In most evangelical Christian opinions, in cases where patients are terminally ill, death appears imminent and treatment offers no medical hope for a cure, it could be argued that it is morally appropriate to request the withdrawal of life-support systems, allowing natural death to occur. In such cases, every effort should be made to keep the patient free of pain and suffering, with emotional and spiritual support being provided until the patient dies.
But in this case where the cancer patient seems to still have a chance, although quite small, it is critical that we not only understand what is going on in the world around us but that we also understand what the Bible clearly teaches about, life, death, pain, suffering, and the value of each human life. First, the Bible teaches that we are made in the image of God and therefore, every human life is sacred (Genesis 1:26). In Psalm 139:13-16 we learn that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. God himself has knit us together in our mother’s womb.
We must be very important to Him if He has taken such care to bring us into existence. Second, the Bible is very clear that God is sovereign over life, death and judgement. In Deuteronomy 32:39 The Lord says, “See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me, I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. ” Psalm 139:16 says that it is God who has ordained all of our days before there is even one of them. Paul says essentially the same thing in Ephesians 1:11. Third, God’s purposes are beyond our understanding.
We often appeal to God as to why some tragedy has happened to us or someone we know. Yet listen to Job’s reply to the Lord in Job 42:1-3: I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. [You asked,] ‘Who is this that obscures My counsel without knowledge? ‘ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,things too wonderful for me to know. We forget that our minds are finite and His is infinite. We cannot always expect to understand all of what God is about. To think that we can step in and declare that someone’s life is no longer worth living is simply not our decision to make.
Only God knows when it is time. In Isaiah 55:8-9 the Lord declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. ” Fourth, our bodies belong to God anyway. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:15,19 that we are members of Christ’s body and that we have been bought with a price. Therefore we should glorify God with our bodies. Lastly, suffering draws us closer to God.
In light of the euthanasia controversy, listen to Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 1:8 We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. Joni Earickson Tada’s book ‘When is it Right to Die? ’ (Zondervan, 1992) shows her testimony and clear thinking is in stark contrast to the conventional wisdom of the world today. Being a Christian and having pro-life sympathies, I believe this Christian daughter should take the same wisdom and proceed with dialysis.