Q&A on ‘Pulling the Plug’

QUESTION: Do you really consider “pulling the plug” to be euthanasia?

ANSWER: Deuteronomy 32:39 tells us that God alone has the right to begin or end life. Exodus 20:13 and Genesis 9:5-6 command that we preserve and protect human life. We do not have the right to terminate life prematurely. Conversely, we do not have the responsibility to prolong the dying process either. Out of faith, we care for loved ones who are sick, and we accept death when God calls them from this world.

Applying this to your question, “pulling the plug” is euthanasia if it is done to terminate a life in a person’s time frame rather than God’s. Withholding or withdrawing treatment or care is acceptable when that decision is made with full acceptance of God’s authority over life. In general, there are three examples when care could rightfully be withheld or withdrawn. They are: (1) the treatment is futile; (2) death is imminent; or (3) the treatment has accomplished its purpose.

The decision to “pull the plug’ is not an easy one, because it is filled with many emotions and struggles. The withholding or withdrawal of treatment must be done with the right motive and in situations where it does not lead to the direct termination of human life.


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