On Nov. 1st, a 29-year-old brain cancer woman in Oregon, where euthanasia is legal, took her life as she had announced on YOU-TUBE several weeks ago. After she passed away following her desire that she wanted to die with dignity before cancer would take away everything, numerous headlines, which were praising her act as brave caught my eye and concerned me.
I know enough how dreadful cancer is. Not only cancer’s merciless progression but also the treatments such as surgeries, radiations, and chemo are so harmful that I can’t blame anyone even if she/he becomes frozen by the fear.
For the young beautiful newly married woman, the diagnoses with 6 months to live must have been so devastating.
Yet, is it courageous to choose death? She said her choice was different from a suicide, but how was it different? If you choose to die for someone else like a soldier, I understand it is profoundly courageous and honorable, but it appeared that she chose to kill herself because she lost hope; I can sympathize her but can’t find the courage.
Among many articles regarding her death was an article about a man, who was diagnosed with the same type of brain cancer as her and given the same months to live but has survived 13 years. He said that he didn’t give up fighting and received the strength from his family, friends, and church. There are a quite a few people who beat the prognoses and survive for a long time, but if you cut your life, there is no chance for a miracle to happen.
Another brain cancer woman also tried to change the mind of the 29 year old woman, saying that cancer has transformed her into a much more humble, appreciative and sensitive person to other’s pains: We look at cancer as a curse, but depending on our heart condition, it can transform to be a blessing.
Joni Tada, a Christian, who became quadriplegic at age 17 and has had a ministry of sending wheelchairs all over the world, also tried to plea with the 29 year old woman to change the euthanasia decision. Joni’s plea reminded her that not everyone would go to Heaven.
“”There’s only one Person who has transformed the landscape of life-after-death, and that is Jesus, the One who conquered the grave, opening the path to life eternal. Three grams of phenobarbital in the veins will only provide a temporary reprieve. It is not the answer for the most important passage of her life.”
“Please, Brittany, open your heart to the only One who can do something about your pain and your death. Life is the most irreplaceable and fundamental condition of the human experience, and I implore you to take a long, hard look at the consequences of your decision, which is so fatal, and worst of all, so final.”
If you open your eyes after death, and find out you are in the dark place without joy, love, and God, that is the worst nightmare you never ever want to have.
It is God’s job to decide when to be born and when to die. It’s not ours. Our job is to fulfill our purpose we were given and produce the fruits, as many as possible, through Christ until the end of our life on the earth. With Jesus, we can bear pains or afflictions even if we think it’s impossible. With Jesus, we can see hope even after death. Because there is God who promised to walk with us even through the valley of the shadow of death, we must not kill ourselves even if we wish so! Until the last breath we take, we have to live focusing on the hope Jesus gave us, and with thanks for God who loves us abundantly.