Euthanasia is the current politically correct action taken when elderly parents or other close family members become a burden. Is euthanasia a good death as the definition would indicate? Is it merciful to kill anyone?
Studying the topic of mercy killing (which is anything but merciful) and our role in death covers a lot of territory. What is the scriptural approach regarding the use of a feeding tube after a stroke or during chemotherapy? Some scriptures would seem to apply. For example, Saul was begging someone to end his life because he feared what the Philistines might do to him if he were found wounded and weak (1 Samuel 31:4-6). King David (a man after God’s own heart) gave the death sentenced to the man who claimed to have done that for Saul (2 Samuel 1:2-16). That speaks volumes.
Although it was the king of Israel, who said, “Am I God, to kill or to make alive?” (2 Kings 5:6-7), it seems like a pretty good question if he hadn’t been faithless about the prophet Elisha serving in his country.
Neither the power of life nor death is in our hands. We must also consider Jacob’s answer to his beloved Rachel when she complained she had no child. “And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb” (Genesis 30:2).
In the book of Job, we find that God set absolute limits on Satan’s power over Job’s death (Job 1:12). Pair that idea with Heb. 2:14. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Compare Genesis 9:5-6
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed:for in the image of God made he man.
with Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill” and with 1 John 3:17 “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” for more convincing arguments.
Notice the warning in Proverbs 24:11-12:
If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (Prov. 24:11-12).
“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:13).
There are also scriptures against suicide, such as the statement made by Job’s wife who knew better than to tell Job to kill himself, but to curse God so that God would kill him (Job 2:9-10). She had strange reasoning, but that tells us what a perilous action it would be to kill one’s self if it’s better just to go to hell for cursing God instead.
Not only are we responsible for caring for the elderly and the fragile, but we are responsible for doing it with love and kindness. See also:
Comments are appreciated.