Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Muddying the Waters

Posted by Adam Graham on February 1, 2007

Rob Moll has a great piece in Christianity Today that addresses a frustration I’ve long held with the Euthanasia debate:

Addressing Welby’s concerns—and those of thousands of others living on respirators or in other stages of gradual death—should not mean legalizing euthanasia for patients who no longer want to live. Assisted suicide is not the only alternative to a gradual death prolonged by machines. Newspapers should not report on debates over end-of-life care as if it were. Where should the line be drawn between allowing a disease to take its course and hastening death? These are difficult questions, which may only be determined by knowing the mind of the patient. But newspapers do little to enlighten readers when they do not differentiate between euthanasia and refusing medical treatment.

Of course, newspapers have not been in the enlightening business for quite some time as far as I can tell. The fact is, Euthanasia advocates love to combine the two issues as one. It was a great frustration in a college Speech class when we were assigned to panels, and the one on Euthanasia focused all of it’s evidence on prolonging medical care. That’s not what the debate is about.

It’s not about withdrawing a respirator when there’s no cure out there, or forcing people to undergo extraordinary measure to prolong their lives. The issue of Euthanasia is whether we’ll actively snuff out life through starvation, poisoning, or other means. Removing something extraordinary like a respirator is not an issue. It’s not even illegal, provided that it’s done by the legally authorized person.

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