Yesterday, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down the right of the federal government to prohibit doctors from prescribing lethal doses of medications to terminally ill patients. Not only does the Oregon law in dispute tempt doctors to violate their Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm,” it subtly pressures the sick to seek their own deaths. Expect more states to enact such legislation now that the high court has given them the green light.
We have forgotten that suffering is a necessary part of life in this fallen world. We have also forgotten that life, in all its beauty and complexity, is a gift from God. It does not stop being a gift even when its pleasures are removed. Life is about more than simply minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure. But we are so secular in outlook we can no longer see this.
We are not our own. The ultimate evil in life is not suffering. It is failing to live for God, the source of life. No wonder so many people prefer death to life.