Assisted Death – Why Involve Doctors?

Canada is rapidly moving toward the assisted killing of people.  The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons have already developed policy  saying that when a patient requests assistance in dying, if the doctor will not assist then the doctor must make an effective referral.  In another setting, if a man requests that someone kill his wife, the man who made the request is guilty of the killing.  In the same way, is the doctor making the request not also responsible for the killing?  There are a number of doctors who believe this to be the case.

It is one thing to decriminalize such killing.  (not that I think we should, when the Lord commands us not to kill)  But it is another thing to demand that people involve themselves, against their conscience, in this killing .  Why does the Ontario College insist that all doctors must involve themselves?  Since doctors have traditionally been seen to promote life and to strive to do no harm, some wonder why involve doctors at all.   Will people be able to feel safe entrusting themselves to a doctors care if the doctor is willing to kill?   To keep from harming peoples trust in doctors, could not some other discipline take on the role of killing?

Of course, using doctors makes sense, since we think they would have the knowledge to perform the deed effectively without botching it.  But there may be another reason for insisting that doctors, especially those who object for religious reasons, involve themselves in such killing.

According to the Bible there is a battle going on behind the scenes.  Evidence of this battle is woven through the bible and through history.  The evil forces of Satan and the fallen angels are at war against the forces of good.  Of this battle, Paul in Ephesians chapter 6 says,

we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The stage for this battle is described in Genesis 3:15.  After the world was broke by the entrance of sin, the Lord cursed Satan for the part he played.  The Lord promised that someone born to the women would crush the head of Satan. (my paraphrase of the verse)  That someone is Jesus Christ.  Since then, Satan, with much help, battles against Jesus Christ and all who follow Him.

Modern North American Medicine, at least until about 20 years ago had a Christian heritage.  Yes, there are non-Christian roots with people like Aristotle, but after the time of the reformation much of the Western world came under the influence of the Christian church.  The experimental sciences, that led to many of the great advances of modern medicine, are the fruit of the search for truth, undertaken by the Christian church.  A look, at many of the scientists who discovered many of the effective advances leading to modern medicine, will reveal that most were God fearing, Bible believing people.  The oath to care for people in a non-discriminating way and to do no harm is also in keeping with the Biblical Ethic.

The reason for trying to force doctors, especially those who believe they should not kill, into involving themselves in killing patients may be because modern medicine is historically founded on Biblical principle.   Satan and those principalities and powers which stand with him desire to tear apart what is good in medical practice.   The work of such powers can explain how rapidly, things have been changing, including the fact that similar policies, insisting that doctors involve themselves in the practice of killing, are springing up in most, if not all, of the Canadian Provinces at the same time.

According to the Bible, the Lord God sees all things and is all powerful.  He will let these changes go on for a time.  But one day all people will have to give account for what they do and have done.  To those who love Him and want to follow him, the Lord promises, through the apostle Paul in Romans 8, saying,

37  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So we can take heart.  We are told in Ephesians 6, after being told we battle against principalities and powers, how to stand in the battle.  We are to put on the full amour of God.  You can read about this in Ephesians 6:10-18.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.