There is a natural, inborn, God-given drive to self-preservation. It’s natural to blink when someone claps their hands in front of your face. It’s natural to try to shield yourself from danger. At times, of course, men and women have exposed themselves TO danger for a higher purpose. A mother shields her baby. A soldier risks his life for his buddies. But when suicide becomes a way of life, an approved option for dealing with your problems, YOU KNOW that the culture is in bad shape.
We have departed from God’s original plan for the human race. This is tragic! We have actually become “the suicide nation.” In fact, in July of 1999, David Satcher, Surgeon General of the United States, warned that suicide had become one of America’s most pressing public health concerns. In his 2016 book, Culture of Death, Wesley J. Smith reported that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. He also reported that there had been more than 41,000 suicides reported in 2013. It was during this time period that there was a growing, pro-suicide mentality that was fueled by assisted suicide advocacy. Assisted suicide was becoming the latest fad. At one time not too long ago, the humane and compassionate response was deemed to be suicide prevention. However, with the advancing change in thinking, suicide is being promoted as a legitimate option.
Popular culture is now viewing suicide as “just another option” among many that should be available to those who are suffering and are not enjoying the quality of life that they feel they should enjoy. And this is very sad, but it is predictable. When a culture departs from Scripture, the most outrageous anomalies become commonplace. Man was to have dominion over the creation. Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion”—that means to subjugate, to rule over. Man was to be an influence for good. We were supposed to function in a position of lordship, not to destroy the creation, but to cultivate and use the good things God has made. We were supposed to push back the darkness, but now the darkness is pushing back on us. People are taking their own lives. This is tragic!
There is a horrible book named Final Exit, written by Derek Humphry. He was co-founder of the Hemlock Society. Their name has been changed to “Compassion and Choices.” The title should be changed to “Insanity and Self-Murder.” It was extremely popular in 1991 when it first came out, and it is still popular with readers all over the world.
In his book, Culture of Death, Smith relates that some groups sell plastic suicide bags with Velcro sewn around the openings so that it fits snugly around the neck of the person who wants to end his or her life. Smith purchased a suicide bag from an assisted suicide organization for $32, plus $10.00 for easy-to-read, user-friendly instructions. Smith says, “The cheery promotional material that attracted me to the macabre product assured in bold letters that it is ‘Proven Effective!’ and that the customized EXIT BAG is made of clear, strong industrial plastic. … It is advertised as having ‘a snug but comfortable fit. …’”
This is so sad. Why would anyone who is going to check out on life with his own hand be concerned about a “snug and comfortable fit!”
Assisted suicide is becoming a popular item of discussion. There was a special report in the January 1997 issue of Ladies Home Journal on assisted suicide. It consisted of a roundtable discussion with experts and family members of people who had committed assisted suicide. There were also a couple of movies which presented assisted suicide in a good light. There was the story of Brittany Maynard who was an advocate of assisted suicide. She had a brain tumor and was an advocate for the “right to die.”
In 2005 the movie Million Dollar Baby hit the screens. It is an American sports drama film directed, co-produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood. It won several awards. The movie is about an underappreciated boxing trainer, Frankie, played by Clint Eastwood. It’s about his mistakes and his quest for atonement by helping an underdog amateur female boxer achieve her dream of becoming a professional boxer. Hilary Swank is the boxer. She plays Maggie. However, Maggie falls hard on a stool, breaks her neck, and becomes a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. As the days pass, Maggie develops bedsores and undergoes amputation of an infected leg. She begs Frankie to help her die, declaring that she got everything she wanted out of life. She has lost the will to live and wants to be relieved of such a terrible existence.
I am glad that there is hope in Jesus Christ. No one likes to be a quadriplegic, but Joni Eareckson Tada is a quadriplegic who has done more than survived. She has literally thrived, writing seventeen books and helping millions find hope, joy, and meaning even in a life that is hard.
Friend, do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? You may have lost hope. You may think life is not worth living. I can tell you that life is worth living. Assisted suicide is not the way to go. Don’t leave this world in defeat. God has something better for you. There are so many stories to that effect. God has a plan, and a purpose for you. Believe His Word. Trust Him. Ask Jesus to come into your heart.