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Euthanasia, sometimes called "mercy killing," can be a difficult issue. On one hand, we do not want to take a person's life into our own hands and end it prematurely. On the other hand, we do not w...
Choose LIFE! I find it appalling that some Christians find Euthanasia not contrary to the commands "You shall not kill" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself". Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible. Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable. Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected. Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.
The term of euthanasia as a malpractice of medical treatment is not found in the bible, but if euthanasia is categorized as suicide actions, then we may refered to 1 Samuel 31: 4-6 and Mathew 27: 4-9. Both Saul and Judas had betrayed the LORD our God by disobeying God's commands and decrees and went off to serve other gods and worshiped them. By believing and following Jesus's teaching we have chosen life (Deuteronomy 30: 11-20; John 3: 16-21) and no one of the believers will ever face an euthanasia (Mark 16 :17-18).
The principle is very simple. If we believe in God then what God had created we have no right to terminate. To do so is murder, whether of another human being or of our own. Having said that, if death is inevitable and there is no hope of recovery, then the only option we have is to give or take pain killers until natural death occurs. Don't forget that there have been many cases of medical breakthroughs where people on death beds have been saved. What we do not possess is any God given right, either to induce death to others or to ourselves. Why is this the case? Every birth and death is predetermined by our Lord God. We die only when our God determines the time, nature and place for it to happen. That is why some people who suffer terminal illnesses survive defying all medical opinions, some survive in devastating war zones where all others have died and for instance, why sometimes just one or two survive when all others have died in a plane crash! For instance, soon after the Tsunami of 2004 when thousands of Westerners died in remote places like Thailand and Sri Lanka, I pointed out to my colleagues to look at the disaster in a completely new way. For instance, If you detach yourself from the disaster and were to observe it as a visitor from outer space then you would notice that this is an event where thousands of wealthy, healthy and capable people of all ages from across a range of very rich nations across the world had arrived at a remote distant destination to die all together at the same time from the same event! And not simply die, but they had paid their own fares to reach that destination without being aware that they had paid for their fateful final journey! Only one knew that they would all die on that day at that time in that place from the same incident and that is our Lord! Even at the same spot, out of a family of four, a mother and one her sons would die leaving her husband and the other son alive. There were so many similar stories. So the issue is very simple, we do not know when, how and in what way we will die despite all the latest medical advances, consumption of balanced diets, how fit we maintain ourselves in, what supplements we take, whether we stay in the safest possible place or even having a personal physician on hand in case of emergency! In the parable of the Rich fool our Lord said to him "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:120). Death, suffering and decline of health and many other conditions and disasters give us an opportunity to demonstrate our love for others and not seek to terminate their lives. The message is very clear and simple, 'Be prepared' for we do not know when our time would be up, on land or on sea, up in the air or below underground, on a hill or in a valley or even when relaxing and doing absolutely nothing – See the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).
Euthanasia is killing. Period. I know that sounds harsh; but true. God does not approve of murder or suicide. So the choice to give a mild sedative should only be made if the patient can visibly not survive on his or her own; but appear to be in excruciating pain. And that will be apparent. God is in control even at death. To take that choice from God is to choose self over God as your master. And conscience, especially at the moment of death, matters. It mattered to both my father and mother who died just a couple of weeks ago. My dad kept saying, "God will take us in His time." God will call us. He is in control. And can you really know how God chooses to comfort those children of His. It's amazing how the body cares for itself even deafening its own pain. God built His mercy into our vessels.
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