Monday, April 20, 2015

Dying To Be "As God"

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This past November 1, Brittiany Maynard, 29, died by assisted suicide.

Doctors told her she had 6 months or less to live, thus qualifying her for legal doctor assisted suicide in Oregon.

She and her husband moved from California to Oregon, where she and her doctor ended her life.

Death as birth, is common to all of us who live here on earth.

It is written in Scripture, "A time to be born and a time to die."

While birth and death is common, how an individual responds to each is very, very different.

Planned Parenthood continues daily to persuade young mothers to dispose of their unwanted children, because they, not God, posses the right to choose---to decide birth and life, or death by abortion.

Barbara Coombs, along with her pro-death organization "Compassion & Choices" is advancing essentially the same narrative in regard to end of life matters.

She is reporting that over half the states in America have now considered legalizing doctor assisted suicide.

She says, "The movement has reached a threshold where it is unstoppable."

Biblical Christianity universally recognizes the sanctity of life.

There is not a more stark contrast between Christianity and secular progressivism than in the matter of the sanctity of life.

Pope John Paul said, "Man's life comes from God: it is His image and imprint...Man cannot do with it as he wills."

Billy Graham, in his recent New York Times best selling book "Nearing Home," talks of life and death and reminds his readers, "This present life is not the end."

While I have the deepest empathy for those who are deceived and misled by pro-death advocates, we must all reject, in the strongest terms, those who are advancing the "lie."

We are not God, nor can we become Him by attempting to usurp His place in human experience.

My purpose in writing about this is to inform you regarding the growing acceptance of doctor assisted suicide, and how the deception is presented to those who are suffering and their family members.

To both inform you and to remind you that there is a better way.

The deception is alarming.

Brittany Maynard told CNN before she died, "I would not tell anyone else they should choose death with dignity. My question is: 'Who has the right to tell me that I don't deserve this choice?' That I deserve to suffer for weeks or months in tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain. Why should anyone have the right to make that choice for me?"

This reasoning is deeply rooted in the catechisms of Barbara Coombs and her "Compassion & Choices" organization. While the late Brittany Maynard may not have attempted to tell anyone else to choose assisted suicide, Coombs has no reservation about advocating for it.

In fact, she worked closely with Maynard to "help carry her voice and her message."

The so-called "Death With Dignity" movement is shrouded in a message of compassion, but driven by rebellion toward Almighty God, the Giver and Creator of life---by a desire to be "as God."

There is opposition and concerns regarding assisted suicide for reasons other than biblical morality and the sanctity of life.

Arthur Caplan, founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University, actually supports the movement but expresses some concern as younger people buy in. He says, "Brittnay Maynard's death...made it a political issue for younger people, not just older people."

Marilyn Golden, a senior policy analyst with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, says "There is a deadly mix when you combine our broken profit driven health care system with legalizing assisted suicide."

She says the possibility of patients being financially or emotionally pressured into a decision to end their own lives is also a major concern.

Golden says, "Assisted suicide becomes the cheapest (treatment) option" with patients "being steered toward hastening their deaths."

There are a number of opponents who oppose assisted suicide because, they say, "given the risk of mistakes or abuse, medically assisted death laws present more dangers than benefits."

Five states presently have legalized doctor assisted suicide: Oregon, the first, Washington, Montana, New Mexico and Vermont.

Coombs claims the movement is becoming so accepted that it has "reached a threshold where it is unstoppable." She says as of April 10, at least another 25 states have considered death with dignity bills. Incidentally she was the chief petitioner for the Oregon Death with Dignity Act which took effect in 1997 after voters approved the law in 1994.

In addition to advocating to candidates that assisted suicide helps their families financially, the advocates also promise "personal peace" in knowing they have the prescription in hand, a doctor available to assist them, and the states permission to do so.

Since 1997 and 2014 in Oregon, 1,327 people were prescribed lethal medication, 859 killing themselves with the medication.

In Washington State, 549 people have received lethal prescriptions from 2009 to 2013; 549 have killed themselves with it. There is some discrepancy regarding the numbers.

Coombs and other suicide advocates make the case that having the lethal dose of medication in hand causes people to "Derive a lot of peace of mind from having the option."

My intention is not to diminish the pain and suffering that many experience---young and old. Life and death can be complex. But there is a better way. A greater source of peace.

Medical science has made great progress in the ability to treat pain.

The Christian Medical and Dental Association has published this statement:

Physician-Assisted Suicide Ethics Statement

We, as Christian physicians and dentists, believe that human life is a gift from God and is sacred because it bears God's image. Human life has worth because Christ died to redeem it, and it has meaning because God has an eternal purpose for it.

We oppose active intervention with the intent to produce death for the relief of pain, suffering, or economic considerations, or for the convenience of patient, family, or society.

Proponents of physician-assisted suicide argue from the perspective of compassion and radical individual autonomy. There are persuasive counter arguments based on the traditional norms of the medical professions and the adverse consequences of such a public policy. Even more important than these secular arguments is the biblical view that the sovereignty of God places a limit on human autonomy.

In order to affirm the dignity of human life, we advocate the development and use of alternatives to relieve pain and suffering, provide human companionship, and give opportunity for spiritual support and counseling.

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations oppose physician-assisted suicide in any form.

Billy Graham, in his book "Nearing Home" writes that everyone does not agree with his personal biblical belief regarding life and death.

He says a young man wrote to him recently and said, "You are free to have your own opinion, but as far as I'm concerned once you're dead, you're dead, that's it. When we die we're no different than an animal lying beside the road. The only life we'll ever experience is the one we're living right now. Life after death is just a myth."

In Billy's response to the young man he told him his comments brought sadness to his heart because, Billy said, "You are living without hope---hope for this life and hope for the life to come."

For those who are "nearing home" because of age or medical condition, Billy Graham advocates that God is the Healer, but also reminds his readers, "For those who have received the most precious gift of Christ's redeeming have reason to look forward to the glories of Heaven, for you will be perfected, you will be joyful, you will once again be active, and right now you can be certain you are nearing home."

Be Hopeful. Be Joyful. Be Certain. Be at Peace.