Saturday, April 30, 2016

When is it Right to Die?

J.J. Hanson is an advocate for life.  He gave me permission to
take this picture of him and his wife as a photographer was
taking their picture.
     Assisted suicide goes by a number of terms that work as euphemisms like: death with dignity, mercy killing, the right to die, etc.  Last year, I heard a news program from a local television station where local people gave their thoughts on assisted suicide.  People sent their comments by email.  Most people seemed to side with assisted suicide.  Those that were against assisted suicide made it clear that they thought only God should determine when a person should die.  One woman found herself divided on the issue.  She said that her mind told her that it was wrong, but her heart told her it was right.  She might be helped to understand that she can't depend on her "heart" as peoples' hearts are "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."  When these subjects are presented, the tendency is for people to depend on their feelings rather than firm principles established by the Creator and a "sound mind."  Others use their mind to justify evil things as their understanding is "darkened."

      Last month, I went to our state capitol to join with hundreds of other freedom loving people to learn state issues and to share truth.  The event was organized by New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms.  A topic that is important in our state at this time is assisted suicide.  A number of people, including myself, carried signs through the state capitol to announce our opposition to assisted suicide.  There was a speaker, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  His name is James "J.J." Hanson.  J.J. has started an organization to combat assisted suicide called the Patients Rights Action Fund. J.J. was diagnosed with the same type of cancer that Brittney Maynard had.  Brittney was popularized by the media because she decided to commit suicide after learning her diagnosis.  The media tended to praise her as a hero instead of lamenting her hopeless outlook.  The voices she heard were saying, "You can't beat this."   She succumbed to those voices and propagated hopelessness to many people.  J.J. determined that he would beat the cancer.  J.J. fought depression himself, but had people that supported him, and found hope. He recognizes that cancer will likely come back, but he is grateful for every day he has with his family.  He knows that not one of us is guaranteed another day, but each day is a gift.

     One thing that occurred to me is the fact that many people who support assisted suicide are strongly against the death penalty for criminals.  They make a lot of noise about the botched lethal injections that have happened, yet the poison that is used on death row convicts is the same poison they use to kill people with assisted suicide.  To say this mildly, it is inconsistent, and in truth it is hypocrisy.

     Another concern is the position this puts doctors.  Doctors have the reputation of helping preserve life.  Legalizing assisted suicide  would change the role of many doctors to that of destroying life. In Canada, the medical schools are changing the curriculum to make way for assisted suicide which is scheduled to become legal there this year.  Among the courses that will be changed will be those dealing with medical ethics. 

     What it boils down to is that God is the giver and taker of life.  Without His sanction, life should not be taken.  Life cannot be devalued without sour consequences which many cannot foresee.  Call it unintended consequences.  History has shown repeatedly that those that hate Wisdom love death. 

     The state of New York is a primary place the assisted suicide proponents are aiming to change to embrace death for those that desire it.  It is still suicide even if it is assisted, and assisting suicide only lays the guilt of this awful crime on more people.  While many are suffering, to open assisted suicide as the solution is not going to help as all of human life will be devalued in the process.  Those that suffer need to have genuine care.  It is my hope that we will address real solutions to human suffering rather than seeing people as animals that can simply be destroyed once they have lost functional value.  Human life is a gift and has intrinsic value.

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