Photo: SS&SS, used under Flickr Creative Commons license
CALIFORNIA, February 28, 2014 — In an age of incredible advances and availability in life saving medical technology, governments are making it easier to destroy life. Whether it’s abortion on demand, active or passive euthanasia, or assisted suicide, the value of a life is becoming equated to its “quality” or cost.
Switzerland, Germany and several states — Oregon, Washington, Vermont — already allow assisted suicide. Adults in Luxembourg and children over 12 in the Netherlands can ask to be euthanized. Now Belgium is the first country to remove any restrictions on the age of a person requesting death if they’re terminally ill and understand the choice they’re making.
This “compassionate” pragmatism will lead to a patient’s “duty to die”; people will be emotionally pressured to avoid being a physical, emotional, or mental burden to anyone else.
Without an absolute moral standard to inform and restrain life and death decisions, any evil can be institutionalized. Slavery, German World War II atrocities, ethnic cleansing, and America’s 50 million abortions of unwanted babies are historical evidence of that.
If history isn’t warning enough, what happens if an amoral government decides the infirm, mentally deficient, preborn or newborn with severe birth defects, the elderly, or those genetically predisposed to some undesirable condition lack the necessary “quality of life” to deserve continued care?
Will that never happen under Obamacare?
The Obama Administration has used the IRS, NSA, FCC and the DOJ to intimidate political opponents and conservative, faith-based groups. It is not farfetched to see pragmatic decisions to end long term care based on costs and values-free policy directives becoming routine. When health care policy is devoid of moral conscience, then delaying or denying needed care is a practical way to implement a slow “license to kill” for a person’s putative own good.
Once bureaucratic inefficiencies, cold heartedness, incompetence, massive cost increases, dispassionate policies, and decreased quality of care become the new normal, the best health care system in human history will cease to exist.
Obamacare isn’t just a misguided government attempt to improve health. It’s the implementation of a worldview that trusts a secular government to manage the details of our lives and deaths. From that perspective there is no irony in forcing medical professionals dedicated to providing needed care one day, to speed up death the next day in response to bureaucratic demands.
Belgium’s decision to allow euthanasia at any age is a sign of what we can expect when the sanctity of life is no longer a factor in health care decisions.
Evil has been a reality from the beginning in the hearts of man and through spiritual influences (Genesis 6:5-6; John 8:42-44). If tolerated, an unrestrained government will eventually reflect the worst and not the best of our nature and never remain limited to its proper Biblical roles: exercising justice and promoting good (Romans 13:1-6; 1 Peter 2:13-14).
Biblically, God is the giver of life (Genesis 1:27; 2:7; 1 Timothy 6:13) and numbers our days (Job 14:5-6). God never condones murder or suicide (Genesis 9:5-6; Ex 20:13), but Instead demands compassion towards the suffering and dying. Extremely trying and difficult physical conditions are precious opportunities for care, spiritual nurture, and respect — not to prolong imminent death, but to cherish and honor life with the benefits of medical technology and eventually hospice, if needed.
Government’s role, if any, should be to allow an environment conducive to valuing life and not demanding its end for the sake of convenience or cost.
The Bible recognizes the plight of those physically suffering or facing death: “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more” (Proverbs 31:6-7). In effect, manage the physical pain and provide comfort as long as necessary.
If the equivalent of “death panels” through the use of cold-hearted policies isn’t spiritual warfare, what is? If government can incentivize the manipulation of children and adults to ask for their own death to relieve the burden to others; if it can promote and pay for mothers to destroy the gift of life growing within them; if it can disapprove care because a person has lived long enough, then it’s co-opted the role of God.
Satan is the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning, yet he can appear as an angel of light. How ironically descriptive of where our future government-run healthcare rationing system is headed. When life’s sanctity is devalued or becomes inconvenient, more extensive abuses naturally follow as the unthinkable becomes thinkable (James 1:12-15).
It’s time to wake up. When a government begins to tell us how and when to die, it has become unworthy of our respect and must be restrained or replaced before its too late (Proverbs 29:2).
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