So when the zombie apocalypse eventually happens, will it be permissable to simply kill a person who has been bitten to protect the group, or will we have to wait until the person actually turns into a zombie?
I am assuming that it is morally permissable to “kill” a zombie, since they are already dead and just operating through whatever the mechanism is that is controlling the corpse.
I have read somewhere that the position of the Catholic Church would be the same as its stance on killing in general. We are not to kill anyone unless in legitimate defense CCC 2263. This would be how we are to treat zombies also, since we do not know for sure if their soul is still contained within the body. So unless in direct threat to ourselves or someone else, we are not to arbitrarily kill them. Also, we cannot kill anyone even if they are bit, another caveat is they cannot kill themselves either, since suicide is also a sin.
But what about to protect the group? Let us say that you have ± 8 hours from the time a person is bitten before their heart stops beating and they become a zombie. There is no getting around this. The moment one becomes a zombie they WILL bite you and you WILL become a zombie yourself.
Are we supposed to just tie them down and hold a shotgun to their brainstem for 8 hours until they stop twitching and then immediately pull the trigger?
another option would be to leave them behind. or if you are hold up somewhere, make the bitten person leave. Morally speaking, we cannot condone euthanasia or suicide, cannot kill anyone unless it is in legitimate self-defense or yourself or someone else in grave danger.
Officially, since zombies, in the undead George Romero-esque version, are not real, there is no official position taken by the Catholic Church from what I understand, but we are to follow the CCC on homicide, murder and the taking of life.