The Doctrine of Imago Dei and the Challenge of Euthanasia

ISSUE: Vol.6  No.3 June 2020 Article 2  pp.158-168
AUTHOR: Isaac Boaheng
DOI : 10.38159/erats.2020062



The issue of acceptance of euthanasia (assisted death) in the face of affirming human dignity as preservation of the image of God in human beings is fiercely debated over the world. Different (Christian and non-Christian) ethicists hold different positions in the debate. Some of the key questions in the debate include how moral is it to legalize euthanasia in the face of the doctrine of Imago Dei? Should the quality of a person’s life overrule the sanctity of human life? This paper examines the arguments for and against the legalization of euthanasia and then considers how the doctrine of the Imago Dei should inform one’s decision to accept or reject euthanasia. With the African religio-cultural worldview as a contextual framework, the study contends that even though the preservation of physical life is not the ultimate goal of Christianity (since physical death is inevitable), human life should not be shortened deliberately for any reason. Therefore, it is morally wrong to take anybody’s life under any circumstance.

Keywords: Death, Euthanasia, Human Dignity, Imago Dei, Legalization

Author’s Biodata: Isaac Boaheng, an ordained minister of the Methodist Church Ghana, currently serves as a Translator for the Bible Society of Ghana. Isaac serves as a circuit minister for the Nkwabeng circuit of the Sunyani Diocese. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Trinity Theological Seminary and has research interest in Religion Studies, Public Theology, Biblical Studies, and African Christianity.  Email: