What Kevorkian misunderstood

Mark Stephenson

June 13, 2011

There is a whole world out there in terms of the disabled that the Church today needs to address.  We've adopted special needs children - they are the only disabled ones/minority at Church, Youth Club (a different Church group), and summer camp.  Other children stare, have trouble interacting with the, etc. until kind adults show them how and buddy them up.  What an exciting realization that there is a whole sector of society that we need to train ourselves to minister to!!!  Corrie ten Boom noted with delight how quickly the disabled were able to come to love God.  Thank you for highlighting this need and this brand new missions work within our own communities!!!

June 13, 2011

Cogent and helpful thoughts again from you, Mark. Thank you for reminding us that the church can have a meaningful response to Kevorkian's philosophies, not just a knee-jerk one. As my wife and I discussed tonight, this issue always comes down to how we value human life.

Siarlys Jenkins
June 18, 2011

There are a number of movies in which wounded soldiers are dispatched by their own comrades, because they are in no shape to be carried or transported, and if captured, they will be subjected to horrific torture. I can't really argue with that.

Nor can I argue that a person who is genuinely in terrible pain with no chance of recovery MUST live through it as long as possible. But, there are too many potential abuses to assisted suicide.

What I think is important to individual dignity is the right to refuse treatment. Further, I would suggest that a person who is permanently incapable of giving informed consent will not receive any invasive surgery or complex chemical treatments, certainly no heart-lung machines or dialysis. That is not homicide. That is letting nature take its course, as it would have done before we developed all kinds of human intervention to prolong life. Essentially, that would also have reassured one of Kervorkian's early patients, the one who was worried about an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, that once her mind was gone, she would not be artificially KEPT alive in that state for a prolonged period.

June 20, 2011

As a disabled person, I can tell you that it has been through pain and suffering that I have come to know the Lord more intimately, more joyfully.  I have learned important spiritual lessons that I probably would never have learned if not for the trials God has allowed in my life.  God always uses suffering for good if we work with him and don't fight him in the tough times of our lives.  "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

Rather than help people choose suicide, we should help people choose life, that is, life in Christ.  He is the one who sustains me on a daily, minute by minute basis.  I would rather be disabled and know Christ as I do than be the healthiest person in the world and not know him.

I think that, when it comes to the dying, the medical profession should be trying to improve palliative care rather than provide help to commit suicide.

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