Last week's death of Dr. Jack Kevorkian -- who gained world notoriety in the 1990s for assisting more than 130 people to commit suicide -- has resulted in much current dialogue of his actions. Does man have the right to assist his fellowman to kill himself?
We believe that the answer to that controversial question is no. The fact is that God gave us life here on earth and God alone should determine when we will die.
Assisting a person to commit suicide -- in fact suicide itself -- is forbidden in the Christian religion.
Although we do not usually criticize a person -- or his lifestyle -- after he has died, we feel that there is a justification for doing so in this instance, due to Dr. Kevorkian's arrogance, stubbornness, and un-Christian actions.
While he was fortunate to have been found not guilty of murder several times in Michigan courts from 1990 to 1998 -- mainly because Michigan had no law forbidding assisted suicides -- Dr. Kevorkian's luck ran out in 1999 when he was found guilty of second-degree murder, and sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison.
His guilty finding in 1999 was primarily due to a law passed by the state of Michigan in 1998 that made assisting in a suicide a crime punishable by prison and a $10,000 fine.
It was also due to Dr. Kevorkian's arrogance, as he had the audacity to encourage the "60 Minutes" TV program to film and broadcast one of his assisted suicides he conducted in 1998. The prosecutors used this film in the court case in 1999 to help to ensure Dr. Kevorkian's guilt.
It is interesting that Dr. Kevorkian did not seek any assistance for himself -- assistance that he advocated so emphatically for others -- during his own illness and final days of his life. Until his death, Dr. Kevorkian still believed that suicide with the help of a medical professional was a person's "civil right."
This illogical belief is where Dr. Kevorkian was seriously wrong. Assisted suicide is not a "civil right" any more than abortion is. The major difference is that abortion is murder while an unborn infant is still in a mother's womb, and has not been given the opportunity to enjoy life; assisted suicide is helping to murder an individual who no longer wants to live, usually because he is ill or is unhappy with life.
In the final analysis, then, assisted suicide as well as abortion must be considered as nothing less than murder!