Recently I have been mulling over the word euthanasia and have to say that I am in complete favor of it. The Greek prefix eu- means good as in eulogy and euphemism. ‘thanasia’ comes from the Greek word for death. Traditionally euthanasia has been applied to the practice of Physician Assisted Suicide, which assumes that placing the words Physician Assisted before suicide makes suicide a good thing, instead of the tragedy it is. Instead I have been thinking about how important “good death” is to our Christian lives. Euthanasia is a topic mentioned by Jesus and Paul. Death is vitally important to our daily Christian lives. No one can truly live unless they die.
Good death was an important theme in George MacDonald’s writings. His book Lilith paints a beautiful picture of death. However, it is our nature to pursue life and avoid death. Unknowingly this pursuit of life leads to death, a bad death. Something inside of us desires life but we often pursue it in the wrong way. Only by pursing death will we ever be able to live. I confess that in my own life I find it difficult to die. There is a part of me the struggles ferociously to live. Often when I think the execution successful I will find that it has come back to life the next day. Self-preservation is not a good instinct here. Only by relying on the help of the one who has died can those parts of me that are alive be finally put to death for good. Daily euthanasia is a good practice for any Christian.