Recently, two different medical cases have captured the essence of the modern debate about the sanctity of human life.
The first case, a very high profile one, is about a young girl who, in December, went in for a routine Tonsillectomy. Something went wrong and the hospital, on December 12th, declared her brain dead.
Her family, however, refuses to believe it. After a court battle with the hospital, the family was allowed to move her to an undisclosed location where she is on life-support.
The second case flips the situation around. In late November, a woman, 14 weeks pregnant, was found unconscious at her home. She turned out to be brain-dead, but the hospital has refused to remove life-support because of a state law requiring them not to remove life sustaining measures on someone who is pregnant. Her family wants the life-support removed and is suing the hospital to force them to do just that.
In both of these cases, a hundred years ago, there would have been no debate—they all would be buried in the ground. But because of modern medical technology allowed us by God’s providence, we can bring someone back from the brink of death or keep them in a shadowy lane between life and death.
In short, we can play god like we’ve never done before. This has opened up a wide ranging debate in modern times on the sanctity of human life. When can we take a life? When do we save a life? These and other related questions are crucial in the abortion debate and the euthanasia debate.
Euthanasia, for those unfamiliar with the term, literally means “good death” and refers to various ways that a patient might choose to have his or her doctor help him end his life. Physician-assisted suicide is another related term. There’s much more to euthanasia than that, but that’s enough for us to know right now.
God has given us the responsibility in recent years to be able to make life and death choices. How do we handle this responsibility? How do we handle this responsibility in a Biblical way and with Biblical values and principles?
First, we need to understand a little about how the culture that we live in makes decisions: