What Is the Christian Perspective on Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide?

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MP3 Audio (6.95 MB)


What Is the Christian Perspective on Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide?

MP3 Audio (6.95 MB)

The debate surrounding euthanasia or assisted suicide has the potential to branch off in a variety of different directions. Variables debated include:

Is the act voluntary or involuntary? For example, consider the scenario of a person in a permanent coma who has not created a living will.

Is the act passive or active? For example, a person may simply want to make a choice not to receive life-preserving care.

Whose decision is it? Is it a matter of personal choice, is it in the hands of medical professionals, or is it up to the state to decide?

To keep this answer manageable we will limit our perspective on euthanasia or assisted suicide to a scenario where a physician administers a lethal injection to a person who wishes to end their life because they are suffering from an incurable sickness.

We advise against it

If you are a believer who has repented, been baptized, received the Holy Spirit and are considering proactively ending your life with the assistance of a physician, the action of taking your own life (either by yourself or with assistance) is not the godly solution to a chronic health condition. With today’s medical help, a person with a life-threatening disease can live out his or her last days without undue pain, and die in relative peace—letting the body naturally cease to live without actually causing death.

God promises He works all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He promises that one day, suffering and trials will cease (Revelation 21:4). Until that time, in the broken world we live in now, God brings about good even from the suffering that believers experience. He allows it and uses it to build their faith. Our trials may be physical affliction, emotional pain, intellectual doubt or daily temptation. His desire is that we persevere and endure to the very end. In all this God shapes us in ways that may be painful at the time but develop His holiness in us. His goal is to bring us to completeness so we might be declared to be His children and have a place in His eternal family.

If we can find some means to escape a painful, dangerous or abusive situation we should take it. But does this logic apply to taking one's own life?

Your life is not your own. Everything you have and are belongs to God. To take your own life, or have someone assist you take your life violates the Sixth Commandment of “do not murder.” Anyone who takes a human life, even their “own,” without His authority, will be held responsible by God.

God can forgive. But to deliberately violate His command expecting or assuming He will forgive is very risky business. Jesus told us we are not to tempt or test God (Matthew 4:7).

What about non-believers?

If you are a non-believer and are seeking to proactively end your life with the assistance of a physician we still advise against it. God has left you to make your own choices and has been very patient with you. It may be possible that your life has reached this low ebb so that you will at long last turn to Him with what time you have.

Should this practice be made legal?

If the government in your nation declares the practice of euthanasia or assisted suicide legal, such a declaration does not change any of the points made above. For an allotted time God is allowing humanity the freedom to govern themselves, create their own laws, governments, and philosophies. That time will come to an end with the return of Christ. Until then believers should remember the words of Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world” and that you are already a citizen in the Kingdom He will establish when He returns (John 18:36; Philippians 3:20).

If you are concerned about God’s judgment and the fate of those who take their own lives you might want to read What Happens After Death?

If you are interested in learning more about the Kingdom and rule Jesus will establish when He returns you might want to read The Gospel of the Kingdom.

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    Is keeping someone alive on machines, right? I don't believe in that. If someone is only alive because a machine is breathing for them, shouldn't you be able to pull the plug? Because they aren't really alive.

  • Tony52

    Last month I did an essay in Philosophy in active and passive euthanasia and I took the same stand that is presented in this article. From the bible, I know that whether we live or whether we die is in the Lord's hands and He has left that decision to His choice. So I was or am against active or aggressive euthanasia simply because it means we are doing something that is actively terminating a life. Now in the case of a terminal disease and/ or someone in a coma and on life support, I think it is clearly different. The person with a terminal disease has a scriptural right to state that they do not want to be kept alive by extraordinary medical means. In other words, no medical means used to extend life when the person would pass on without it. When a person is in a coma and doctors have confirmed the person is clinically dead without the life-sustaining equipment I found nowhere that it is going against the Word and God's will by simply "unplugging" the person and letting them go and allowing everyone to begin the grieving and healing process.

  • Skip Miller

    Hello SHEREEMS,
    Lena has given a fine answer but notice what the author of the article states:

    "To keep this answer manageable we will limit our perspective on euthanasia or assisted suicide to a scenario where a physician administers a lethal injection to a person who wishes to end their life because they are suffering from an incurable sickness."

    The author does not intend to discuss keeping a patient "apparently" alive indefinitely.
    This is a slightly different question and is not handled here.

  • Lena VanAusdle

    Hi Shereems,
    of course there is a difference between causing death, and allowing death to occur. One is active, and the other is passive. When it comes to life saving measures it should be up to the person who is ill and their family; they decide what measures should be taken. It is not assisted suicide to remove life support (if there is no chance of recovery); that is allowing death to occur naturally. Taking medications or other actions to hasten death is what this article is discussing; and we shouldn't do that, we don't have a right to take a life, even our own.

  • Luis206

    Change of life or lookfor better condition of life... ( Medecine, sports and Christ)

  • Jesusis4me

    When I first gave my life to the Lord, He would give me a tremendous amount of dreams. The church I was attending, my pastor was gifted in interpreting dreams. All I can share is my personal experience. My father was terminal, was in hospice & decided not to do dialysis any longer, he signed the paperwork and passed within 2 days. He was a believer. The day he passed I asked the Lord if He would somehow show me my dad was in Heaven. That night I had the most intense dream. I saw my dad standing in a golden chariot which was being pulled by 4 beautiful pure white stallion horses. As they were pulling this chariot down this road, as far as my eyes could see were a sea of people standing on both sides of this beautiful road and they were singing, waving at my dad saying you made it Tony, glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ and my dad had the biggest smile on his face and he looked like he was in his 30's. I can't explain it, but we all believe we have the answers based on our interpretations of the bible, and maybe just maybe some of what we say is correct and some isn't. One thing is for sure, we will all know 100% when we die.

  • jjberg

    Very well written. Thank you.

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