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Saturday 10 December 2022

Voluntary Assisted Dying a.k.a Blasphemy

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The problem with Volunatry Assisted Dying, or Euthanasia, is not so much that it lowers or diminishes the person who takes use of the service (though I think it does do this). It is more that it elevates the provider of the service to the place of God in determining life or death for that person. It is blasphemous. 

Someone asked elsewhere, do pastors examine the God-breathed wisdom on this issue, comparing it to something like adultery? 

Let's examine that God breathed wisdom, Romans 13:9-10:

"9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

To facilitate adultery or murder (which is what VAD is) is to break two of the commandments of the second tablet of law, which are the commands which tell us how to love our neighbour. God determines a person's time, a man who unjustly takes a life commits blasphemy against the image of God in another human being and claims an authority we do not have. 

A man who commits adultery, likewise attacks the image of God in the union of man and woman. 

These are both grievous sins. 

That's the God-breathed teaching of the Bible. 

Arguing that two doctors can override that is the height of human hubris, and something only very evil societies do. Ours is now in that category. 

As to the situation of the person struggling with death, yes it is tragic, it is hard, one of my best friends just died from a terrible cancer, one of my family members is now very sick. I'm not looking at this theoretically, at all, it's difficult. That's part of our lot in this world. To be confronted with our human frailty, and it should drive us to humbly come before God. Deleting the difficult people corrupts us in ways we cannot avoid if we go down the VAD path. 

Note this as well, many adulterers will justify their adultery based on their hard home life. Misplaced, even seemingly genuine, compassion is often the justification for sin. It's how our fallen hearts seek to motivate us to do things we ought not do. 

So biblically and practically, the sins are more alike than some peope allow, or realize.

Allowing for either of them undermines the fabric of your society, as the situation in Canada highighlights: 

"Last year, more than 10,000 people in Canada – astonishingly that's over three percent of all deaths there - ended their lives via euthanasia, an increase of a third on the previous year. And it's likely to keep rising: next year, Canada is set to allow people to die exclusively for mental health reasons.

Only last week, a jaw-dropping story emerged of how, five years into an infuriating battle to obtain a stairlift for her home, Canadian army veteran and Paralympian Christine Gauthier was offered an extraordinary alternative.

A Canadian official told her in 2019 that if her life was so difficult and she so 'desperate', the government would help her to kill herself. 'I have a letter saying that if you're so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAiD, medical assistance in dying,' the paraplegic ex-army corporal testified to Canadian MPs...

...Sheila Elson, the mother of a 25-year-old woman with cerebral palsy said a hospital doctor in Newfoundland actually told her she'd be 'selfish' if she didn't consider pursuing the euthanasia option.

Roger Foley, a patient with a degenerative brain disorder, secretly recorded staff at his hospital in London, Ontario, mentioning euthanasia.

In one recording, the hospital's director of ethics told Mr Foley it would cost 'north of $1,500 a day' to keep him in hospital, adding: 'My piece of this was to talk to you, (to see) if you had an interest in assisted dying.'"

The idea that VAD corrupts us is not theoretical, or even simply theological, it is the actual observed reality. Once the option of death is permitted and lawfully protected, the sinful heart of man will find that shortcut useful and attractive in multiple ways. This causes many issues, not the least of which is that medicine is inverted from a profession that has every reason to find a way to cure and ease suffering, into a profession where hard cases can be deleted. The effects of this on society will be profound, because it diminishes the pressure on the medical profession that drives so much discovery, the pressure to ease suffering. 

The ways it will corrupt us are many and profound, because VAD puts man in the place of God. And history demonstrates conclusively, that man always makes a terrible god.

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