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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Thoughts on Assisted Suicide: Is it Justified?

When my poodle was almost 17 years of age, she suddenly took a bad turn and became disoriented with vomiting. I rushed her to the vet, thinking she was poisoned but in fact, she was dying. Her stomach was twisting and was causing excruciating pain. She was bloating badly as her organs were shutting down. We were told it would be best to put her down since there was no way to stop this and her stomach could burst.

I can remember that night like it just happened. We held her in our arms in her favorite blanket, kissed her goodbye and watched her die. Honestly, it was horrible and I had nightmares for days. I killed my dog, is all I could think. I hesitated to get another dog because I never wanted to go through that again.

All I could think about was that this should never be done to humans.

But now, Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize assisted suicide. A doctor is legally allowed to administer a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients to help them die.

When my mom was terminally ill, it was very hard to watch but there were so many precious moments with her during that time. The power of prayer was so evident. Every day, we would witness small miracles as God sustained her life and decided when it was time to take her home. I watched an unnatural peace flood her room, a calm acceptance of God’s plan, and a quiet solitude with the Lord that I had never seen in her life. People were moved by her peace at dying. Even though it was hard to see her deteriorate and in pain, hospice was so compassionate with her care that I gained a new respect for those who help people die in God’s timeline.

I would not want to be the doctor who helps people die. I would not want to make decisions regarding when to end someone’s life by injecting them with a lethal substance.

The Bible says our days are ordered by God. It is appointed unto man to die. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

People would ask, why doesn’t God just take your mom home when she is suffering so? I’m not God and see through a glass darkly. My thoughts were that she was still serving a purpose–praying for her family, showing others how to die as a Christian, loving on others and remaining His witness to the end. Until she drew her last breath, she had an impact on those who cared for her and visited.

Suicide is ending a life. God doesn’t justify His commandments.

So for me, this law bothers me.

Do I understand why someone would want to die who is terminally ill? Absolutely. But could I take their life into my hands? No.

 

 

Your thoughts? Let’s have a conversation. 

 

  • Linda Mintle

    I appreciate your perspective but choose to disagree. God has our days numbered and it is his decision, not ours. I would refer you to read the comments of Joni Earickson Tada’s comments.

  • Lori

    Lets start by saying that I am a God fearing and loving christian. I have also been a critical care nurse for over 23 years. I have watched my share of pain and suffering. So as a christian I feel that we should have the right to dignity in dying.
    I would like to propose that this be a choice of each individual. Your mother was blessed to have loving family very near her and supportive. Is it not just as humane to understand a persons suffering and to let them make this choice, but before the decided time, they have spent quality time with their families and all are able to be at peace with this decision and the death of a loved one? As a christian, I would have to pray and fast in order to be comfortable making this decision for myself, and be at peace with God.
    Hospice care is accepted and even embraced. Is it much different? We medicate with medication, at times to the point that a patient is not coherent and they can lay unresponsive for days, weeks, requiring medication for the horrible sounds that are made while breathing, more for the comfort of the family than the patient, until God takes them home.
    I believe that it should be the decision of each suffering individual of “death with dignity”, much as it is a decision to be placed on life support,or on hospice care. If you read the stipulations of this law, there is much that has to be played out before this prescription can be given. It is much like what is required to take someone off of life support once initiated. Only that decision lies strictly on the family and is not a decision made by the individual themselves unless there has been a living will in place. Even at that it is a family member decision. There is something beautiful about being able to come to terms with the death of a family member in a peaceful setting, in a way that is chosen by the individual, and being able to be a part of that process.

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