Print Friendly, PDF & Email

¶630.2.8.3 AS REGARDS MYSELF AND OTHERS: End of Life Care

¶630.2.8.3 End of Life Care

For the Christian, death is not the end of life, but the transition into eternity (John 5:24-25).
Therefore, physical death is not the ultimate enemy, but part of our journey.

Christians must discourage the assumption that some lives are not worth living. Chronic disease, diminished physical capacity or ongoing disability do not constitute the end of life. We believe that there is no such thing as a “useless” life. The value and worth in our lives rests primarily in our relationship with a God whose love sustains us all through life, even to the end. He ministers to us personally and through the healing environment of Christian community. Divine wisdom in the face of end of life issues comes to us through Scripture, prayer, godly counsel, and the work of the Holy Spirit.

“Sanctity of life” must not be confused with “quality of life.” Because we affirm the sanctity of
life (¶630.2.9) and the consequent worth of all persons (¶630.2.1), there can be no justification for euthanasia or assisted suicide.

We recognize and support the right of a competent individual, who is facing the end of life, to
decide the aggressiveness of his/her care. If an individual is incompetent to make or incapable of making this decision, then a substitute decision maker, who respects the wishes of the individual as far as they are known, can make this decision on his/her behalf.

A request that life not be sustained by heroic measures does not constitute euthanasia or assisted suicide. We recognize that treatment, or lack of treatment, which carries the risk of shortening life, is permissible so long as the intent is to provide relief or otherwise benefit the patient, rather than to cause death.

Treatment, or lack of treatment, which carries the risk of shortening life, is permissible so long as the intent is to provide relief or otherwise benefit the patient, rather than to cause death. A request that life not be sustained by heroic measures does not constitute euthanasia or physician assisted death.

We also recognize that when people choose to proceed with physician assisted death their
suffering is such that they are convinced this is the only alternative. We would assert however
that there are alternative therapeutic approaches available such as pain management and effective palliative care. In addition, we believe that the Holy Spirit can bring grace to situations that may otherwise seem hopeless or unendurable.

In situations like these we reserve the right for our ministers to be involved pastorally to the
degree their conscience allows. Even though we do not celebrate this type of end of life nor do we encourage it, ministers should continue to be willing to provide pastoral comfort to all
involved.

ajax-loader