Difference between taking and giving your life


So suicide is something God does not want us to do.

But …

Say for instance you knowingly do something that results in your death, but you do it to save someone or else. Would that be considered suicide?

Say someone tells your friend “I’m gonna kill you or him, and you got five seconds to decide!” and you tell your friend to save himself because he has children and you don’t.

Would that be considered suicide?


No, the scenario you describe is not suicide. Interposing yourself between a murderer and his intended victim is not an act of suicide, although the end may nevertheless mean death.

Saint Maximillian Kolbe offered to be the victim of Nazi extermination in exchange for the concentration camp officials sparing the life of Franciszek Gajowniczek…this was not suicide on the part of Saint Maximilian but an act of self sacrifice such that he is venerated as a martyr of charity.


This is true. However it should be pointed out that taking your own life so that you can, for example, donate an organ to your friend does not fall into this category.


Taking your life in most cases means suicide

Giving your life means you die for some one else EG sacrifice, organ transplant(doesn’t always lead to death depending on the organ), etc


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.