust ourselves to know which choice is the right, or even the better one. Therefore, we must always approach decisions about death and dying with humility and in a spirit of repentance, aware of the imperfection of all we do and trusting in the mercy of God.
Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Attitudes to Death; Death; Decision Making; Ethics; Family Members; Fathers; Human Body; Life; Morality; Pain; Pastoral Care; Personhood; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Psychological Stress; Spirituality; Suffering; Terminally Ill; Theology; Treatment Refusal; Trust; Uncertainty;
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