[ JBEM Index / Volume 7 / Number 1 ]


The parliament of The Netherlands by an overwhelming majority has formally approved that physicians may end the lives of their patients in certain cases. Of course, the law has “safeguards,” such as a requirement that a second doctor be consulted before administration of a lethal drug.

Should such a law ever be enacted in the United States, it seems likely that eventually such “physician services” would have their own CPT codes and be paid for through medical insurance. Thus, insurance policyholders would have the “privilege” of paying for murder, just as some do now for abortions. King Saul and his armor bearer should have lived in Holland. (I Samuel 31:3-5)

Michigan has a law against assisting someone in the commission of suicide, the only state with such a law. According to the American Medical News, the American Civil Liberties Union IACLUI has challenged Michigan’s new law as unconstitutional. The ACLU executive director in Michigan believes this area is one ‘in which the state must respect our personal freedom and autonomy.”

No. Autonomy or “self-law” is not granted to individuals when it comes to the taking of human life. God has granted that power to the civil government, and allows even the civil government the power to take human life only when it is not innocent life. (Exod. 20:13; 21:12-27; Romans 13:1-6; Gen. 9:6)

A woman in New York was awarded $125,000 in a malpractice judgment in which she claimed emotional distress, pain, and suffering from a botched abortion. Her abortionist knew from a pathology report that he had not succeeded and made inadequate efforts to let her know. She subsequently miscarried a dead fetus and “became hysterical” when she saw the four inch fetus, still attached to its umbilical cord.

Oh, that we were as distressed over our sin as we are over the temporal consequences of our sin. The plaintiff was only viewing what she herself had asked be done to her baby. If viewing the mere physical consequences of our sin is so abhorrent to us as sinners, how much more must be the sight of our sin in the eyes of a holy God. (Isaiah 59:1-3)

A recent issue of JAMA contained an article entitled, “Promoting the Healthy Development of Adolescents.” Predictably, the article promotes both keeping information about dependent adolescents away from parental knowledge when the physician deems it helpful to do so, and promotes the provision of contraceptive services, STD treatment, and pregnancy services to them. The article also recommends that physician groups “help eliminate laws that restrict the availability of confidential care” for adolescents. In the same issue there is another editorial comment recommending more legislation to keep minors from purchasing cigarettes.

Which is more damaging, cigarette smoking or fornication, with its attendant erosion of moral barriers, STD’s, illegitimate pregnancies, and abortions? By this reasoning the parents of a minor should not be told of behaviors the minor is engaging in that are known to have severe potential health consequences, in order that they could “legislate” against it. This is because parental legislation is presumed not to work. The ultimate decisions about sexual intercourse must be left up to the adolescent. However, the state should legislate against tobacco use in minors, since they cannot make mature judgments about tobacco use. “But wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Luke 7:35)

A recent editorial in Medical Tribune dealt with HIV infection in cut-through-the-malarkey tones. It was replete with statistics detailing the failure of education to stem the rising tide of infection. The villain? George Bush’s bigotry, of course. Mr. Bush is said to stigmatize condoms and to be “obdurate” in calling for abstinence. Alas, the trail of responsibility for the spread of HIV is also traced by the savvy editor to its religious roots – “Calvinistic hogwash.”

Where is that wall of separation between “science” and “religion” when you really need it? Permit a quaint editorial response – atheistic hogwash.

The drumbeat of testimonials favorable to “assisted suicide” continues, with a rising tempo. Medical Economics recently reported a family physician’s story of sympathy for his parents’ desire for assisted suicide. Or, was it euthanasia. The author was coy about his actions and even included a suggestion of telepathy near the time of his father’s death. The author reasoned that “decisions made out of love and respect for our patients are the right ones.

Thus speaks a “love” devoid of biblical content. Scripture provides us with the needed boundaries. “You shall not murder.” The increase of such stories is reminiscent of the drip, drip of conscience tenderizer that preceded Roe v. Wade.

Dr. J.H. Foegan, a business professor at Winona State University, reported briefly in All About Issues, Nov. -Dec., 1992, on the coming insolvency of Social Security. Abortion is a major factor. Twenty-five million potential taxpayers have been aborted in the United States in the last 20 years. Taxes on the incomes of the first persons aborted would just now be coming on line. If for no higher reason, Dr. Foegan hopes that the threat of a looming dependency ill-supplied with workers might persuade an aging America to outlaw abortion once again. The other major candidate for solving the dilemma is, of course, euthanasia for the elderly.

“All those who hate me love death.” (Prov. 8:36b) It is interesting how God’s commandment against murder is tracked by His ordination of economic principles; in such we can witness the ultimate example of integrity.

[ JBEM Index / Volume 7 / Number 1 ]