Genesis 9:6King James Version (KJV) Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Talking about Physician Assisted Suicide from a Christian perspective. There is nowhere in scripture where there is a justification for premeditated killing of an innocent person and that is what PAS is about. The above verse reveals that following the flood, the penalty for taking a life in a premeditated manner (murder) carried a death sentence. That was later codified in the 6th Commandment. There is no question but the entire Bible comes down on the side of life.
Being pro-life is a worldview based on faith in Jesus Christ and the understanding of His word that we are made in the image of God. The term is not limited to just abortion, for being prolife means one recognizes that all “human life is inherently valuable”. The application will show in many areas where humans interact. Our faith affects how we see God, the world and each other.
This being so we treat people with dignity no matter their gender, race, age, nationality or economic status. We care for those in prison, the sick, the elderly, disabled, immigrants, those without families and we stand for marriage. What’s more we fight the culture of death no matter how it shows.
In Vermont it showed its ugly head by the legislature passing and Governor Shumlin signing into law the physician assisted suicide law (act 39) in 2013. Many fought it then and are still fighting it now. There is currently a case filed on behalf of healthcare providers who under the law are required to advise a person with a terminal illness that they have the option of killing themselves under this law by prescription from a physician. Those providers have refused as a matter of conscience and Alliance Defending Freedom has filed an action in Federal Court to fight that provision. It is still pending. There will be other attempts to undermine and hopefully at some point repeal the law.
Christians realize by faith and trusting the Word of God that physician assisted suicide is wrong because God says that is so. Others though, might say it is the compassionate thing to do and cruel not to allow. They will argue that the patient wants it done! You will come up against those who believe that losses of autonomy or severe pain are justifications for this killing. They will probably not listen to your understanding of the Biblical prohibition, so you need to be prepared to deal with those kinds of individuals as well.
If you have your facts together, you can reason with them and possibly at some point even witness to them. Only a naïve person would miss the abuse possibilities in this law and even the murder possibility. Beyond those dangers there are many others and the law and its application have no protections. Suffice it to say that many knowledgeable people have defined this law as an exercise in “legislative malpractice.”
There are other ways to deal with end of life situations through hospice and palliative care and showing love and understanding to the patient. When patient’s physical needs are met along with their spiritual ones, requests to end their life are few and far between.
I have experienced two wonderful deaths. One was Marge Hart, a prayer warrior in our church that so many of you knew and loved. I also recently experienced the death of my sister, Shirley. Though I hated to see her in the state she was in and I miss her a lot, it still was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced to see how she reached out for the Lord and even though she could not speak, her witness to the doctors and nurses was tremendous. I know her actions had to have had lasting impacts on those lives who were with her. I can’t believe such experiences could ever be witnessed when someone dies taking a handful of lethal pills..
We read in Deuteronomy 30:19 that the choise is given to us and we have to make it. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”