By the time you read this the celebrated scientist David Goodall chose to end his life through physician-assisted suicide. “I am not happy, I want to die.” he told reporters.
Goodall deemed his life worthless– more a burden to him than a blessing. Is he wrong?
I am anti-death. I hate death. It is an unnatural interruption that destroys the fullness of life God intended for us all when He created us. I want to live life fighting for life; helping people experience life to the full.
Life is sacred. It is the most valuable commodity on the planet. Human life is so precious the God of the Universe was willing to lay down His own Son’s life to save and preserve the flourishing of human existence.
All human life is sacred.
Human life is under threat. Modern “human rights” threaten to bulldoze rather than protect vulnerable human lives.
The Christian humbly listens to the true God who tells us that we don’t get to choose which human life is precious and which is disposable. All life is precious. All is worth preserving, even if it seems worthless.
For an undesirably pregnant woman, to terminate her pregnancy is choosing her life above the life of her child. It is choosing the life one knows at the expense of the life of another. It is wrong because all life, no matter how it is conceived or how it is threatened by disease, is precious. All lives matter.
The Lord of the Living
God is for-life.
Jesus tells us that He has come, “So that you may have life, and have it to the full!” (John 10:10). He also exclaims, “I have in my possession the keys to death and Hell” (Rev. 1:18).
Jesus is the one with the authority to open and close the gate of Death. It is not ours to force open on our terms or timetable.
Jesus has come so that we may have life. Euthanasia fundamentally ends with permanence the precious life that which Jesus has come to give us eternally. It is antithetical to His gospel to willingly end the life that He has died to give you, even if your life seems worthless. It isn’t worthless to Him. It is precious and worth protecting and preserving. Life is sacred.
How can anyone claim that keeping a person alive if they want to die before the onset of detrimental symptoms is humane or merciful?
This is a hard question. And to answer it we need to remember what we know:
God is Good.
God gives life.
God loves us, He has died to save us and risen to show us His power and victory over death.
Because Jesus actually rose from death, He is Lord over death.
And we, therefore, are not.
God has given us life, and it is not our place to dictate when it should end.
A human must submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Every knee, sooner or later, will bow down to worship King Jesus. Whether you acknowledge him now or not makes no difference; He still remains God and He is Lord. To elevate ourselves to the status of gods - capable of discerning when life is worthless and when it is ripe to end - is to attempt to usurp Jesus' throne and rip from him the keys to death. This is wrong, and it is folly.
To a person with a terminal diagnosis, or who feels their life is worthless: God created you. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He sculpted you together in His image. You are precious to Him – even in your suffering. He has given His life for you to experience life, even if it is full of hardship. Life is always precious – your life will always be precious, no matter how worthless and difficult it may seem. Human life is always worth preserving.
“In this life we will have trouble.” Jesus promises us. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Jesus is Lord because he is Lord of life and Lord over Death. We can only experience a “euthanasia”, a truly “good death” when we receive him and are given true life that will never end. Looking to Jesus, learning how he has overcome the world, will give us the peace and confidence to follow Him and take heart no matter what may come our way.
Life is sacred, even at the end.
Note: There are lots of medical, ethical, political and practical reasons that the legalization of Physician Assisted Suicide or M.A.I.D. is bad policy. I have avoided all of those readily-available arguments to provide an exclusively biblical response to Euthanasia. But of course all of those other arguments are valid and should be studied seriously, and used collectively to bolster the argument against ending human life prematurely. I highlight three resources I have found helpful:
Dr. Margaret Cottle, Palliative Care Doctor – Speaking from Evidence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=553nWiIXq3s&t=1178s
Dr. Williard Johnson – Assisted Suicide and the Illusion of Autonomy: https://stjohnsvancouver.sermons.io/sermons/assisted-suicide-and-the-illusion-of-autonomy
Euthanasia and Palliative Care Guide: https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/Resources/Documents/Euthanasia-and-Palliative-Care-Guide
If you feel your life is worthless or not worth living please contact the Crisis Centre at 1-800-784-2433 or open up to someone you trust who loves you. Life is precious.