Scripture and the News

Christians and the Rise of Medical Murder

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
If you think that "death panels" do not exist in the American medical system, you are wrong.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

If you think that "death panels" do not exist in the American medical system, you are wrong.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:16)

February 2019 - Legislation has now become law in the state of New York, and has been proposed in Virginia, permitting the medical murder not only of unborn children, but even of infants during and after birth. Three things in particular strike me about the pro-life reaction to these evils, from a spiritual perspective.

The Weak Reaction of Evangelicals

First of all, very little of the pro-life outcry has had any spiritual component. I have only seen one national columnist (Cal Thomas) mention, even in a passing way, that this wickedness violates the Law of God and that His holiness will not permit such sin - of individuals and of a nation - to go unpunished.

Second, I have been troubled to see some professed evangelicals refer to the latest expansion of the hidden slaughter among us as the work of "abortion extremists" - leaving the horrible implication that some forms of abortion are less "extreme" and therefore might somehow be less intolerable. In God's eyes any form of abortion is murder, and any murder is "extreme" - to say the very least of it.

In Genesis 9:5-6 the Lord declares, "From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man." This principle was not new at this time, immediately after the Flood. The value of human life is absolute, because man is made in God's image. This prohibition against murder is repeated in the Ten Commandments, which declare it as God's universal standard of righteousness, transcending and overruling any man-made law to the contrary. But even the so-called evangelical view of the unseen slaughter among us is slipping into the godless abyss in some circles.

The Spiritual Corruption of the Medical Establishment

Third, I am struck once again by the spiritual corruption that is now widespread in the medical profession. In a radio interview, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam - himself a physician - spoke openly and coldly of how a newborn could be "made comfortable" while the mother and doctor have a "discussion" about ending the child's life. In this and other such comments by abortion advocates, the term "palliative care" is being used.

My family heard the term "palliative care" repeatedly during the last five months of 2018 while one of our number was hospitalized, seriously ill. In a succession of "family meetings" we were told by "palliative care specialists" that this dear woman should be "made comfortable" while we withdrew medical care and ended her life - despite the opinion of other doctors that her medical outlook at the time was hopeful.

If you think that "death panels" do not exist in the American medical system, you are wrong. On several occasions hospital staff members stated, sometimes in guarded terms, sometimes very openly, that as an elderly person she "is a burden on society and on the medical system," that "she no longer has a useful life" and "her quality of life is poor" - so we should simply "end it." The same pagan mentality is gripping much of the medical profession today in their treatment of the elderly, the unborn - and now the newborn. Sadly, we saw this mentality even among some members of medical staffs who claimed to be evangelicals. This speaks volumes, I believe, about the spiritual state of their churches and pastors.

As I researched the growing specialty of "palliative care" in American medicine over the past months, I discovered that there is a growing movement within the medical profession to establish euthanology - the science of committing medical murder - as a recognized and certified specialty with its own medical school curricula, internships, residency programs, and hospital departments.

A Spiritual Battle

I firmly believe that as America becomes increasingly pagan, we may soon enter a time when the pressure for medical murder, on both ends of the life spectrum, will be especially brought to bear against believers by those who oppose the Christ for whom we stand. I do not believe this is a paranoid view. As we faced the pressures of the medical establishment we were very conscious that the battle was at its core a spiritual one. We were wrestling not merely against flesh and blood, but against the unseen forces of the enemy of our souls.

The medical establishment employs numerous euphemisms to cloak murderous calculations. But "quality of life" is not a yardstick placed in our hands by which we may presume to exercise lordship over life and death, nor is a human being's "usefulness" ours to judge. The Christian and the church must ever say an unhesitating "Amen" to the Lord's own declaration: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

As our loved one lay in a hospital bed increasingly unable to communicate, the Lord nevertheless used her presence to give many opportunities for family members to testify to her - and our - faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Lord of life and death who gave His life a ransom for many for the remission of their sins. Trusting in and witnessing to His sovereignty over life and death, we resisted the often aggressive pressures of the medical establishment to sanction murder. The Lord took our family member home to glory, by His own will and timetable, in mid-December.

In dealing with her care during those final months, our family's focus was on "things which are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). Our focus was on the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ over life and death. Our hope, even in the most difficult hours, was that He might bring healing. But always, in everything, we kept praying, "Lord, if it is Your will..."

We did not do those things because we are something great in ourselves. Believe me, we were conscious of our own weakness every day. But we trusted in the greatness of our Lord. And I believe that our consciences can be clear that on her behalf, to the very last, we endeavored to set our minds on Christ. We did that in the midst of many doubts and fears. We did it by His grace and mercy. He strengthened our feeble arms.

In these darkening times may all of us, by God's grace, receive strength to remain faithful to His Word forever settled in Heaven. May the Holy Spirit take each of us ever deeper into it, so that we may be solidly rooted in it and stand firm upon it, no matter what the unregenerated may do or demand.

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