I came across this news worthy article a few days go and could not believe my eyes! Maybe you read about it as well. Apparently, a US gulf war veteran was the subject of controversy (at least among his family members) when he fell into a comatose state after sustaining multiple serious injuries. Doctors said that even if he regained consciousness he would remain in a vegetative state. Just ten days later, the man’s wife, asked doctors to remove the man’s feeding tubes. However, after a lawsuit was filed by the man’s relatives, the feeding tubes were hooked up again, and the man was given a second chance. Well, it was a good thing his feeding tubes were reconnected, as the man has now regained complete consciousness and it responding to family and friends! He and his wife have some serious discussions ahead of them!

This is not the first time “assisted suicide” and euthanasia have been in media’s spotlight. We all remember the Terri Schiavo case. She was the woman in Florida who’s family was in a heated fight over whether or not to remove her feeding tubes. In the end, her husband won and her tubes were removed and two grueling weeks later she died, of starvation. And most of us are familiar with Dr Kevorkian, AKA “Dr Death” who was just recently released from prison. He admitted to helping some 130 of his patients kill themselves, in what he calls”assisted suicide”.

The world over, assisted suicide is either legal or carefully(or blindly) accepted, see this article to read about countries that either accept euthanasia or consider it illegal. Also, our neighbor, Oregon, is the only state in the Union with a legal “Death with Dignity” act, which makes it legal for Oregonians to participate in “assisted suicide”.

The increasing acceptance of assisted suicide is just one more reading on the barometer of our societies’ collective deteriorating moral conscience. It should not surprise us that euthanasia is becoming more and more in the media’s spotlight. But, considering how often “assisted suicide” occurs in our country, it is more disturbing that we don’t hear about it more often. After all, the cases that hit the media are usually the one’s where families are feuding over whether or not to pull the feeding tubes. There are innumerable cases where family members are in agreement and so the tubes are pulled and the media never gets wind of the silent passing of a human life.

I am not an ethicist. But I am a believer in the Word of God. In Genesis, God creates man in his image(Gen. 1: 26). The preciousness of human life is based on the fact that man reflects God’s image. Those who argue for the “right to die” say that man controls his own destiny and that every man or woman deserves a “death with dignity”. God, however, holds all life in his capable hand. In Job 38-41 God basically puts Job in his place. God asks him, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” And God goes on to describe how HE holds all life together by his mighty power. In Job 42 Job replies, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job admits that God knows what is best for man, and Job repents.

Human life is precious, the Bible makes that clear. But when sin entered the world, so did suffering and pain. Through God’s sovereignty, which sometimes us humans do not understand, people are rendered helpless and unable to care for themselves. The world looks upon those people as useless. But God loves those people. Their lives are precious. Others may be dying a slow death from cancer, and decide that they want to “die with dignity”. But God desires for their life to be surrendered to him. In Christ, there is always hope. And we as mere humans, cannot play God. We cannot choose who will die and who will live. There are dangerous social, ethical and spiritual consequences when we decide our own day to die.

And, just in case you’re wondering, I’ve reassured my husband that if he’s ever rendered comatose, I will not pull the plug! (grin). Thanks for reading!

For more in depth reading on the ethics of Euthanasia, I recommend, Brave New World of Ethics by John S. Feinburg.