1. It is incumbent upon our churches to address the temptations of suicide, assisted suicide and active euthanasia. The greatest deterrent to these evils is to introduce those at risk to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Only then will they experience the abundant and meaningful life that our Lord came to give (John 10:10 “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.”) 

2. In recent years the incidence of suicide, especially among teenagers and young adults has become alarming. We can blame the media’s glorification of alcohol, drugs and sexual promiscuity, but we must see to it that our churches are ready to provide practical help. Perhaps the incidence of suicide can be reduced if we seek to help those in our communities to attain a strong sense of belonging in their families and churches. As Peter tells us, ‘Love covers a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:8) 

Both the Old and New Testaments encourage the building of strong interdependent families in which each family member is treated with dignity as one who has profound value and worth to God. If adequate support by the covenant community of the church, the family and competent pastoral care givers is provided, the mental suffering of loneliness,fear, depression and anguish, which is often more painful than physical suffering, can be alleviated. This support can significantly reduce the number of those at risk for suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. Those who have a strong sense of belonging to family and church which provide love, care and biblical morality are much more secure and are able to cope with suffering far better than those who lack similar nurturing. 

3. We must not deliberately end the life of an individual through medical or any other means. But when the God-given powers of the body to sustain its own life can no longer function and physicians conclude that there is no real hope for recovery even with life support instruments, a Christian may in good conscience withhold heroic measures and “let nature take its course.” To try desperately to maintain the vital signs of one for whom death is imminent is not consistent with a Christian ethic that mandates respect for the dying, as well as for the living. 

4. Families should discuss the option of bringing the irreversibly terminal patient home to die. This will enable the patient, the family, and loved ones to experience the meaning, blessing and convenience of being in the place they are most comfortable and familiar. Often home care is superior to that of an institution. Patients will normally get better attention and have more interaction in their own home. 

Editor Paul Gilchrist lists other benefits. Serious infections that are a hazard in institutions are avoided. The patient will get more rest away from the frequent intrusion of needles, pills, tests, noisy instruments, and other interruptions that often continue twenty-four hours a day. Numerous studies indicate that hospital care, and even intensive care units, provide little or no medical benefit for some conditions.
Careful discernment is needed to determine when to use these facilities and when not to.13

Most communities now have some type of hospice movement. Hospice is an 
agency designed to help patients and/or their families adjust to the idea of a loved one having a terminal illness. This group of dedicated individuals serves as an aid —physically, emotionally, and psychologically—to help individuals cope with the process of dying. Our local churches are encouraged to participate in this much needed ministry. 

5. As the statesman Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We urge Christians to make known in the marketplace their convictions o the value of and respect for human life. As Christians, we should make this biblical position known by whatever means possible as we seek to be salt and light to our culture in the present confused state of affairs surrounding euthanasia, suicide and assisted suicide. By God’s grace we may be able to help shape public 
opinion and formulate appropriate legislation regarding medical ethics and practices that will be in harmony with the teachings of the Bible.