(image courtesy FIC Blog)
By Spencer Gear PhD
Over the years I’ve read some interesting, provocative, and even strange reasons, for supporting euthanasia and assisted suicide. This one took the cake:
1. Decriminalising assisted suicide will only save lives
The full statement was:
Decriminalising assisted suicide will only save lives: old but healthy people will no longer decide to fly to Switzerland or jump off a cliff while they can, because they could be assured by someone who loves them that if in future they are in great pain or disability then they could be “helped to die” within Australia.
This is one of the weirdest statements from this person. How should I respond?
That’s strange logic – killing someone through assisted suicide will save lives!
1.1 Who has the right to give and take life?
According to Acts 17:24-25 (NIRV), “He is the God who made the world. He also made everything in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth…. He himself gives life and breath to all people”.
That’s clear enough. The Lord God gives life and breath to all people. He does not use euthanasia to “save lives”. Human beings use assisted suicide.
First Timothy 6:13 states, “God gives life to everything”. Therefore, whose right is it to end life? It does not belong to the Dr to euthanise people. Let them die a ‘natural’ death and allow the sovereign God to deal with the time of death.
I’ve just sat with a wife at hospital beside her dying aged husband. The Drs thought he would die on Tuesday but God’s timing was Thursday morning. Nobody else has the right to end life. It is God’s right to give life to everyone and it is his right to determine the time of death.
I’m saddened that this person justified assisted suicide which is against the rights of the Lord God Almighty.
One of God’s rights is found in His omniscience (His attribute) – He’s knows everything about all human beings and the universe. The Lord God’s “eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them” (Psalm 139:16).
Therefore, it is God’s right to give and to take life 
2. Why do people advocate euthanasia and assisted suicide?
Verywellhealth lists these as reasons to support the right-to-die with dignity movement:
All of the above points provide support for human autonomy at the time of death.
This is not the expression of a godly, Christian worldview but a secular, agnostic perspective. God is not mentioned in this list. There is not even a nod to the teaching by Elkanah’s wife, Hannah, in the OT: ‘The Lord is a God who knows everything. He judges everything people do…. The Lord causes people to die. He also gives people life. He brings people down to the grave. He also brings people up from death (1 Sam 2: 3b, 6).
The Christian way of death is summarised by John Piper:
Jesus put it this way: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground” — meaning, die — “apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of much more value than the sparrows” (Matthew 10:29–31). Now, what is the point? The point is, if the time for the death of a tiny bird in a remote forest is of a concern to God and determined by God, how much more will our days be numbered and determined by God with great care and wisdom. In fact, the psalmist says to God, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16). Which means, [that] the days that God has allotted for [you and me] are already written in a book. They are decided. There aren’t any extra ones outside the book that slip up on God (Piper 2017).
3. There are good reasons to reject euthanasia and assisted suicide
There are sound reasons to discard voluntary, active euthanasia or assisted suicide legislation through the repeal of the Australian Territories’ legislation.
In my understanding, the case for euthanasia is based on the following:
Intentionally killing or assisting in the killing of innocent human beings.
Repudiation of the doctor-patient relationship that is meant to promote life.
It flies in the face of the medical advances made in the treatment of pain and is at odds with compassionate methods of care.
It does not fully consider the historical examples that show euthanasia cannot be legislatively controlled (e.g. Holland, Belgium).
It rests on presuppositions that do not respect human life.
It plays God. Only God has the right to give and take life.
Human beings are not animals, but unique beings made in the image of God.
Ethically, it rests on self-defeating assertions, i.e. it can introduce dishonesty and deception into the doctor-patient relationship. Is the doctor one who kills or one who facilitates life?
It is not in the patient’s or society’s best interests.
It eliminates the sufferer rather than treating the suffering.
For an exposition of these points, see my submission on the 2008 Bill, number 386,
This discussion has moved from support for assisted suicide, ‘Decriminalising assisted suicide will only save lives’, to giving human beings the autonomous right to decide how they will die.
Reasons were given why secular, pro-death people support euthanasia and assisted suicide through promoting autonomy of the individual. By contrast, those who reject euthanasia and assisted suicide see the dangers of this legislation (based on historical precedent) and refuse to play God.
5. Works consulted
Leyonhjelm, D 2018. Assisted suicide deal. Online Opinion (online), 9 July. Available at: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19835 (Accessed 12 July 2018).
Piper, J 2017. Does God Know the Exact Day I Will Die? Desiring God (online), episode 1007, 24 February. Available at: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/does-god-know-the-exact-day-i-will-die (Accessed 12 July 2018).
Torrey, T 2018. Arguments in Favor of Right-to-Die Legislation. Verywellhealth (online), 4 March. Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/arguments-in-favor-of-death-with-dignity-2614852 (Accessed 12 July 2018).
 Leyonhjelm 2018. Comment by Yuyutsu, Thursday, 12 July 2018 1:19:48 AM.
 Unless otherwise stated, all Bible verses are from the New International Readers’ Version (NIRV).
 Leyonhjelm 2018. Comment by OzSpen (by me), Thursday, 12 July 2018 12:34:08 PM.
Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 12 July 2018.