Q: What does The Urantia Book say about the practice of euthanasia?
A: There are no references to euthanasia (mercy-killing) in The Urantia Book. But knowing what I do, I hope can form an opinion that will be in line with its teachings.
Euthanasia is an interesting subject, and once again in the news of the day. I can’t tell you what to think—whether it is right or wrong. I suspect that every case is different. But it is my personal opinion that if a person has been in a vegetative state for some amount of time (in the recent case I read of, the person has been in such a state for over ten years!) and shows no sign of recovery, and no sign of brain activity, I would say that euthanasia would be justified. I know that if it was me in that bed, that I would not want to be kept alive if my Thought Adjuster had left. And we are told that when brain activity ceases, that is the equivalent of death, at which time the Adjuster returns to Divinington to await the personality and soul reunion. Do the soul and personality remain with the body until it is allowed to die?
The Urantia Book says this:
2. Intellectual (mind) death. When the vital circuits of higher adjutant ministry are disrupted through the aberrations of intellect or because of the partial destruction of the mechanism of the brain, and if these conditions pass a certain critical point of irreparability, the indwelling Adjuster is immediately released to depart for Divinington. On the universe records a mortal personality is considered to have met with death whenever the essential mind circuits of human will-action have been destroyed. And again, this is death, irrespective of the continuing function of the living mechanism of the physical body. The body minus the volitional mind is no longer human, but according to the prior choosing of the human will, the soul of such an individual may survive.
3. Physical (body and mind) death. When death overtakes a human being, the Adjuster remains in the citadel of the mind until it ceases to function as an intelligent mechanism, about the time that the measurable brain energies cease their rhythmic vital pulsations. Following this dissolution the Adjuster takes leave of the vanishing mind, just as unceremoniously as entry was made years before, and proceeds to Divinington by way of Uversa. (112:3.3)
In days past, this was not ever thought about much, because a person who had sustained a serious injury would have naturally passed away, but in our times of amazing medical miracles and cutting-edge technologies, doctors have the power to keep a person alive indefinitely. But is that always wise? To me it seems like a case of science without the moderation of spirit.
Euthanasia comes from two Greek words meaning “good death.” Lingering in a hospital bed, waiting for someone to “pull the plug” does not seems like a very merciful way to treat someone. Allowing them to have a “good death” seems to be, in these extreme sorts of cases, the best course of action.
This is a question that has prompted the rise of “living wills,” which allow a person beforehand, to say how they would like such a situation handled if they are not able to speak or act on their own. “Natural death,” as understood in The Urantia Book may not be possible in such a situation, and so a person has to demand it these days.
Thanks for this thought-provoking question.”