What is euthanasia? The meaning of euthanasia is “good death,” or “happy death.”

Euthanasia is often called mercy-killing.

It is the taking of a human life by another human being in order to prevent further pain and suffering.

When Adolph Hitler killed six million Jews in Nazi Germany, he called it euthanasia. It was actually an attempt to eliminate a group of people. The whole world was upset and condemned Hitler for what he did.

Today, there are organizations which publish books to teach people how to kill themselves or others.

In the United States, Dr. Jack Kevorkian became famous because he has helped more than fifteen people kill themselves. Deformed babies, old people, the seriously ill, and mentally disturbed people are targets of euthanasia.

Those who believe that euthanasia is acceptable say that if a person is not normal or does not have a productive life, he should be killed. But what is normal? Who has the right to say what a productive life is?

There are many examples of people who are not normal, but are living happy, useful lives. When we take the decision for life and death out of the hands of the perfect, all-knowing God, and place it in the hands of imperfect people, many mistakes will be made!

The practice of euthanasia is wrong because it violates the principle that life is given by God.

God does not approve of “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17).

Life comes from God. It is God’s decision to give life and to take it away. Solomon wrote, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

Job said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).

The death of Saul, the first king of Israel, is an example of euthanasia. Saul did not want the Philistines to find him alive. He knew they would torture him.

Therefore, he asked his armor bearer to kill him. When the armor bearer refused, Saul fell on his own sword and died (1 Samuel 31:1-6).

Saul committed suicide, but he did it in order to avoid suffering. He murdered himself and therefore was guilty of sin (Exodus 20:13).

Even though we may not always understand why we suffer, there are some benefits which come from suffering.

The apostle Paul understood this. He wrote: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

God has given us the right to make choices in this life. Many in the world today no longer believe it makes any difference whether we live or die.

May we as the children of God help people to understand the truth of God and choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).