Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Euthanasia: Organ Donation & Quality of Life Ethic

Organ donation from deceased donors is typically thought of in a positive light. After all, you’re helping save someone else’s life by donating your heart, kidney or some other organ after you can no longer use it. Most aren’t even aware of the dreadful reality of heart or lung donations, which come from a brain dead donor. While they are legally declared dead because of a lack of brain waves, they are in fact titled “beating heart” donors, proving that they are alive. Their certificate of death will have to say “heart failure” or “lung failure”, which was due to the fact that surgeons removed the organs vital to living! The ironic thing about the justification and ideology behind organ donation is that the doctors are willing to kill a person who is no longer of use to society in order to help another weak person that may not live without the organ transplant. The belief behind it is that it is best to give the organs of the people deemed brain dead to someone who will benefit from them, since the brain dead person will never be of use to society and perhaps will never wake up. We’re taking life in order to keep others alive. It is morally wrong to euthanize any person, even to give their organs to another, if they are still alive.

The quality of life ethic is a common belief in our day and age and based off of evolutionary presuppositions that the strong will control and the weak die. Sadly, the quality of life ethic has been used at various times to support whether a patient considered brain dead or in a vegetative state should be kept alive. Because of the evolutionary mindset in our culture, people are not considered worthwhile unless they can contribute something to society. This is a heartbreaking belief to hold, as it destroys. In fact, this worldview is what led Hitler and Stalin to exterminate millions in their country they deemed “unfit” to live. While our culture attempts to make the quality of life ethic sound positive and as if it is truly helping society, it is certainly destructive and does not value life. The truth is all life is made in the image of God. It doesn’t matter whether the person is capable of intelligently answering questions or if the person can contribute to society like a “normal” person can. It doesn’t matter if they are disabled, have mental incapacities or are laying in a hospital bed or nursing home. God has revealed through His Word that the breath of the Almighty gives life (Job 33:4), that we boast about what we want to do but that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 3:14-15), and that He has appointed a “a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). We have to trust that God’s way is best and that He has perfectly orchestrated when each person should die.

(image from getty images)


1 comment:

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Have a blessed day!

In Christ,