California Passes “Right to Die” Bill

by Ken Ham

Instead of affirming the value of all human life made in God’s image, many court rulings here in America consistently show that our culture devalues human life. We live in what I call a culture of death. In a new piece of legislation, the State of California has just passed an assisted suicide, or “right-to-die,” bill, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. This new law allows for adults who meet certain qualifications and are suffering from a terminal illness to request that their physician prescribe a lethal dose of an “aid-in-dying” drug so they can end their life.


Sadly, assisted suicide, under the guise of “dying with dignity,” is gaining popularity here in America. For example, a major motion picture called Me Before You, based on a book of the same title, is currently in theaters and promotes and romanticizes this idea of a right for the disabled to die with dignity. As the idea grows in popularity and more people accept the idea, we will likely see many more states adopting right-to-die legislation.

Of course, such thinking is not surprising in a culture that has disconnected its worldview from the absolute authority of God’s Word. Thus, ultimately anything goes—everybody does what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25).

A Slippery Slope

Now here’s an interesting thought. If choosing to end your life because of a terminal illness is supposedly dying with dignity, then what does that mean for those who choose not to bring about their own death? Well, it implies they aren’t dying with dignity. And how long before those who choose not to end their own lives are perceived as selfish and a drain on the economy or personal resources? Will legislation be passed then that would require or allow doctors to end lives?

Instead of it being their so-called right to die, it quickly becomes their duty to die to stop using up money and resources.

The precursor to euthanasia, assisted suicide—the administration of a lethal drug by a physician—is a slippery slope. As has been demonstrated in countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands where assisted suicide and euthanasia have been legal for a number of years, there’s a big risk that the elderly, infirm, and disabled will be taken advantage of by their caregivers. Instead of it being their so-called right to die, it quickly becomes their duty to die to stop using up money and resources. This is tragic!

What Right to Die?

And since when is there a right to die? The US Declaration of Independence mentions a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but there is no such thing as a right to die. Actually, death is a penalty for our sin! Human beings were never created to die, but when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, their sin brought death and suffering into the world as a just punishment for their sin (Genesis 2:17). We all die because of our sin in Adam and our continued sin (Romans 5:12).

But the good news is that Jesus, the God-man, came and died on the Cross, taking upon Himself the penalty that we deserve (1 Peter 2:24). He then rose from the grave, defeating death. He now offers forgiveness and eternal life to all who will repent and trust in Him (Romans 10:9). Although we will still die physically, those who trust Christ for salvation will not suffer the “second death”—an eternity separated from God (John 3:16; Revelation 20:6)—but instead will dwell with the Lord in the new heavens and new earth where there will be no more death or pain (Revelation 21:4).

Assisted suicide and euthanasia flow out of an evolutionary worldview.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia flow out of an evolutionary worldview. You see, if we’re just animals, as evolutionary thinking teaches, then why not “put down” the elderly, disabled, and infirm just like we do for our pets? If death is the end, then why continue living if you don’t want to? It’s only when you start with a naturalistic, evolutionary worldview that you get the idea of justifying assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Euthanasia is Murder

When we start with God’s Word, we understand that euthanizing a person is murder because it kills someone who is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27, 9:6). Our infinite Creator has given all human life value because we are image bearers of God. The biblical worldview upholds the value of human life from birth to natural death.

You can learn more about a biblical response to euthanasia in Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell’s article, “Is Euthanasia a Biblical Solution to Terminal Illness or Suffering?

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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