The death of Brittany Maynard is sad. This young lady (who would have been 30 years old on Nov. 19th) decided with her husband that she would end her terminal illness from brain cancer by taking lethal drugs. It is legal in Oregon for a person to choose when they die.
I understand the desire to end one’s suffering. Job said he wished he could simply die. BUT, he didn’t try to take his life. I believe it is because he knew that killing is wrong. It violates the 6th commandment “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13). Suicide, whether it is physician-assisted or not, is still murder – the taking of one’s own life. Abortion is murder too as it is the taking of another person’s life.
This young lady was in a horrible situation – no doubt about that. But it is not her place or any physician’s to take her life. We are not God. It is so sad that this young woman gave up hope that God could still sustain her and use her experience in some way to help others. Many of you, like me, have seen people suffer horrible pain and suffering due to cancer or other illnesses. But we have also seen God use that person’s pain and suffering in some way in the lives of others. We have seen Him gain glory for Himself by watching Him give such people joy in the midst of suffering. We have seen Him give them strength to endure suffering. We have even seen Him heal people who had been terminally ill.
I am not judging her eternal state – that is NEVER our prerogative. That is God’s call and God’s call alone. But I do believe it is sad someone did not help her in the midst of her pain to come to a better decision which is to choose to live as long as God grants her life.
When we begin talking about “death with dignity” – we are stepping over our bounds and trying to play God. I don’t buy it at all! We are not God. It is a slippery slope when we start talking about whose life is worth living – people are making that decision for themselves today in some states and it is so so sad. But it probably won’t be long until people are making that decision for others by saying, “We have determined that your quality of life is not worth maintaining, so we have determined to kill you and let you die with the dignity we have determined for you.
People, we are created in the image of God. Even in suffering, we belong to Him and we should let Him determine when and how we die. We should pray and trust Him to bring glory for Himself whether we go on living in pain or not. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” Let’s allow God to use our situations –whether in comfort or in suffering – to work it for good and for His glory to inspire others to hold on to their faith in His goodness.