Life-and-Death Decisions

Life-and-Death Decisions

In a fallen world, why are we so surprised by death?


Advances in medical technology have helped more and more people survive extraordinary physical trauma. A Christianity Today editorial quotes Leon Kass, former chair of the President's Council on Bioethics and professor at the University of Chicago, who argues that "victory over mortality is the unstated but implicit goal of modern medical science." Kass writes, "In parallel with medical progress, a new moral sensibility has developed that serves precisely medicine's crusade against mortality: Anything is permitted if it saves life, cures disease, prevents death." What issues are involved in life-and-death medical decisions? Beyond that, is our emphasis on extending life at all costs biblical? If not, why not, and how do we begin to face life and death as God's people?

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 90:10–12; Psalm 139:15–16; Ecclesiastes 3:1–8; Luke 6:6–11; Philippians 1:18b–26; James 5:14–16


• Identify the Current Issue

• Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: God, who is the author of life, defines the span of life in every individual.

Teaching point two: God cares about alleviating suffering.

Teaching point three: Faithful prayer using a variety of methods and styles can have a profound effect on critical medical situations.

Teaching point four: Medical technology can advance God's sovereign purpose—or it can promise more than it can deliver.

• Apply Your Findings

• Recommended Resources


• : "Go Gently into That Good Night," a Christianity Today editorial; "Boundaries in Grief: Why medicine should never trade places with a time to properly mourn," by Amy Julia Becker, CHRISTIANITYTODAY.COM.

Total number of pages

  • Acrobat PDF Document
  • SMG-BS0115-D