With the growing push that has existed for decades, the idea is being presented that euthanasia is a form of kindness. Before I move too far into this consideration, I believe a simple definition of euthanasia would be warranted. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary – “An easy death; a mode of dying to be desired.” The synonym is ‘mercy killing,’ and the noun is killing someone painlessly (especially someone suffering from an incurable illness.)
There are many terms used to make it less severe, including assisted suicide, humane destruction, and Dr. Kevorkian, one of the more modern medical proponents. However, he was not the only proponent of this measure, and well-known politicians and activists have suggested that it is the most merciful means of addressing terminal illnesses. You may agree, but I do not!
I am not Catholic, but I refer to the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who embraced a philosophy that captured the Catholic and much of Christendom’s view of life. He called it the “consistent ethic of life,” and it was often referred to as the “seamless garment.” He argued that human life must be respected consistently from conception to natural death. He metaphorically offered the seamless garment and said, “There is no easy way to tear one concern from another.” Life must be valued. We have made abortion and capital punishment political footballs with no common ground between the antagonists on both sides.
Abortion does not value the life of the unborn but focuses on the preference of the pregnant woman. I do not mean to come across as coldly callous. But the woman’s preference or plans must not outweigh the value of the life yet unborn. We dehumanize the fetus in the womb by refusing to acknowledge that it is an unborn human being. We may have facilitated that view as we have often dehumanized violent criminals who have been deemed worthy of death. Please do not assume that I am anti-capital punishment. However, because of the value of life, I desire that it be carried out under the strictest of biblical guidelines.
My concern is that when we dehumanize anyone, we open the door to dehumanizing everyone! What I mean by that is if we become so at ease with abortion and dehumanizing people, even criminals, it is a short step to dehumanizing the sick, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, etc. Life must be valued! All life!
Some time ago, I saw that six Pennsylvania representatives proposed a bill that would allow the terminally ill to ‘choose’ what they termed ‘death with dignity.’ The legislators, all Democrats but one, declared that the advancements in modern medicine have made it possible to ‘extend the lives of people amazingly.’ Yet, they insisted that many people suffering from a terminal illness feel that it prolongs unnecessary suffering when pain management becomes difficult or impossible.
Those legislators insisted the bill would cover a very limited scope and application. They insisted that numerous safeguards would be in place to prevent the encouragement of the extremely emotionally vulnerable, encouraging them to end their lives prematurely. The truth is that it would be virtually impossible to monitor, and the less-than-ethical would prey on those lives, resulting in growing euthanasia.
My wife, Bonnie, battled breast cancer metastasizing to the liver and bones and ultimately to the brain (Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis). It is not like brain tumors because it coats the brain, and no known survivors have existed. Yet, she battled and fought to live. She would not have, nor would we have encouraged or desired her to be euthanized. We are Christians and have known God’s healing power, and while we desire to spend eternity in Heaven, we want our departure date to be His choosing, not man’s.
I can understand how someone suffering from a condition in which they have no hope and are in debilitating pain continually with no relief could gravitate to that method. If we promote Euthanasia as a viable and moral alternative to allowing the end to come naturally, we likely will dissuade people from fighting for life for themselves and others.
I believe that the embracing of euthanasia is rooted in nihilism and promotes the idea, “all suffering is bad, and life is a proprietary thing that we can dispose of as we wish, and when it no longer serves the greater community or furthers the ideological preference, it can be extinguished with no remorse.” That door leads to a level of darkness that makes the world a frightening place to live.
I should not have been surprised at the reaction of Roe v Wade being overturned as a national law and returned to the individual states, but I was. I gasped at the depths to which our society seems to have sunk and the devaluing of life. It is like dominoes; when they fall, what can stop them? Where do we make the cut-off, reign in the dehumanization, and drive to euthanize for convenience and comfort?
I contend that euthanasia is not compassionate but selfish. I do not believe we have the right to close the curtain of life prematurely. I see this as one of the numerous efforts to achieve population reduction and fiscal benefit for those not suffering.
We will never eradicate murder in society, but we can eliminate it from our hearts. Hate is murder in seed form. The quest for power allows and enables those seeking ultimate power to detest anything and anyone who stands in opposition to their objective. How could I claim to be a follower of Christ and promote euthanasia? I value life! I want no one to suffer, and I desire that those suffering from terminal illnesses be granted access to the needed pain medications to give them as much comfort as possible.
If we become a society that promotes euthanasia, we will, I fear, become one that devalues those deemed less than whole and who determines that is suspect. There are those seeking power and control who have had their consciences seared with a hot iron and would eagerly pursue and encourage this eradication of the elements they consider undesirable. God help us to value life, all life!
I do not care if you identify as Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian; life must remain valued. If your part promotes and supports euthanasia or abortion, and you are a Christian, I suggest you find another political party or form one. I value life, I value freedom, and I value my faith.
God bless you, and God bless America!
The creep away from valuing the ‘individual’ in its uniqueness has played a large role in the dehumanizing effort. Considering people as members of ‘groups’ reduces them. As people began to rationalize that stealing from a corporation is ‘okay’ because there is no clear individual robbed, so too, they began to devalue “any one life among the many”. If you’d ask the same people to choose one of their children to abandon because they have other children, they’d realize that God feels the same way about all of us.