Deaf Belgian brothers Marc and Eddy Verbessem underwent doctor assisted suicide at age 45 after they were told they were going to be blind as a result of a progressive eye disease called glaucoma.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 and the number of cases has risen every year since. In 2011, 1,133 were granted the right to die, of which 86 percent were at least 60 years old and 72 percent suffering from cancer.
What makes this case even more appalling to Christians who value the life that our Creator put in us, is that it was approved under the requirement of “unbearable pain.” The news that blindness would be the end-stage of their illness in the future was described as too much to bear.
The brothers enjoyed a cup of coffee together, and reportedly had a rich conversation right before they received the lethal injection. These are important details to note because they show that the brothers were not depressed, in fact they had fought to earn the right to die for much of the previous two years!
Where is the hope, the joy, the expectation of salvation that is associated with life? The one who came into this world to kill and destroy, the ancient serpent who initiated the fall of man has blinded them into believing that death is the answer. There is nothing more untrue than that.
The life we have been given is not our own, and born-again Christians understand this fundamental truth. Our life and even our bodies are not our own.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that “… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God. You are not your own.” What right do we have to kill our body?
Even our life is not our own. Again Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:15 that “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”
Romans 8 names the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of life. And it is by the Holy Spirit that life is continually sustained: “If it were [God’s] intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.” Job 34:14-15
These are just a few of the reasons why we believe that euthanasia is a sin against God. He alone in His manifold wisdom and purpose can give and take life as He pleases.
These two brothers made a sane, calculated decision in their actions.
By taking their life into their own hands they made themselves the gods of their life, and they sacrificed their life unto themselves, like the Canaanites sacrificed their own to Molech. This was their final deed… their final idolatrous act of self-worship.
We know that death by suicide or euthanasia is not the answer when difficulties arise in this fallen world. Jesus is the ultimate solution because only He can restore hope in affliction and eternal life after our passing.