Doing Life Together

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. 


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