To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.. . Ecclesiastes 3:1-2.
The Bible says that for every person there is a time to die, as well as a time to be born. One important medical issue in America today is the question of who should determine when your time to die has arrived—especially when you might be incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Should that decision be made by God? By your doctor? By your family? The Bible tells us that only God has the authority to determine every person’s time to die. When people determine the time of their own death, that is suicide. When another person establishes the time for your death, that is murder or manslaughter, which is today sometimes euphemistically referred to as euthanasia or “mercy killing.”
In the 1960s, when state court judges refused to protect the rights of minorities within their state court systems, the federal government stepped in to make certain that a fair trial could be had in federal court. That is exactly what the United States Congress tried unsuccessfully to do in Terri Schiavo’s situation when it enacted special legislation on Easter Sunday, 2005, to permit Terri’s case to be reheard in federal court. The purpose of this federal legislation was to make sure the state court decision to put Terri to death by starvation and dehydration was correct.
Most Americans are able to identify Roe v. Wade as the 1973 United States Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right for women to abort their unborn babies at the beginning of life. However, not many Americans are able to similarly identify the important court cases that paved the way for “right to die” laws and the acceptance of euthanasia or mercy killing in America. This new constitutional so-called “right to die” involves the ability to terminate those at the end of life---many of whom are elderly or disabled, or who lack a particular “quality of life” or whose care is determined to be “futile.