The following headline recently came across my social media feed. “Canada will soon allow medically assisted dying for mental illness.” I was beyond disgusted and naively thought this cannot be true. Then after sharing the article with a friend, Dr. Stephen Grcevich, he referred me to another article that made me even sicker than I […]
The following headline recently came across my social media feed. “Canada will soon allow medically assisted dying for mental illness.”
I was beyond disgusted and naively thought this cannot be true. Then after sharing the article with a friend, Dr. Stephen Grcevich, he referred me to another article that made me even sicker than I thought was possible considering my current feelings.
This article documents euthanasia in Belgium. Here is an excerpt. “Over the last two decades, close to 30,000 Belgians have been euthanized. Almost twenty percent of euthanasia deaths last year were individuals not expected to die soon naturally. Since 2014, it has been legal to euthanize children. Belgium has deemed a growing number of non-physical and non-severe conditions as qualifying for euthanasia.”
After reading it, my only response to him was “God have mercy on us.”
He went on to say, “3% of deaths in Canada this year involve physician-assisted suicide. The part about kids being able to access help in killing themselves without their parent’s permission is kind of like the cherry on top. It’s considered unethical by the medical societies in Canada to decline requests for assistance or to refuse to refer them to someone who’ll help.”
We live in a culture of death. What countries in Europe and Asia do that seems shocking always makes its way to North America. It is now on our doorstep.
My heart aches. I want everyone to believe that all life is valuable and that no life is discardable. Unfortunately, I fear I may be in the minority in my view of life.
It was only 77 years ago that the Nazis were exterminating people in death camps. These people were not voluntarily killed as the articles above speak about. These people were targeted. Never forget that the first people killed in Auschwitz were the disabled. Why? It was more than the fact that their disabilities were viewed as imperfections. It was because their disabling conditions prevented them from being able to work for the Nazis. The Nazis viewed them as worthless, and they were discarded as such.
What is the connection?
If our society is okay with choosing death as a solution to non-life-threatening conditions, then we are one step away from allowing mass extermination of people groups. This is not an overstatement. When life is not valued it becomes easier to look the other way at other monstrosities.
If it is viewed as acceptable to kill people because of mental health issues it will soon be okay to kill people that are not viewed as viable contributing members of society. People with disabilities and other vulnerable populations are always targeted first for extermination. This cannot be!
My purpose in posting this is not for shock and awe. My purpose in posting this is to wake up a generation of people that need to hear the following words, “If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.”
That phrase is not unique to me. I have seen several different people use it over the past few years. It is powerful and true. Let’s take that phrase from two different angles.
First, maybe you are someone who struggles with mental health issues. Maybe you have been told by a doctor or friend that there is no cure for your condition. Maybe you are tired of managing your mental health. Or maybe you have a disability and have been brushed aside by society. People have told you that you are worthless and that the world would be better off without you. If you have ever been told that or if you feel the pressure of living with mental health issues, I want you to hear these words… “If you have a pulse, you have a purpose!”
If you feel worthless or want to give up. Stop! Please know that the God of the universe loves you and has a plan for your life. A plan to not harm you but rather bless you and use you for good. Your life is valuable and worth living. Your life is so valuable that God sent His one and only Son to die for you so that you may live forever with Him.
If you are feeling desperate and need to talk to someone, immediately call #988 the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. For more help visit 988 Lifeline.
Second, if you are reading this and you are as heartbroken as I am about the culture of death that we find ourselves in you have a responsibility. Stand up for life! Remember, if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Part of your purpose is your responsibility to make a difference. There are two ways you can make a difference.
You can stand in the gap for a friend that is suffering. Speak hope into them. Check-in on them regularly. Resource them with the help that they need in those dark moments. Help them to find Jesus and their purpose.
Beyond the individuals that God has placed in your life to care for take this crisis to your church leadership. The local church should be a source of hope for a hurting world. One of the easiest ways the local church can bring hope to the hurting is to address the avalanche of mental health issues crushing people. Don’t be afraid to talk about mental health. Remove the stigmas. Preach about it. Resource people by connecting them to local counselors, doctors, psychiatrists, etc. Help to pay for people’s counseling. Etc.
Don’t know where to start? Let me point you in the right direction.
Check out my friends at Key Ministry. They have a plan for your church when it comes to developing a mental health ministry.
It is Ryan's passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan's commitment to life and ministry.