Life Principles Statement for All Ages
In response to a Zoom conversation regarding Medical Aid in Dying (“Life, Death and Compassion: Education and Empowerment at the End of Life”), hosted by State Senator Roxanne Persaud and Compassion & Choices, on Friday, August 6th, local clergy members have issued a statement regarding end-of-life choices such as Medical Aid in Dying and Euthanasia. While the definition of Medical Aid in Dying requires a terminally-ill, mentally capable patient to self-ingest a medical compound on their own, bringing about a “peaceful death,” and the definition of Euthanasia can involve another person administering a medication which also ends a patient’s life, the two procedures (the former legal in some states, and the latter illegal in the United States) have the same outcome – ending a precious life prematurely.
Christians stand opposed to life-ending practices such as Euthanasia (the painless killing of a suffering patient) in all forms because it devalues the life of the individual. Jesus Himself states that He is the “Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25), and wants all people to experience the joy of life because He is the Creator of life (Genesis 1:27).
The Canarsie community is comprised of people from all walks of life, from new immigrants to those who have been here for decades, and those who are elderly, as well as those who are terminally ill. All are a very valuable part of the fabric of this community. This is why, as Christians who value each and every individual, we see the introducing of Euthanasia as destructive to our community. Euthanasia, as it is practiced through active or passive means, including “Medical Aid in Dying,” as defined above, runs afoul of the Sixth Commandment (“You shall not murder”) because it ends the life of someone who is created in the image of God and who is wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
Palliative care for the terminally ill patient who is suffering is compassionate care; euthanasia cannot be defined as palliative care.
Euthanasia literally means good death, but there is no good reason to end an innocent person’s life, even though many pseudo-compelling reasons may be presented, including: ameliorating the discomfort from the person seeking it; easing the financial burden on an overtaxed healthcare system; and the rationalizing of suicide. These euphemistic reasons are invalid because the practice of Euthanasia vastly undervalues human life for the elderly and terminally ill citizens living in our community. This practice, whether self-administered or administered by others, should not be pursued for an individual nor a community, and should be rejected. What should be embraced instead in Canarsie are policies that promote the flourishing of human life, knowing that every life – from the newborn heartbeat to that of an elderly person – is of utmost value to God.
Lead Pastor Ken Griepp, Church @ the Rock
Sr. Pastor Mullery Jean-Pierre, Beraca Baptist Church
Rev. Cecil Moonsam, President, on behalf of the 69 Precinct Clergy Council
 Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopedia. “Euthanasia”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 27 Dec. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/topic/euthanasia. Accessed 2 August 2021