One of the ballot issues in Colorado this year is Proposition 106. Depending upon who you speak with it either decriminalizes euthanasia or allows terminally ill people to die with dignity, whatever that means. Both sides are missing the point in my view. Since this is my blog I will give you my view on the issue.
Suicide is a sin. God, in His providence, grants life. God, in His providence takes life away. Men who attempt to subvert the providence of God by taking their lives on their own authority despise His ordinance and arrogate to themselves an attribute of deity. That is what makes suicide a sin.
Suicide is not the unforgivable sin. There is only one unforgivable sin and that sin, denying Christ after having been granted a charismatic spiritual gift (Hebrews 6), cannot take place today because the charismata has ceased. If a Christian commits suicide he can still be saved. If an anti-Christian commits suicide he is still bound for the Lake of Fire. The eternal state of those who kill themselves is not the question here.
All drugs should be legal and all citizens should be free to purchase any drugs they want at any time. The criminalization of certain drugs by the omniscient and beneficent State is immoral. I should be able to walk into my neighborhood drug store and buy an aspirin, heroin or a cocktail of drugs that will kill me with relative painlessness. The state has no right to control the drugs that I purchase nor should it have any say over how I use them. Conversely, the State has the moral responsibility to prosecute and punish me for the sins/crimes I commit while under the influence of the drugs I have ingested.
The problem with suicide is an obvious one. How does the State prosecute a dead man? In the case where a person attempts to commit suicide and fails the State can step in and execute him for the attempted murder of himself. But when the person is successful in killing himself there is little for the State to do. In that sense it is reasonable to hope that all people who seek to kill themselves are successful at doing so in order to save the taxpayers the cost of executing them for their crime.
Under biblical law any person who wishes to kill himself is free to do so and, providing he is successful (and he would be highly motivated to be successful if the penalty for failure to commit suicide was death), he would escape prosecution by the civil authorities. No law is needed to decriminalize suicide when drugs are readily available to the person who wants to do the deed. The only laws that would apply would be for anyone who acted as an accessory to the person who killed himself. In that case those who assist others in killing themselves would be guilty of murder and should be executed for their crimes.
Proposition 106 steps into this quagmire of confusing laws and principles and attempts to clarity what is legal when a person decides to kill himself. Those who oppose the law generally do so on the biblical principle that only God can take life. In that they are correct. They also often argue that once euthanasia is legalized the inevitable next link in the chain is the government enforced execution of the elderly, sick, retarded and various other deplorables. The domino argument, as always, fails to deliver the goods. The domino argument is always the argument of the legalist who wants to create extra laws that are not moral in and of themselves in order to prevent the possibility of a real transgression taking place. For example, church elders who refuse to recognize the office of Deaconess do so not because the office is unbiblical but because they fear that recognizing the office of Deaconess will be a stepping stone to recognizing the office of female elders, which is most certainly unbiblical. In the same way many Evangelicals oppose Proposition 106 because of what might happen in other areas if it is approved.
Those who support Proposition 106 do so exclusively on emotional grounds. The television commercials and radio ads are all the same. Some poor soul stands before the camera or the mic and testifies how hard it was to watch some loved one die. The horrific pain of the death throes is described and I am informed that Proposition 106 would have allowed the dying soul to kill himself, avoid that pain and somehow die with dignity, whatever that means. All of those arguments are irrelevant. There is only one relevant question in this case and it is a simple one....can a person morally take his own life? The answer to that question is, No.
Colorado's Proposition 106 is different from other such propositions in other states in that it would legalize the preparation and sale of a death cocktail to a person by a government licensed distributor of pharmaceuticals but it does not authorize a government licensed medical doctor to administer the concoction. In fact, it specifically states that the death cocktail must be self administered. You can only imagine the host of legal issues that will come up once the proposition passes. What is to be done when the patient is incapable of self administration? When someone else pushes the plug or gives the person the pill will he be guilty of murder? It will certainly be interesting to see how many taxpayer dollars are squandered adjudicating all of the legal questions associated with Proposition 106.
I will not be voting on Proposition 106 because I do not have the God ordained authority to create law and, make no mistake, Proposition 106 is creating a new law. Biblical law is sufficient for me but I know the State will never adopt any principles of biblical law. God's opinion on suicide is clear. Those who commit suicide sin but cannot be punished by the civil authorities for that sin. Those who attempt to commit suicide but fail should be executed. Those who assist others in suicide, either successful or attempted, are accessories to murder and should be executed as well. But when a person wants to kill himself and he has free and unfettered access to the drugs that will allow him to do so there is nothing to be done when he succeeds. As such no law should be needed. The only reason Proposition 106 is being brought to the voters is because the State has previously engaged in the immoral action of criminalizing certain drugs. The proponents for Proposition 106 would be better served bringing a ballot initiative to decriminalize all drugs. That, however, will never happen because they are worshipers of civil government. They want the approval of their god to go about killing themselves. And that is ultimately what Proposition 106 is all about.
Attention Regular Readers: I am off to Arkansas to scamper about in the Ozarks for a couple of days. I will be back on Monday, October 10th.