Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 11.5.14 – Ending Your Life When You’re Terminally Sick

Brittany Maynard took her life over the weekend to avoid the suffering that would have soon took her young life. Her story is now prominent in the cultural discussion, elevated there by the media as a story worth talking about. I in no way wish to diminish her life – all life is of value. But, the decision she made to end her life is worthy of our thought – and action.

I know not everyone is going to agree with this post. My goal is truth and faith which bring action consistent with God’s Word. Let me present three points for your thinking.

1. This death glorified the individual.

This death brought Brittany Maynard into the spotlight. Her decision and the attention her story brought were very obviously about her.

Death for believers in Jesus is about God. It’s about hope. It’s about eternity and where an individual will spend it. Those believing in Jesus spend eternity in Jesus’ presence. Those who don’t are shut out of that eternal glory.

The death of the believer is precious in God’s eyes (Psalm 116:15). Funerals for believers point to the hope of Christ.

The coverage for Brittany has made very little of eternity, God, or truth. Thus, the light in this story is on her and her decision and not on the eternity planted in her soul (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

2. This death put control in Brittany’s hands.

Ultimately, the Bible points to God as the author and sustainer of life. Therefore the most careful treatment of inevitable death should put that control in God’s hands. It should end on His terms.

People moving to avoid end of life suffering and seek “death with dignity” would deny the reality and inspiration of suffering with hope. People suffer all the time. Those who suffer acutely trusting God are an inspiration to others.

Putting control of death in God’s hands shows full trust in Him and His purposes for our lives.

Jesus Himself submitted to God in His suffering (Luke 22:42). Why shouldn’t we do the same if God has that for us?

3. Think – Isn’t this a slippery slope?

Recently someone I know sat on a jury where a man walked into a hospital and shot and killed his suffering wife. I have no interest in what the law says – it can’t be trusted to be consistently fair to life. Causing the death of a pregnant mother is double homicide while the homicide of abortion is legal. Instead of the law, I’m interested in this thinking and logic: if Brittany is allowed to take her own life to avoid suffering, then why isn’t a man allowed to kill his wife to help her avoid suffering?

This logic is human and leads to an inevitable slippery slope. It is hard to make a distinction in the example used above.

The best logic here trusts God’s plans, not ours. When we trust God with the end of life, the human element is removed and the slippery slope is avoided.

Think. Do you have a consistent view of life? How important is “what we want to do”?

Act. Many of us will not face a terminal illness. If we do, trusting God with the end of life is the best solution. What to do if we don’t? When the idea the culture promotes as good contradicts what God says, can we not at least lovingly and logically raise honest questions?


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