Assisted Suicide is a Horrifying Abuse of God’s Law
Writing in The Washington Post last week, prominent columnist George Will described the heart-wrenching account of 29-year-old California man dying a slow and agonizing death from cancer. The man’s wife has documented his painful decline in photos. In his column, Will argues that it would have been better if this man had obtained a medical suicide. He praised states like Oregon that make this option available.
In Will’s ideal world, so-called “medical aid in dying” would be available for all terminally ill patients, “not for truncating an unhappy life,” but for “preventing a hideous death.” He hopes to distinguish between a world in which doctors hand out suicides like candy, and one in which people already in their final days can obtain a swift and peaceful end.
This modest-sounding proposal is obviously motivated by compassion.* However, compassionate motives cannot make something morally right, nor can they prevent horrifying abuses of human dignity. If the ideas are bad, there will be victims.
*There’s nothing compassionate about assisted suicide, so it is not “obviously motivated by compassion”. This is the problem I often have with nominal Catholics and most pro-lifers. They, like the people they claim to oppose, place man above God. They are humanists. This is why they oppose abortion, euthanasia, etc; because according to them, it is an affront to human dignity. But as the Scripture says, it is given to men once to die and then the Judgement. Death is not beneath human dignity. It is a part of our fallen nature. Rather, disobedience of God’s law is the true reason abortion, euthanasia etc, are evil. Nominal Catholics and pro lifers have lost sight of that. –Editor
Doctors killing their patients—even when those patients request death—fundamentally alters medicine. Everywhere this has been tried, the weak and vulnerable have been endangered, the medical profession corrupted, and family relationships poisoned. In places like Oregon, in which doctor-assisted death was legalized on arguments from stories of unbearable physical pain (like the one told by Will in his column), a significant number of patients choose death for psychological factors.