Euthanasia is defined as “easy painless death – a painless killing specially to end a painful and incurable disease.” Lawmakers are debating whether to legalize euthanasia. Euthanasia is already legal in Holland and the U.S. state of Oregon.
We are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and it is the Lord God who gives us life (Job 33:4) and who has numbered our days (Job 14:5). This means that God is the One who determines the day that we should die. Assisted suicide is an attempt to deny God His sovereign right to appoint the time of death. If someone is terminally ill and is suffering, we should make the person as comfortable as possible during His dying process. Euthanasia is not the answer for the suffering. The dying should receive care, love and comfort instead.
Death was not God’s plan for His creation (Genesis 2:17). The Bible upholds the sanctity of human life. The Sixth Commandment plainly states, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). God, as the Giver of life, is the only one who can legitimately take it away. Murder is taking this divine prerogative to oneself—killing without God’s permission. There is no scripture that allows us to painlessly take someone’s life because he or she is suffering.
There are many times when God allows a person to suffer before dying. God is working in everyone and will continue until we draw our very last breath (Philippians 1:6). We are to learn from suffering (Romans 5:3-4; 1 Peter 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 1:3-11). And we can trust that God’s plan for those who suffer is in their best interests.
However, causing a death and allowing a death are not the same. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to take extraordinary measures to a prolong life indefinitely. Therefore, it is not unbiblical to turn off machines that keep a sick person alive if the person has made his wishes known or if he is in a persistent vegetative state.
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In His service,
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