Last week, I watched one of network television’s popular medical dramas. I felt incredibly sad at the end of the show because of one particular storyline: a wife was dying of lung cancer. Because there is no cure, she made the decision to end her life by physician-assisted suicide. In the state of Washington (where the drama is set), physician-assisted suicide is legal.
As the story unfolded, one the doctors struggled with this legality as he flashes back to the death of his fellow army officer on a battlefield in Iraq. After all, the Hippocratic Oath says, Do no harm (interestingly that was never mentioned in the story).
Regarding the dying wife, the husband can’t face the reality of what the wife wants to do, but eventually succumbs to her wishes. She asks for a glass of wine to swallow the pills that will cause her death within 45 minutes. There is no talk of God, no hope of resurrection, no after life mentioned—just the desire to not die alone or feel pain. We are left to believe that this is the best option. The story ends with the wife downing the pills and curling up to her husband in her hospital bed to die.
Honestly, I wanted to cry. The motivating factor for choosing death was that the wife did not want to suffer or die alone. Our culture’s response to this is to offer physician-assisted suicide, not Jesus. How sad! As we somberly remember Good Friday, I can’t help thinking about Jesus, who suffered and died on the cross to give us a hope and a future and to remind us that we are never alone. One day, suffering will end and our resurrected bodies will be pain free and glorified because of what He did for us.
Why does our culture refuse to show this hope? Why can’t we see a husband hold his wife’s hand, acknowledge the suffering and pray for God’s mercy, allowing God to decide the moment of her death? Why can’t the room be filled with God’s presence so that we can see that even in death, Satan has been defeated? Why can’t we give the hope of eternity and let a dying world know that this world is not our final resting place? Why can’t we offer Jesus, so that the moment of death is a transition to a pain-free eternity?
This Easter weekend, remember you are never alone. He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Death is not the final answer. We have the promise of life eternal because Christ rose from the grave. He sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for you. Don’t give in to despair, hopelessness, and secular solutions to pain. Know that you are loved no matter what you face. Life is sacred. God gave His Son to die so we can live. Now, that’s a storyline I would like to see on network television!
How has your faith in Christ given you hope?
~ Dr. Linda
Related resource: Get a copy of Dr. Linda Mintle’s book, Breaking Free from Depression. For more help, go to: www.drlindahelps.com.