Morality

 

 

A doctor should be allowed to practice euthanasia

 

 

 

Euthanasia (from the Greek euthanathos, eu ‘well’ + thanathos ‘death’) is defined as ‘the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable disease or in an irreversible coma’. In other words, euthanasia is a death hastened by doctors with the permission of the sufferer or his relatives.

In 1998 the Waldensian Churches in Italy, at their annual meeting in August, approved a statement supporting euthanasia and assisted suicide. The document called for legislation which would legalize euthanasia, such as that which passed in the Netherlands in 1994. The document said: ‘Every human being is responsible for his own life and can decide if it is still worthy to be lived. ... [A doctor] has the duty to use all his knowledge and skill to maintain a patient's life, but on the other hand, he cannot elude the imperative of avoiding the useless suffering of a patient who does not have any prospect of recovery’ (Religious News Service, August 31, 1998).

 

Confutation

 

Euthanasia is murder in God’s eyes. He who has the power to kill and to make alive is God alone (1 Samuel 2:6). Therefore, if the country where you live permits euthanasia and one of your relatives is in a hopeless condition from a medical point of view, because according to the doctors he is condemned to die after unspeakable sufferings without any chance of recovering, you must not give the permission to let him die in advance (before time) in order to put an end to his sufferings or to make him suffer less, because if you give such a permission you will share in a murder. And then who said that that man will surely die? The doctors, thus human beings who can’t lengthen the life of men and who have a limited knowledge like all the other human beings. Therefore they do not have the last word, for it is God (the Omnipotent, the Omniscient and the Omnipresent) who has the last word in the life of men. It is God who decides when a man is going to die and what kind of death he will die. Thus what counts is His decision, is what God says.

So, let us suppose that one of our relatives is dying of an incurable disease and is suffering terribly. How should we cope with such situation? Well, first of all, we should ask: ‘What did God determine to do? Did He determine to let him live or die?’ Nobody knows (unless God reveals His will by a word of wisdom). Therefore we must plead with God to heal that person who is dying of an incurable disease. For we must never give up hoping in God, for our God is able to raise up a man the doctors say he’s done for or a man who thinks he is done for. Job is a clear example of how God can change the most desperate situation. Job was suffering terrible pains, his flesh was wasting away from sight and his bones clung to his skin and to his flesh, he thought that he would soon depart from this world, and his wife was waiting for his death; but God healed him and made him prosperous again. Another eloquent example of what God can do when there is no more hope from a human point of view is that of king Hezekiah, who was taken ill and in the midst of his illness thought that he was a dead man, but God heard his prayer and saw his tears and added to his days fifteen years. “I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the LORD, even the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world. Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me” (Isaiah 38:10-12) said Hezekiah in his song after he was healed by the Lord, and he added: “What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back” (Isaiah 38:15-17). As you can see, the above mentioned examples show us clearly that God can change the most desperate circumstances in the life of men, for both Job and Hezekiah were ‘terminally ill,’ but God healed them. Knowing this, therefore, let us pray for our relative who is terminally hill so that God may heal him, and God will surely heal him if it is His will to heal him. Do not lose heart, with God nothing is impossible.

But not only can God heal incurable diseases, which lead to death, if it is His will; but He can also raise the dead. Therefore He can act on behalf of a man even after his death. So he can allow a man to die of an incurable disease in order to raise him from the dead before or during of even after his funeral. The resurrections which are recorded in the Scripture confirm this concept. So it is lawful for us to plead with God to raise a dead person, and obviously if it is God’s will to raise him from the dead, it will come to pass that that man will rise again in answer to our prayers.

But what shall we say if God has determined to let him die of that incurable disease but not to bring him back to life? We will say: ‘The will of God be done.’ If the dying person is a believer, when he dies he will go to heaven to be with the Lord; if he is a sinner, he will go to Hades (hell), where he will be tormented with fire, and thus he will continue to suffer in another world, and we know that the sufferings in Hades are greater than any suffering on the earth.

I would like to point out that many of those who die in severe pain are people who have been struck by the rod of God for their wickedness. For God makes them reap the evil they have sowed. The Scripture says that God struck king Jehoram with an incurable disease because of his wickedness, as it is written: “After all this the Lord struck him in his intestines with an incurable disease. Then it happened in the course of time, after the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his sickness: so he died in severe pain” (2 Chronicles 21:18-19). You may ask me now: ‘Does God strike with incurable diseases even Christians, for certain sins which they have committed?’ Yes, He does, for God is no respecter of persons. Know this, that some Christians have been struck by the rod of God because they take pleasure in committing adultery and fornication, in murdering, in getting drunk, in keeping back by fraud the wages of their labourers, and in other serious sins. They walk after the flesh, God gave them time to repent of their wickedness, but they did not repent, and thus they were struck by God. I realize that it is painful to see these people suffer on their bed of illness, yet we have to admit that it is right that God should make them suffer in that way for their iniquities. Nevertheless, we, who are not glad to see people suffer, must have compassion on them and pray for them, so that God may grant them repentance that leads to salvation and thus after death they may go to heaven.

 

 

 

 

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