Sunday, February 8, 2015

Assisted Suicide: My Arguments Don't Hold Water, But I'm Not Doing Nothing.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday, that the law banning assisted suicide was unconstitutional.
When I heard, I felt like I was standing on the edge of a historic moment: The historic moment when people in my country decided to further devalue the lives of some of its most vulnerable citizens. 

But I’m not here to give you the rundown of events. That’s all over the news.

And, cleverer people than I have written articles about the conflict of ethics we face and the reasons that this decision is to some, a great tragedy.

My feeling on this is one of helplessness.  I’m so small in the face of this.  I’m just a little stay-at-home mom whose heart is weeping.  If you haven’t gathered by now that I’m against this decision, I am. There it is.  Those who would argue with me, and tell me I’m wrong not to support assisted suicide will simply write off my opinion as something to be tossed aside like garbage because of one thing: my faith. 

That, more than anything makes me feel helpless.  There is a difference in philosophies that is an unbreakable barrier without a complete change of heart and mind.  My friend says that the when and how of death should be the choice of the terminally ill patient – that’s death with dignity to her.  To me, dignity in death is how one is treated, both physiologically and personally as they spend their last days, hours and minutes.

For me, the spiritual being of God informs my life and the way I live, but for my friend who believes there is no God, the Laws of God simply do not exist.  I believe you can be compassionate without taking someone’s life, and further, that compassion is not in killing at all – but my friend believes that assisted-suicide is the very compassion we've been lacking.

With this impasse reached, the discussion ends, because it is impossible to convince someone of the existence of God, His laws and the dignity of human beings from conception to natural death when they have no intention of being convinced. To Godless people, the "because of God" argument doesn't hold water.

But that's all I've got.  I'm afraid I have no time to research and study ethics and argue philosophical points. I've got kids to take care of and a never-ending laundry pile. I've got a little life of domesticity, though I'd love nothing more than to be well-versed enough to argue in the courts.

From behind my computer, while I read the news, I’ve asked myself over and over, “Is there nothing I can do?”

Today I sat in a pew and listened.  I listened as the words of Job filled the church:  What was life? Was it not simply as conscripts of God? Life was filled with suffering for Job, but he still believed. He still carried on living his life as a faithful follower of God. 

It occurred to me at that moment, (and hopefully my priest will forgive me for not listening to the rest of his homily very closely) that there is indeed some things I can do in the face of this decision of the lawmakers of my country.

Pray.
To think about prayer as a means to an end often makes me feel passive and desperate.  It’s like, “This is all I can do?”  But if indeed all things are possible with God, then I’d better be asking His help. 

Listen.
This decision made me sit up and pay attention.  This will affect us.  I will be vigilant in finding out exactly how it may affect me, my family, health care, and our society as a whole.  Knowing these things, and becoming prepared and educated on the decisions that are made will only strengthen my resolve to make what little difference I can.

Speak.
Here it is. My little battle cry from my busy life with kids and responsibilities.  I likely won’t have the opportunity to speak publicly to the masses, and my little blog with its miniscule amount of hits may only encourage a few, but I really do pray that I have the opportunity from my little realm of the home and church and grocery store to either speak on the importance of human beings and each life or show it by my actions.

Hope.
The most important thing I think I can do in my little world is to live in hope.  That’s what this is about isn’t it? Hopelessness? The terminally ill who want to die feel there is no hope. Their families see no hope.  Without hope, what is life?
Living in hope and continuing to bring those around us closer to the Source of that Hope. That’s something, isn’t it?

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