When Is It Right To Die Review - Highly Recommend

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I live in a state with legalized assisted suicide, so when I saw When Is It Right To Die? by Joni Eareckson Tada up for review I thought it would be a really helpful read. I knew Joni Eareckson Tada is a voice on these subjects that I would truly respect, and I was looking forward to hearing what she had to say.

If you are interested in thinking on the subject of assisted suicide and other end-of-life decisions from a Christian perspective, I HIGHLY recommend this book. This book addresses not only those who might be considering assisted suicide, but those, like me, who are wanting to look at this subject in a God-honoring way.

Joni not only doesn’t preach in this book, but she presents a truly compassionate look at these subjects while remaining uncompromising. She addresses those who may be facing suffering or death with compassion and a challenge to use every day to God’s glory, and she addresses those around these people to consider the situation with compassion and biblical truth. She speaks from personal experience on both sides of these circumstances, and I don’t think you will find a more well-balanced Christian approach to end-of-life decisions than in this book.

As someone who is strongly against assisted suicide, I especially appreciated this book because it made me look at the whole subject with more compassion. Joni challenges you to think about the real people who are facing suffering and death, to put yourself in their shoes, to imagine yourself as their friend, and to consider how you would handle these things in a Christ-honoring way.

I also personally found some of her distinctions in the last section interesting as she addressed end-of-life decisions, and she made me realize I really should sit down and write an Advance Health Care Directive. Even though I’m healthy and don’t expect to die soon, you just never know. People get in care accidents every day, and it’s important to think about the potential healthcare decisions that could be made and how to approach these things in a way that glorifies God, should a difficult ending be part of my story.

I highly recommend this book for every Christian to read. It’s not a happy subject, it’s not one that’s “fun" to read about, but I think it’s important to think about these things from a biblical perspective - both for the sake of those who may be facing these kind of issues, and for ourselves should we, God forbid, face them ourselves on day.

Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Rachel said...

It's definitely wise to think ahead of time about what you would want for healthcare decisions. That became very important to Angel during his years of working in the Burn ICU--he definitely had experience with families making decisions based on their emotions rather on what was really best for the patient. I know one case that really made him sad--where the family pushed for every extreme measure possible, and the patient ending up living in the hospital for a long time and suffering terribly before dying months later. It's hard in this age where so much CAN be done to artificially prolong life (and I think life is incredibly precious!) but there does come a time to not seek such extensive life-saving measures when you're just preserving length of life without any of the good parts of life left--which is a very different thing from medical suicide.

Elizabeth said...

I missed that you had written this. I actually wrote a few posts on this very topic last month, too. I might read this book. We are going through lots of issues with my dad and I'm sure he's probably done all the paperwork so he's not kept hooked up to machines indefinitely, but not assisted suicide either. I think that even without extreme measures people sometimes end up suffering and in pain for years before eventually dying. And like I said, I don't support assisted suicide, so that brings up question of quality of life when someone is terminally ill. I'm sure Joni probably covers that.

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