Doctor Assisted Suicide


    Doctor assisted suicide is not morally acceptable in today's society.  The Christian community and those in the medical  world share a deep belief that this is true.
    People in the Christian community do not agree that doctor assisted suicide is the way to go.  Many people have been brought up to believe the Bible is the infallible word of God.  They believe the Bible when it says, “Thou shalt not commit murder.”  Suicide, doctor assisted or not, is murder of oneself.  There are no exceptions attached to this command.  There is also a scripture that says "the Lord gives [life] and the Lord takes away.”  It does not say doctor in there, it says Lord, as in God.
     Doctor assisted suicide is a hard topic to deal with even among the Christian community.  Christians are people who do care about their fellow man and empathize with what they go through.  Nobody likes to see anyone go through the agony that these people must endure.  Many Christians have become ill to the point where they plead with God to let them die.  However, there comes a time in their illness when they have the strength to submit and say, “Thy will be done Lord.”  It's a hard place to come to in any situation, especially when dealing with death and illness.
     Jesus, Himself, before he was crucified, knowing all the pain He was about to endure, prayed “God if it be your will take this cup from me, but nevertheless thy will be done.”  He was whipped, spit on, mocked and crucified.  Christians remember the agony He went through and try to "be conformed to the image of Christ," in their illnesses.  Paul, one of the greatest apostles, had some affliction that is not named, but many Bible scholars believed it may have been cancer or something similar. He prayed three times for it to be taken from him, but God spoke to him saying “My grace is sufficient for you.”  In weakness, we are able to draw strength from God.  These trials are what shape and mold us into what we become later in life.
     A friend of our family, by the name of Joshua, has spina bifida.  It is a disease that should have already killed him, due to its severity.  He has had countless surgeries on his back and in his brain to keep battling this disease.  He is seventeen today, and when he was first brought over from Korea they said he would not live to be twelve.  It is through prayer and the grace of God that he is still alive.  Yet, throughout this whole ordeal, no one has ever suggested that he be allowed to die.  He and his parents are devout Christians and they believe that Joshua has a special mission on this earth.  He has been selected as a representative to go to Washington, and has appeared before the legislature in Hawaii on behalf of assisted technology for challenged people.  He has a strong spirit and the courage of a Olympic champion, all in a small broken body in a wheelchair.

     Many physicians have a problem with doctor-assisted suicide.  The American Medical Association (AMA) has an established code of ethics, which Jack Kevorkian broke.  To quote a letter written by the AMA in response to Kevorkian’s activities on their code of ethics “[o]ne of the fundamental principles . . . is that physicians must not act with the intent of causing the death of their patients.  Physician-assisted suicide is simply incompatible with the physicians role as healer.  When faced with patients who are terminal and suffering, physicians must relieve their suffering by providing adequate comfort care.”  Also in several published studies, physicians that were polled were very much against assisting their patients to die.  They condemn Jack Kevorkian for what he is doing.  Many of Kevorkian’s patients are not terminally ill at the time of death.  To date, he has assisted over a hundred people to die, or has given them the means to do so.
     In a telephone poll taken by Lancet of three hundred fifty-five oncologists, the majority did not find physician assisted suicide to be a method they would recommend when treating their patients.  Instead, they would prescribe drugs to relieve their patients pain.  There have been many other polls of physicians concerning this topic, the majority of which support this same belief.  Doctors simply do not feel comfortable in assisting their patients to die.
     The Elizabeth Bouvia case in California is a good example of this.  She checked into a hospital to starve herself to death, and still be able to receive medication for her pain.  She had multiple sclerosis and severe arthritis.  Doctors did not like becoming accomplices in her suicide.  They determined that her disease was not yet at a terminal stage.
     Many of the patients that want doctors to help them commit suicide are later determined to be depressed or mentally ill.  Depression is one of the major signs of suicide in people.  In a study of eight hundred eighty-six people that were going to commit suicide, it was found that the majority had benefited from counseling.  After a period of five years, only 3.84% committed suicide.  The suicide rate for people with terminal illness is between two and four percent.  This rate is remarkably low considering how many terminally ill people there are.  If  all these studies are true, then why are people lobbying for doctor assisted suicide to be legalized?
     Doctor assisted suicide is not something to be taken lightly.  It is a much debated topic in today's society.  The majority of the Christian and medical communities are very strong in their belief that this is not something that should be condoned or practiced.

CREDITS to: Doctor Assisted Suicide (page is no longer there - sorry)

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