According to a new poll released by LifeWay Research 67 percent of Americans agree someone who is facing a painful death should be able to request medical assistance. These results show that while Americans’ opinion about physician-assisted suicide has fluctuated significantly over the past 20 years, it is increasingly trending toward support.
This contradicts the current American Medical Association guidelines which state that while patients facing painful terminal illness should be treated with the utmost care, “physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”
There are now eight states in which physician-assisted suicide is legal and this research indicates there will be more added to this list in the coming years. With 38 percent of evangelical churchgoers agreeing with this trend it’s worth discussing what it means for a church to be “pro-life.” Abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, gun violence, adoption and foster care, and a host of other issues all touch in different ways on the concept of the sanctity of life.
While churches will likely arrive at different solutions on some of the issues listed above, one thing is clear: It’s critical for the evangelical church to present a bold and holistic understanding of the sanctity of life—including end-of-life care.