Till Death Do Us Part?
Author: Steve Huston  
20180329
 

 

With the ever increasing normalization and encroachment of the culture of death in our nation, we ought not to be surprised at the normalization and romanticizing of euthanasia for the elderly.

Nonetheless, being the ever hopeful optimist, I was surprised earlier this month. On March 13 I read an article from The Wall Street Journal(wsj), reporting how “people over 65 years old would outnumber children by 2035, a first in U.S. history, according to updated projections released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday.” The following day, March 14, I read another article in the Daily Wire entitled: Assisted Suicide: Documentary Celebrates Elderly Couple Killing Themselves. The title of this Romeo and Juliet style documentary is: “Living & Dying: A Love Story.”

One day I’m reading about the birthrate decline and how that will put a strain on our economic growth, as, comparatively, the elderly population increases. The next day a romanticized story is told about how an elderly couple who stepped over the threshold of their marital journey, 66 years later step over the threshold of death together via suicide. (To avoid confusion, the picture attached to this article is NOT this couple.)

Surely this latter story is from Europe, right? No, the Oregon Health Authority legally sanctioned Charlie and Francie Emerick to die by self administered lethal injection. Charlie had an advanced form of Parkinson’s Disease and Francie suffered from lymphoma. Their eldest daughter told reporters, “In their last years, Dad was Mom’s eyes and Mom was Dad’s ears. It was natural for them to want to die together.”

Although some 1,300 people have legally committed suicide under Oregon’s 1997 “Death with Dignity” law, it’s speculated that this is the “first couple” to do so together. To some this may seem sweet, in a creepy sort of way; but it also raises many concerns that must be considered.

As society continues to demean the sacredness of life, how long before “allowance” becomes pressured or compulsory?Looking at this in light of the other end of the spectrum (abortion), we see doctors encouraging new mothers to have tests performed to see if their child might have Down Syndrome. This is offered to give these parents “a choice.” If your child will be born with troubles, murder (termination) is an option. How long before an elderly person is encouraged to “self-terminate” because they have been diagnosed with the beginning of Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer, or are even just fearful of becoming a burden on others?

How wide and deep will the pool of “willing” victims grow?As lower population growth becomes a drag on economic growth and as a growing elderly population puts “pressure on lawmakers to shift funding toward programs such as Medicare and Social Security”(wsj), it’s not outside the realm of possibility to encourage or force grandpa to put himself down (self-terminate) for the sake of the grandkids.

As a culture embraces and normalizes death at both ends of the spectrum (pre-born and elderly), it simply starts metastasizing from both ends until it’s normal to do away with any portion of the society which is considered an undesirable group. It’s truly a slippery slope and the speed only increases as one gets nearer the end.

What might make up a group of undesirables? It wasn’t that long ago that Hillary Clinton described a “basket of deplorables” as being: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that.” There have been several from the left who have accused Christian parents of being child abusers for teaching Creation instead of evolution. Christians and conservatives are being demeaned and accused of many “deplorable” acts.

There’s not a lot of space between standing by and watching as someone kills themselves with the needle you gave them, to encouraging them or shaming them into self-termination, to jabbing them with a needle against their will. After all, this is for the good of society, it’s for the children (even though we are murdering them too).

There’s a very fine line between safety and death; and it all depends on who is running the show and defining the terms.Do you belong in a “basket of deplorables” or are you a person endowed with God-given, unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Eventually, whoever defines the terms decides the termination.

Finally, let’s ask ourselves, “Where do God and faith fit into this equation?”Why isn’t the church coming alongside hurting individuals, sharing the grace of God and encouraging them with the love and compassion of Christ? Surely we can offer words of hope and actions of loving service rather than watching image bearers of God snuff out their own light. Even in the midst of various kinds of pain, God is still sovereign and loving and there. Showing compassion shouldn’t be confused as seeing someone off at the death train depot.

It must have been Job’s friends who gave rise to the old saying, “With friends like these, who needs enemies.” His wife even said, “Curse God and die.” Let us instead, be like Job and point to the goodness of God, even if that goodness is hard to be seen because of our temporal lack of understanding. Let us comfort, even at the expense of our own comfort. Let us lift others up in prayer, also praying for ourselves that we might even better know God.

Because of our choices, the facts are what they are. The elderly are becoming a larger part of our population while the supporting workforce is diminishing. This may cause problems; however, let us not compound our troubles by accepting sinful and easy solutions. Rather, let us pray for wisdom and do the right thing because it’s the right thing. Let us watch for unbiblical or ungodly laws or protocols and stand against them. Let us stand for life, trusting that the Hand of Providence is ever right.


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