This was a controversial and delicate subject for many people, including some doctors. Seen as both a moral and spiritual dilemma, it required a great deal of compassion as advocates cited stories of hopeless suffering from debilitating diseases.
It’s not hard to understand why someone, after being diagnosed with an incurable illness, would view death as a viable alternative – even see it as a friend. But there is a spirit of hope and courage within many patients, who resist the inclination to accept what purely biological markers have determined. There are recorded cases of reversal of the incurable – for some a state of remission, for others, a restoration to health when turning to God and His goodness.
In her bestselling book, Dr. Kelly Turner shares insights into cases of “radical remission” experienced by people around the world who recovered against all odds after medical solutions were exhausted. For the more than 100 individuals who overcame terminal diagnoses of cancer and whose accounts are shared in “Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against all Odds”, physician-assisted death would have robbed them of years of productive living.
Some people dismiss remission or healing of the incurable as a one-in-a-million instance of chance or luck. Yet, there is a precedent for healing the incurable consistently and completely and with authority in the works of the Master Christian, Jesus. His record of curing the incurable has given hope and inspiration to many over the centuries as he met every illness of the day with healing success.
How did Jesus see his fellow man – as incurable or as perfectly whole as God created him? (See Genesis 1:26,27.) Probably not as the former – that would have shown an acceptance of the physical condition as hopeless. His understanding of God’s love for His creation enabled him to bring healing results.
One of my favourite Biblical accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry is a curing of the incurable. A woman, who had been ill for many years and exhausted all means for a cure, but “… rather grew worse’, still had hope that she could be restored to health. She reached out to touch but the hem of Jesus’ robe and she was instantly well! Here was someone who seemed to have no possible prospect of leading a healthy life – and she, too, may have considered suicide as her only way out of such misery. But Jesus’ record of healing gave her hope that there was another way to wholeness – a spiritual one. Jesus acknowledged her healing with the loving words, “Daughter [of a loving Creator], your faith has made you whole”.
And, a modern day example of restoration after all hope was gone is shared in this published account. Susan had been diagnosed with incurable stomach cancer and, without hope of a cure, had decided to take her life. When her suicide attempt failed and she found herself recovering in the hospital, she decided to turn wholeheartedly to God. Ideas from her years in a Christian Science Sunday School flooded into thought. Feeling encouraged, Susan persisted in regular study of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy over the next many months. Stories from the Bible about those who had turned wholeheartedly to God for help and had found healing encouraged her and she knew in her heart this was her only hope of ever regaining her health. She was completely healed and there has been no recurrence of the symptoms.
Living life without hope of a cure or relief of suffering isn’t the only option. Jesus showed us that a deeper understanding of God can bring both hope and healing to even the most desperate cases. And, if we can grasp this, we won’t need to see death as a friend.
This article can be read in Metroland Media news sites. Read here in Our WindsorON.