Stuck Right in the Middle

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When it comes to this topic of euthanasia, it’s a 50/50 battle for me. Not too long ago I remember this tweet that popped up on twitter which I haven’t forgotten since. It read, “Your body is a temple, a gift from God, you are not your own“. I found myself thinking about this line for a few hours after reading it and even discussed it with my friends.

                                              

As young adults growing up, we decide what we want to do to our bodies, whether it’s tattoos or piercings, we do what we want to do. In the past I think that “harming “your body was more looked down upon but these days it seems like the norm. Basically as the world has evolved, so have certain thinking and practices changed. Similarly with euthenasia.

The reason why I find myself stuck in the middle is because I do indeed believe in God. So this should mean that I should follow what the Bible says, right? From the BBC Ethics Guide I came across the following:

 

Religious people often refer to the sanctity of life, or say that human life is sacred. They usually mean something like this:

God gives people life, so only God has the right to take it away.

You can look at that sentence in several ways. Here are three:

•           God gave us our lives

•           we owe our lives to God

•           God is the final authority over our lives

•           we must not interfere in the ending of our lives

 

•           God is intimately involved in our lives

•           God was intimately involved in our births

•           God will be intimately involved in our deaths

•           it would be wrong to try and shut God out of our dying

•           we should not interfere in the way God has chosen for our lives to end

 

•           God gave us our lives

•           we are only stewards of our bodies, and are responsible to God for them

•           we must use our bodies as God intended us to

•           we must allow our lives (our stewardship) to end at the time and in the way God want

From this sanctity of life, it is quite clear that euthenasia is unacceptable.

However, after reading the sad story of Tony Nicklinson who is paralysed and suffers from locked- in syndrome, I put myself, a family member or patient in his situation and think to myself, what would I do.  Then I thought about sick animals. Why is it okay to “put a dog out of his misery”, in simple terms meaning kill, but when it comes to a human life, this decision is frowned upon. Did God not create all things? Animals, plants and humans. Yet stepping on a spider or knocking over a cat, has never been a problem.

“If your role in the healthcare system is to improve the quality of life for your patients, can you rationally support assisted suicide?”

I find this to be a very important question to discuss because as health professionals, we will be the first people that individuals will seek advice and help from when they have a problem whether it is life threatening or not. Because times have changed so much, I feel that yes we can rationally support assisted suicide if this helps the next person end their suffering. Who knows, maybe, making that very fatal decision is actually Gods plan.

 

When someone has drowned and their lungs are filled with water causing lack of oxygen flow, was that Gods plan for that person to die in that manner or was a life guard or random person on the beach supposed to come along and resuscitate them??

This is almost the same situation if you think about in that way; the difference lies between saving a life and losing a life. We will never know whether this is right or wrong. All we can do is hope and believe that it is for the better.

 

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One thought on “Stuck Right in the Middle

  1. Hi Charde. I think you’ve asked some good questions and I’m glad you brought up the one about God’s plan for our lives and do we have the right to interfere with that plan. It’s a strong argument (if you believe in God) but I would ask you to consider the following. Over the past several hundred years we’ve seen advances in medical technology that have increased the human lifespan from about 40 years to almost 100 years. In a few decades it won’t be uncommon for people to live beyond 100 and be considered quite young. If it’s God who decides when you die, shouldn’t we stop interfering with those who are “supposed” to die? Why do we do heart replacements? Why do we do research that extends the lives of children with cystic fibrosis? There are countless ways that people have made choices that extend the lifespace. Shouldn’t they also have the choice to reduce it?

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