What are your thoughts on assisted suicide?
To be entirely honest, I don’t have many thoughts on assisted suicide. Since I am not a medical professional, a legal analyst, or diagnosed with a terminal disease, it just doesn’t come up a lot.
To the first place to look is scripture to see if there is a clear answer to be had there. Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t have anything explicit to say about assisted suicide. There are verses like 1 Corinthians 6:19 about the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit, or Revelation 1:18 that says Jesus holds the keys to death. Some people who already are opposed to euthanasia might try to use those verses to back up their opinion, but that it seems to me quite a stretch to say those verses are definitive words on the issue.
So there is nothing in my reading of scripture that gives a clear statement on either side of the issue, and the issue doesn’t presently have any effect on my life. I have also prayed about it and not gotten a clear message that “this is right and that is wrong.” In these type of situations and issues, I try to have no opinion.
I am not sure where the idea that Christians have to have a rabid position on every single issue came from, but I don’t see any reason for it. There are issues that I have experience with, even some measure of expertise in, and the Lord has put a burden on my heart for, but outside of those areas, I don’t feel the need to have an opinion on everything.
I cannot imagine what it is like to be living with a disease like Parkinson’s or ALS where you know this is going to slowly shut your body down and make you a prisoner in your own body. I have no interest in telling people in that position what they should or should not, or can and cannot do, in response to their situation.
However, I can also understand the medical community saying that their primary directive is to preserve life, and to start making exceptions to that is an ethical road they are not comfortable going down. Again, I have no idea what it is to be in the business of saving people’s physical lives, or watching patients suffer and not being able to help.
I know this would have been a lot easier if I had thrown out a Bible verse and said “life is precious, suicide is evil, end of discussion!” That’s just not the reality to me. There are some things that scripture is crystal clear are right and wrong, but there are many more issues that it doesn’t explicitly cover. That is where listening to God in our individual lives, and our God-given ability to reason come in. Given that, it makes perfect sense to me that people might come to different opinions. That’s okay.
I will close out with this. 11 years ago now, my grandfather had gotten very ill. He was hospitalized with emphysema. While there, he got a staph infection on top of that. The doctors couldn’t do anything for him. He decided that he didn’t want any special measures taken to save his life, essentially meaning he didn’t want to be kept alive by machine when he could no longer breathe. He was at peace with that choice and I never spent any energy wondering if the decision was right or wrong because it was his to make, not mine.
-Matt from The Bridge
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