Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 (NIV)
11 I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:
As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
Attempting to control the time, place, and manner in which a person dies is taking matters best left to God into our own hands. Consistent pro-life advocates stand for the protection of life from conception through natural death. In other words, man should not interfere with the will of God.
As they were rejoicing in victory over the passage of a pro-life state constitutional amendment last fall, my friends at TN Right to Life continued their efforts and were able to pass two new laws regarding women seeking abortion. Laws requiring abortionists to inform women of the process and outcome of an abortion, giving these women 48 hours to consider the information before having the procedure done, and requiring that the state department of health inspect abortion facilities will all go into effect on July 1st this year. What a great victory for women and the unborn!
The work of right to life advocates, however, is facing another daunting challenge. During this same session, legislation was presented that would legalize assisted suicide in Tennessee. Venerable state politico John Jay Hooker is behind the legislation. Hooker was diagnosed several months ago with terminal cancer and would like to see TN go the way of several European nations as well as Washington, Oregon, and Vermont by legalizing physician assisted suicide. (See this link to watch the testimony in the TN State House Health Subcommittee. It is well worth your time.) http://tnga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=278&clip_id=10577&meta_id=203135
This issue is not new to European nations, and if it’s happening in Europe, you can bet it’s on its way to America (think: takeover of government by Muslim extremist and a one world currency for starters). So I looked at what is happening there regarding this issue.
Simple research yielded very startling facts on assisted suicide and euthanasia. Look again at that last sentence. See the word “euthanasia?” You probably skipped over it without notice, but this word has a very different meaning than the term “physician assisted suicide.” With PAD (physician assisted death), a patient or family has to request that a doctor provide the necessary means to end the patient’s life. Euthanasia is simply ending a life that some entity deems to be no longer necessary or helpful. This implies that, as is the case in Luxembourg, the patient may have no say in the matter.
“Luxembourg was the third country in the EU to legalize euthanasia. The law was passed in a parliamentary bill that allowed doctors to end the lives of a terminally ill patient. This law requires that such a decision be reached with the approval of a panel of experts and two doctors.”*
Who determines which doctors get to make these decisions? Who is on the panel of experts? In what field are they experts? What qualifications must be met in order for one to become an expert? What if the family, or even the patient, disagrees with such a decision? What about family members who have motives other than the well-being and health of the patient-at-risk? Outsiders making end of life decisions on behalf of any person or family is abominable!
Like so very many other issues, taking the first step will lead to a fall down a very slippery slope. Consider how laws legalizing abortion were a first step toward laws that permitted the violent dismemberment of babies in utero at any gestational age. America is now a nation in which babies who survive an abortion attempt can be placed on a medical cart and left to die anyway. Laws permitting physician assisted suicide can, and easily do, lead to the legalization of euthanasia. Once we move in this direction with PAD, just as in European nations, euthanasia will not be far behind.
The issue of physician assisted suicide, as well as euthanasia (and abortion!), are literally matters of life or death, and it could be yours. This is not a matter in which the people can afford to sit idly by and allow our legislators to debate without hearing from pro-life advocates. More than ever, we must join forces with the Right to Life movement. This is one debate that we must win. As a lawmaker stated in the video linked above, “Let’s get this right the first time.”