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An elderly Australian man suffering from chronic pain recently demanded a “suicide pill” from his doctor. The doctor denied the request. Instead, the man’s son shot and killed him. This is a sad and extreme case of assisted suicide, but it forces all of us to think about end-of-life issues. For the Christian, human beings don’t have the authority to take another person’s life. In fact, they’re obligated to compassionately care for and alleviate the pain of those suffering. Compassion means “suffering with.” When we short-circuit the process of natural death, we also lose an opportunity to assist, care for, and be with those near the end of life. This compassion honors God, shores up our souls, and blesses those who need another person to be with them at the end of their lives.

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