Perspective of suicide
Based on Meilaender’s (2013) perspective of suicide, it is morally wrong because there is an unwillingness to receive the life given, by our creator, moment by moment. Suicide
is not God’s will, it is the irrational desire of a man to be in control and a repercussion of sin with man acting as the creator, instead of the created. Meilanender (2013) contends that life is not “our” possession, nor ours to take whether by suicide or euthanasia. I appreciate his comparison of our lives to being characters in a story that God created while God gives us the freedom to act according to the nature he provided. However, I don’t believe that it was ever God’s intent to allow us the freedom to rationally take a life by suicide.
I have a personal experience with suicide, so I have struggled with the morality, or lack thereof. Where Meilaender (2013) states that the sin of suicide dies with the
person and they are not necessarily damned is relevant for all suicides and euthanasia because God judges the person, not the individual deeds. Meilaender (2013) also pointedly asserts that the autonomous decision to end a life, whether it be a “right to die with dignity” state or not, there is an inherent risk that it is still morally wrong
and judged by God as a “lordship” over another human’s life, which is biblically wrong.
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I am not a hospice nurse for a reason. I know that I would struggle with the person begging me to give them an additional dose of morphine to end their pain and
misery. This is a terrible predicament for a nurse who is caring for their patients and family members both physically and emotionally. Meilaender (2013) claims that hastening one’s inevitable death is a form of abandonment. I know I would struggle with temptation to bring relief to someone who is severely suffering, so I choose to not put myself in that position. My compassion would cause an internal struggle that I can avoid and a judgement that I, as a sinful human being, do not want to make, even if God does not judge me for individual deeds.
Suicide and euthanasia are extremely sensitive topics for the majority of individuals including health care workers. According to the Christian belief, it is considered a sinful act and therefore goes against Christian beliefs. Meilaender (2013) states that “Christians have held that suicide is morally wrong because they have seen it in a contradiction of our nature as creatures, an unwillingness to receive life moment by moment from the hand of God without ever regarding it as simply “our” possession” (Meilaender, 2013). He goes on to say that our life is not something we own and that by committing suicide we are essentially playing the role of creator. We need to remember that life is a gift from God and to take one’s own life is a selfish act and disrespectful to God for the gift of life he gave to us.
Suicide and euthanasia are controversial topics. I don’t whole heartedly agree with Meilaender. I believe that if a patient has a chronic illness that is causing them to have a very poor quality of life and/or chronic pain, then that person should be allowed to decide if they want to carry on with life living that way. What a bleak existence it would be. My husband and I have had numerous discussions about this very topic. We both agree that if either one of us were extremely ill, we should find a way to put that person out of their misery. On the flip side, if a healthy person were to take their own life, then I totally agree with Meilaender and that person is selfish and not following in the footsteps of God