faith · social issues

On Euthanasia…

What a heavy topic to return to blogging on, hey?

Just quickly I would like to say thank you to my followers. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus as I finish my study (just 30 hours of placement to go!) but this blog is nonetheless always there for me when I’ve got something I feel I need/want to share with the world. It doesn’t matter if those draft thoughts never leave my head, knowing I have this space and even better people who are interested, is a wonderful blessing.

But back to this topic, yep, I’m going there….Euthanasia.

It came up at bookclub last night, as the last dregs lingered on around the table discussing work, life, financial planning and end of life.

The state of Victoria recently passed assisted dying laws which came into effect this month. I do not support these laws and pray other states do not follow suit – why? Quite simply because I am a christian. Is that a good enough reason to support protests against these laws for other people, mostly non-christian? That is a very good question.

I believe God is in ultimate control of our lives, and despite a fallen world with pain and injustice, I believe God is good. Despite daily questioning of His will and ways I trust Him and am content (relatively!) to leave my life and death in His hands. This choice became very clear to me when I was presented with the option (opportunity?) to terminate my second pregnancy. Whilst the medical reality for my child was very scary, abortion was never really an option – life is a gift. A gift I believe God chooses the time for giving and taking away. A gift I am more than happy to put into His capable hands, placing my trust in Him.

At this time in my life it also became really clear to me why people might choose differently to me. Without faith in God, given the option of a life of likely pain and challenges for your child versus regulated safe termination (death), I can see how it could be  a decision of love rather than perhaps convenience.

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So when at the other end of life and someone is facing certain death, via painful disease or illness, yes the loving choice could be termination. I still choose however to believe and trust in God. I don’t understand why he allows people to linger in pain but I do believe He is all-loving and all-knowing and I do believe there can be continued purpose and meaning in life.

I have not experienced constant pain and I have no idea what it’s like, so it can easily be asked, what right do I have to say how a non-christian chooses to end their life?

I’m not sure I can justify my beliefs….I DO wish for all people to come to know God as I do and to trust in Him….but I also acknowledge free-will. So I guess I don’t think that my choice is anymore valid than yours but I do believe I have the right to express it and continue to make decisions based on my faith, even if they affect others with different beliefs.

I have experienced the death of two grandmothers from bowel cancer. Both had lived long and blessed lives. My Dad shares what a privilege it was to be sitting nearby as his Mum took her last breaths. My mother cared for her Mum at her home until her death, which she too experienced as a great honour and privilege. It was interesting to hear an uncles perspective, who also helping with care saw it as cruelty for his Mum. I’m sure my Mum didn’t find it pleasant and wished for the suffering to end but I believe she also believed the care was dignified and an appropriate way to die.

I guess I wonder why we assume death should be painless? I think many are afraid of death and wish for it to be as uncomplicated as possible….I don’t think that’s realistic, as with all of life, the real picture often isn’t pretty but nonetheless invaluable.

I’m wondering now how to end this…..I feel I’m done.

Would love for any thoughts, alternative views, questions to be shared

GJ

8 thoughts on “On Euthanasia…

  1. A decision of love, rather than convenience. The way you phrased it sums up the time when I feel okay about euthanasia as a valid end-of-life option. When someone is truly suffering from a disease which is ravaging their body in some physically painful way that I can’t even imagine, and together with their loved ones, they decide that euthanasia is the kindest, most loving choice to end that suffering, then I have trouble finding a valid argument against that. I am only worried about the slippery slope of ethics once euthanasia becomes allowable for some things, and perhaps, fearful of the dystopian visions I’ve read about euthanizing the frail, the disabled, or the chronically ill.

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    1. Yes I worry about the slippery slope too and that is why I am most comfortable leaving the decision to God. What I have read of Victoria’s new laws do make me reasonably confident in their decision-making processes but humans and their systems are always flawed. Thank you for sharing

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  2. Gee Jen, firstly well done on focussing on your studies. Nearly there!

    Euthanasia? Big one. Good you’ve instigated discussion as it’s such an important topic. I too worry about that slippery slope. Maybe not so much now but fifty years down the track when I envisage massive overpopulation and all it entails.

    I also envy you your faith. It obviously gives you strength. I’m Christian but faith? That’s a hard call……

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    1. Thank you, so very very close!

      I confess this post came about because I didn’t voice my own thoughts at the bookclub discussion. We did discuss overpopulation too in reference to Baby Boomers in care.

      My second confession is I’m not sure how you can be Christian without faith? I was thinking as I read your comment last night of times in my life when I havn’t been so confident in strength through faith and I was reminded of the Footprints poem, do you know it?

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  3. Yes I agree, few meet their end painlessly and that is why many choose euthanasia. It gives them some feeling of control over how they pass and some think that it overall helps with the family’s suffering as well. It is still a tricky thing that should be a last resort, in which there is no chance of surviving and the person feels peace about it. Even then I really don’t know what God would say on the issue because i haven’t faced that situation. Death in and of itself is wrong, and not God’s desire. In the end death will be defeated but for now we can have peace in God’s promise and Jesus sacrifice which took away the ‘sting’ of death. Sting not referring to physical pain, but spiritual and emotional. We can have peace in death through Him. God bless!

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I think it’s important we talk more about death, uncomfortable and unfathomable as it may be. God’s word is a reliable source and I appreciate your explanations. God bless you too

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