Compassionate Choices

Here’s another “Sunday question of the day” to consider:

There’s a woman named Brittany Maynard who is dying from a brain tumor. The link leads to People magazine’s story about her.

At much personal expense, she and her family moved to Oregon to take advantage of the laws that permit her to die on her own terms instead of riding out the emotionally and financially costly course of dying from her disease… a death which is inevitable.

I think different groups of Christians have different thoughts on the issue of suicide. And in Brittany’s story, this is not a suicide. This is not giving up in light of overwhelming circumstances. This is perhaps choosing the time and place of your eventual surrender.

Stories like this call to mind the media attention around Terri Schiavo several years ago, and I know there were many Christians on social media defending her right to live. In her case, we didn’t really get to hear from Terri herself on the matter, so I think that’s apples compared to oranges here. But I wondered how we draw the line on what’s acceptable or not when it comes to this choice.

The reason I’m bringing this up for discussion is because this debate may be coming to a State legislature near you. So if you haven’t considered it before, now’s a good opportunity to do so.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

One thought on “Compassionate Choices”

  1. I am reminded of Karen Ann Quinlan, she was 22 when she became unconscious after arriving home from a party. She had consumed diazepam, dextropropoxyphene, and alcohol. After she collapsed and stopped breathing twice for 15 minutes or more, the paramedics arrived and took her to a hospital, where she lapsed into a persistent vegetative state. After she was kept alive on a ventilator for several months without improvement, her parents requested the hospital to discontinue active care and allow her to die. The hospital refused, and the subsequent legal battles made newspaper headlines and set significant precedents. The New Jersey Supreme Court eventually ruled in her parents’ favor.

    Although Quinlan was removed from mechanical ventilation during 1976, she lived on in a persistent vegetative state for almost a decade until her death from pneumonia in 1985. (Wikipedia)

    I remember the case of Karen Ann. The saddest part was that they took her off life support and she lived on for 10 years…can you imagine…
    When my mom was on her death bed…they took her of the ventilator and she lived on for a week before she took her last breath.
    People forget that God is the giver and taker of life and just because we want to die does not mean we are going to die… likewise if we want to live to a ripe old age. And what if she takes the drugs to end her life and then she manages to hang on? That would be unimaginable torture for her family.

    Have you read Utopia, by Sir Thomas Moore? Like I said, it can be a slippery slope, but in Texas…any such law would probably not pass.

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