Today is Good Friday, the day that Christians celebrate the betrayal and death of Jesus the Christ. Jesus was murdered in order to fullfill the prophecies dating back to the days of the Old Testament books of the Bible. According to the doctrine of Original Sin, when Adam and Eve committed the first act of disobedience against God, they caused all of their descendents to also be born into sin. In order to symbolize a washing away of this sin, God commanded the ancient humans (proto-Hebrews) to sacrifice a purely white lamb, sprinkling the blood symbolically onto the sinners, to take away their sins. The lamb, being without defect, was supposed to stand in for the humans who had the “defect” of sin.
As time passed on, visions came to those who we call prophets in which God promised that one day there would be a “final lamb” to take away humanity’s sins. After this final lamb, there would no longer be a need for sacrificing real lambs. Christians, though not Jews, hold that Jesus was this final lamb. This is why it was a moot point when “The Passion of the Christ” came out that the Jewish leadership or Roman leadership killed Jesus. It was his purpose to die and those who helped that come into fruition were merely players in the game.
It is the doctrine of all major factions of Christianity that there is only one requirements to be absolved from this original sin – simply believing that Jesus was the son of God and agreeing to followin his commands. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul writes, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast.” From here, different factions interpret the Bible differently. I believe this means that you don’t have to ask God to save you every day. While it is healthy (from a psychological and theological point of view) to admit one’s sins daily, in order to humble oneself and not think that he or she is so pious. There are quite a few people who walk around as if they were perfect, they would do well to reflect on their actions daily. However, I digress.
Therefore, I believe that it doesn’t matter what you do right before you die if you are already a Christian. For example, what if someone was driving a car and happened to utter profanity before being killed in a car crash? I think it would be quite dumb if the person couldn’t go to Heaven because they happened to slip up at the last minute. I think most people would agree with me (unless the opposite doctrine had been drilled into them) that a rational God wouldn’t act that way. Therefore, unlike Catholics, I don’t think that suicide can prevent someone from going to Heaven. Basically, it would be the same thing: a sin before death. One may argue that suicide is worse than profanity, but as other scripture claims, all sin is equal before the eyes of the Lord. Any sin is an act of disobedience and that is the real problem, not the actual act.
Thus, I believe that Terry Shiavo should be allowed to die. Having a living will that contains a “do not recescutate” clause may be considered to be suicide, but I say that no one had feeding tubes back in the days of the Bible to keep them alive. Thus, removing the feeding tube is not playing God, but leaving it in is. If someone wished to die naturally, they should be allowed to do so. If I were in a vegetative state, I would want to be allowed to die. As a Christian, I believe that death would allow me to finally get to Heaven instead of having my spirit stuck in a defunct body.
My grandmother, who died on Palm Sunday, wanted to be allowed to die at the moment her body was no longer able to support itself. She didn’t want to be kept alive in a minimal state. Of course, if she could be cured, she wanted to be cured, but she didn’t want to just sit there while her body decayed away. After she died, the doctors called my parents and told them what had occurred. As her white blood cell count went lower and lower, the body was unable to repair the holes that form in the circulatory system of all humans as a part of entropy. Thus, her circulatory system became porous and the blood slowly leaked out into her body. This caused her blood pressure to drop dangerously low and she died when she could no longer breathe on her own or circulate blood. Had the doctors attempted to get her lungs working, they would have only kept her alive two more days with a hole in her throat. Is that worth it? I don’t think so!