My friend Jen wrote her thoughts about Brittany Maynard and I suggested that I had a few 'thoughts' on the subject. I guess now is as good of a time as any. If you're not sure who Brittany Maynard is, Jen included links to her story. In a nutshell, she was the young woman with an incurable brain tumor that established residency in Oregon to make use of the 'Right to Die' law.
I will say to start that I do not mean this to be argumentative to Jen's post. I have an opposite view, that's all. I respect Jen and her position and hope my opinion adds to the dialogue about this issue and does not polarize or jeopardize any friendships in the process.
I remember when the Oregon law was passed amidst the Dr. Kevorkian controversy. At the time, I was a college student with only a mustard seed of faith and even less knowledge of my chosen religion. I believed that the law was a good one. With certain diagnoses, I understood the desire to end the pain for one's self and the others around them. Now, with a few years and a little more knowledge I disagree for 2 reasons.
First, as a Christian, I am asked by God to fully and completely trust in Him. By choosing to die in this manner, Doctor Assisted Death, one is putting trust in another human being and elevating them to God's status.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. from Bible GatewayTo make this choice, one would have to believe that God was trying to harm you, and had no plans for your future, and thus no hope. God's plans are always bigger than mine. My life, even if I had a debilitating brain tumor, will always be used as part of His great plan. Yes, this is a struggle to believe, even on the best of days, but I do.
Secondly, I believe that God has timing for a reason. Only God knows when our time is up, and by taking your own life to shorten your suffering or for the people around you, you don't give God a chance to do His work. What if God was waiting to give you the miracle of life? What if there was some insanely unlikely cure that worked in your case? What if ending your own life ended up haunting your loved ones rather than shielding them from pain? What if ending your own life denied someone that you love the chance to care for you or say goodbye? I believe in God's timing. I believe that regardless of our fear of pain, that we should trust in Him, and if we do then all things work together for good. (Even when that good is buried in a lot of not-so-good things.)
I fully trust in God. I believe his promises for my life and our world. While I may not live it perfectly, I have a Savior that has paid for it already, and I have given Him my life. It is His to do with as he pleases, including my time of death.
All of this said, I also believe in Ms. Maynard's right to end her life in this manner. My standards as a Christian, are for me and for those who believe like me. If you don't believe in my Bible or my God then you have the right to end your life as you so choose. The law in Oregon allows for someone with different views on illness and death to do what they think is right, and I respect that difference. Even if I don't agree.