This morning I did something I rarely do. Especially at work. I cried. I didn’t sit there and sobbed with my shoulders going up and down but I was choked up and a few tears streamed down my face while I sniffled.
I was skimming through the Monday edition of The Winnipeg Free Press and there was an article by Lindor Reynolds that seemed interesting. Read Here. It detailed a woman’s decision to end her life after being diagnosed with an illness that would have gradually rob her of her quality of life. Assisted Suicide is illegal in Canada so she was travelling to Switzerland where it is legal. I cried as I looked at a photo of her walking down the steps of her house for the last time. As she was wheeled through the airport. As I read about her saying bye to her grandkids. I was sad and I cried.
As a Christian, my opinion on this form of self-demise is somewhat bias, I must confess. I err on the biblical side that teaches that murder in all forms is wrong. Reading about Susan Griffiths’ choice to die on her terms and not be a ‘dead living’, I softened on my stance. She knew that her condition would see her confined to a bed unable to manage the simplest bodily function. Being a burden to her family, while suffering the indignity of being tended to by impersonal caretakers. Strong points for the case of assisted suicide. Under those conditions, what would I want?
I have always have this fear of lying in a hospital bed with my mind intact but unable to communicate with my loved ones. A few months ago, I saw a friend in that condition. Mercifully, he died a couple of weeks later. When I went to see him, I looked into his eyes and knew he wanted to talk to me but he couldn’t. I could see the confusion, pain and panic in his eyes. I turned away and couldn’t look at him. I never went back. If he could, would he have chosen to die before death took him?
Last week, I sent a Facebook message to an old friend. It was a few months since I had seen her. I wanted to know how she was doing as her future didn’t look to bright. She was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer and had undergone the gamut of treatment including chemo. She was forced to give up her job and lost her boyfriend, who couldn’t deal with her condition. I messaged her to find out how she was doing and to be honest, was not expecting the response I got. She was healed! She was back to work! I had prayed hard for her, much like many other prayer warriors did on her behalf and it had worked! In her words, “I’m doing great docs are really amazed I’m in complete remission & back at work full time! A miracle” She also added, “Grace of God & prayers saved my life & for that I am eternally grateful.”
Another example. A few years ago, my cousin’s boyfriend suddenly fell while in church. He was rushed to the hospital where he remained in a coma-like state. His family and the doctor discussed pulling the plug since his prognosis didn’t look positive. Fortunately, they didn’t and today, he’s fully recovered.
Now what if my friend had decided that she wasn’t willing to face what lay ahead? What if she had offed herself? What if the plug was pulled in the young man’s case? In my opinion, when you believe in God, you believe in fighting to the bitter end. Till the last breath. Lazarus was dead for 4 days, yet he was brought back to life. If you are not a believer, things can still change for you. What if doctors come up with a cure? I have heard of so many miracles by people like my friend. So many people have ‘come back from the grave’ so to speak. Why can’t it be you? As they say, ‘Once there’s life, there’s hope.’
On the legal side of this issue. Should it be legal in Canada? Murder is a crime, right? If it becomes legal, how do you draw the line about who determines who dies and when? Who gets to play God? A co-worker thinks that it is unfair that dogs are put down when they are terminally ill but humans are not given that choice. Good point BUT, we are our dogs’ masters. No human is my master.
I am curious though, if someone is strong and able enough, why can’t they do the act themselves? Why get someone else’s hands dirty? In Susan’s case, instead of travelling overseas to seek a killer, couldn’t she mix and drink her own poison? Just wondering.
Sorry, just my take…
- Winnipeg woman seeks help to die in Europe (cbc.ca)
- Federal assisted suicide appeal heard in highest B.C. court (cbc.ca)
- No ‘right answer’ when it comes to the assisted suicide debate, government lawyer tells court (theprovince.com)