A while ago I completed a three part series on the issue of marijuana and the Christian worldview. With some recent stories surfacing in the news, I feel compelled to add a few more comments on this vital and complicated issue.
At the beginning of this month, a young woman named Brittany Maynard chose to end her own life, and employ a physician to help her do it. She had been diagnosed with a devastating and incurable brain cancer, and decided she wanted to, in her words “die with dignity”. So she moved to the state of Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. She became the poster child for an organization she volunteered for, called Compassion and Choices, which is trying to legalize assisted suicide across the USA.
Brittany’s suicide is being hailed as a dignified and brave choice, even after the recent tragic suicide of Robin Williams. Williams’ choice to end his own suffering is seen as a sad but powerful opportunity to raise awareness so that hopefully further suicides will be prevented. Maynard’s suicide is something people support, defend, and even encourage. And even more alarming, while suffering patients who fight until the end used to be considered brave and dignified, now many consider suicide to instead be the brave and dignified choice. What disrespect to those who really are bravely fighting for life! It used to be precious. Not anymore. And even worse, assisted suicide requires a medical professional who swore an oath to “do no harm” to break that oath and end lives.
At this point, you may be thinking that I want to lament the fact that she didn’t give cannabis a fair shot at saving her life. But I don’t. Her treatment options are her choice. She did try some things early on that didn’t help, and then she said enough. I do understand that. It’s one thing to share exciting story after exciting story of people who cured their cancer with cannabis. That’s great, don’t get me wrong. But the reality is that it doesn’t always cure cancer. And when you are faced with these kinds of decisions, you are acutely aware of that. Continue reading