OK, I’m not optimistic that this will stay in IMHO long, but I’m starting it here because I actually want opinions rather than argument. I’m sure the mods will move it if it gets out of hand, but can’t we all just get along?
A friend of the family is very ill, having suffered a catastropic event that affects her ability to communicate in any meaningful fashion or otherwise do anything more demanding than lie in a hospital bed or sit up, restrained, in a wheelchair. She is elderly, in her 70s, and has always been very independent, even reclusive. She will never be able to live independently again. Everyone in the family is aware that she would not approve of heroic measures being taken to keep her alive; she made that very clear in prior conversations. There is no issue with someone wanting to go against her wishes should the course of events lead to her death.
Now to what inspired my question. One member of her family who is very religious (but in a very reserved, church picnics, Bible study and charity work sort of way, not at all preachy) told me that he was going to ask his church to put her on their prayer circle or chain or whatever metaphor they use, but that he would be praying for her to die and be released from her suffering.
So, spiritual Dopers, do your beliefs allow you to pray for death for someone else? If so, is that only for deaths that would be considered by the majority to be “compassionate?” If you prayed for death for a loved one who was suffering, would you be able to share that with your fellows who share your spiritual beliefs? Do you or would you feel any conflict with other tenets of your faith? Please note that this is not just addressed to Christians; I’d like to hear the thoughts of posters from other religions or belief systems.
Just for the sake of full disclosure, I am an atheist, I do not believe in a deity/deities, and I do not pray, but I also don’t disrespect or scorn or abuse or mock people who believe otherwise.*
- Unless they get all Bachmann-y on me, of course, in which case mockery is obligatory.