New Horizons Ministries, 724-455-2222a ministry of the Christian Family & Children's Center
email: firstname.lastname@example.org See relatled link on End of Life Decisions
Although Euthanasia or Physician Assisted Suicide is a related topic to end of life decisions, it is important to distinguish between the two. PAS is the process of actively taking life, while end of life decision planning is just being a steward of the end of life process. The activities under PAS are more political in nature and are given here as a helpful understanding of what is happening in the world around us. Many people believe that PAS is moving rapidly upon us as the accepted way to deal with end of life decisions. New Horizons strongly disagrees and believes that one of the reasons PAS proponents are getting such a hearing is that those of us who believe in the Sanctity of life have left the area of end of life decision making wide open. Check out these readings for additional information...
Also See Related Link on making end of life decisions at: www.champion.org/cpc/cpcendoflife.htm
Q. What is euthanasia?
A. The Greek meaning is: 'eu'-easy, happy, painless; 'thanatos'-death. A British House of Lords definition is "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable suffering". Some draw a distinction between 'passive' and 'active' euthanasia - the difference between the withdrawal of treatment to allow death, and deliberately putting someone to death, usually to secure release from pain - sometimes called "mercy killing". Other definitions to remember are: 'voluntary euthanasia' - with the person's consent; 'living-will' - a declaration made in advance where the person directs that they should not be kept alive by artificial means (usually this is associated with 'durable power of attorney' where someone is appointed in advance to make medical decisions for the person when they are unable to do so for themselves).
Q. Why is the euthanasia debate becoming so prominent?
A. There is a growing drive to legalize euthanasia and a proliferation of 'Right to Die' societies. Back in 1948 the World Medical Association adopted the Declaration of Geneva which rephrases in modern language the 24 centuries old Hippocratic Oath containing the words: "I will give no deadly drug to any, though it be asked of me, nor will I counsel such". However, this has been contradicted in the past few decades. An editorial of the Californian Medical Association of September 1970 ('A New Ethic for Medicine and Society') stated that in the future people will be eliminated whose quality of life does not meet certain medical criteria, and that next to birth control there will be death control. Society will accept euthanasia, either voluntary of compulsory, as "the new ethics of relative rather than absolute and equal value will ultimately prevail".
One needs to consider the whole picture to understand the "new ethics" which justifies the killing of human beings. Humanistic thought, which controls most educational systems and governments, is responsible for this new, anti-Christian way of thinking. For instance, the British Humanist Association states: "Humanists are sympathetic to voluntary euthanasia. By this we mean helping people to die painlessly if their lives have become hopeless, with no prospect of relief before death and if they wish to die. But these conditions must be rigidly adhered to". Humanists consider euthanasia as part of their agenda, together with rights, abortion on demand etc. Since humanism believes that man is simply a product of evolution it has no foundation for upholding the sanctity of life. Killing unwanted babies and the aged are the logical conclusion of humanistic philosophy.
Though seldom admitted, economic pressures are often the reason for advocating euthanasia rights. Some openly argue that families as a whole should be able to decide what happens to their older members so that they can free resources to care for their younger members. Others have gone so far as to suggest that people should 'volunteer' to be 'put down' at the age of 65 and be given 'hero status' for their contribution to society.
Q. Surely, euthanasia is acceptable if it is voluntary?
A. Beside the obvious Biblical response which is that God has given life and only He has the right to take it, there are also a number of other considerations why 'voluntary' euthanasia is unacceptable and dangerous:
Q. What does the Bible have to say?
A. Human beings are not animals but unique beings made "in the image of God" (Gen 1:26-28).
"You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13).
Life is a gift from God and the moment of death is God's prerogative.
"Man's days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed" (Job 14:5);
"My times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies and form those who pursue me" (Psalm 31:15);
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12);
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die" (Eccl 3:1-2);
"...And I hold the keys of death and Hades" (Rev 1:18).
Suffering can be a blessing. "...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Rom 5:3-4);
"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer ... Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev 2:10).
God can heal even the hopeless cases. "...heal the sick, raise the dead, cure the lepers, and cast out demons" (Matt 10:8);
"Nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37);
"...who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases" (Psalm 103:3).
Q. What can I do about euthanasia?
A. Start by holding fast to God's revelation about life and death (see Scriptures above). Do not allow humanist thought infiltrate your way of thinking. Paul's warning must be heeded: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Col 2:8). Hold on to the fact that each human being has objective value in an absolute sense, since God declares this to be so. Refuse the relativistic moral code of humanism which results in the killing of the weak, the unborn and the aged.
Be ready to show God's love to the sick and dying. Let them feel wanted and loved, especially when death is unpleasant and painful.
Earnestly seek God for revival. Only the supernatural intervention of God which brings people back to a culture of godliness will be effective in reversing humanism and its culture of killing.
Return to CPC Home Page