Canada is considering legalizing doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill (source). There are many reasons why this is bad public policy. There are even more obvious reasons why such a practice does not fit with the will of God as expressed in Scripture. I will address all of those on another day.
My question now is, why the interest in self-murder (suicide) and why the need for professional help in making it happen?
In Canada, as in other states where this issue has moved to the forefront, stories pop up about patients, and the families of patients, “asking” for assistance in dying. What has changed to prompt these requests? Historical literature never describes the role of doctors as the executioners of their patients.
Think about it…health care has never been better equipped to prolong life, mitigate pain and make a person comfortable in the dying process. Why the growing interest, not only in self-murder but in hiring a professional health-care worker to make it happen?
Whenever something does not make sense it means we either don’t know the facts or there is another agenda at work. We do know the facts – people have been dying since the beginning of time. Nothing new there. Look for another agenda – one that wants to rid the world of burdens and to purify the stock of human existence.
End of life health care is not a Frankenstein movie. It is not experimentation and torture until the last possible moment. More so than ever palliative care efforts have matured to provide outstanding care at the end of life. Patients are not having treatments forced on them. At anytime a patient can refuse a treatment or a medication. So why assisted suicide?
Society has failed to learn from history. Increasingly we are buying into the mentality that there comes a point where one is a “useless eater” – better off dead than alive and being care for by others. This is not some new progressive way of thinking. We saw it horribly played out in the Nazi Holocaust.
There comes a time when we are not as productive as we used to be. Perhaps we are not as mentally sharp or physical agile as we once were. The social gurus of the day want to measure human value by productivity and independence. Those standards, however, are a sham. To begin with, life is valuable because it is human life. It is not a disposable commodity but a blessing entrusted to us to care for and not to terminate.
Rather than ridding ourselves of burdens we are better equipped now than ever before to carry the burdens of others. To even raise the idea that killing the elderly, the sick or the disable because they are or might become a burden is a despicable form of abuse that preys upon the psyche of all people. To instill a notion that value in life is rooted in productivity is deceptive.
Christians recognize that life is the gift of the Creator. While the “right to life” is a great battle cry in a declaration for independence, Christians recognize life as more than a right but a blessing, given by God and entrusted to us as His stewards. Our role is to be caregivers – watching over it, protecting it, preserving it and not taking it.
The physician assisted suicide movement is an insult to the Creator and a denigration of the medical professional. Are we really that naive to miss what is going on here? We don’t need a medical license to kill people. Anyone can do it in many different ways. Calling for a doctor to do it prostitutes the profession to cheapen what God has deemed sacred.
If Canada really wants to be progressive how about taking up the cause of burden-carrying and fight this horrible abuse of those needing our care? How about venerating the medical profession as those who preserve and care for life without saddling them with the job of ending life? How about throwing resources behind continued improvement and education in palliative care? We cannot solve all of our problems and burdens in life by killing them and turning the preservers and caretakers of life into a killing profession.