Pulling the Plug

Pulling the Plug

When is it okay to let go of the terminally ill?


At issue today is when life ends. At first glance, the Christian's high view of life may indicate that any and all steps should be taken to keep a terminally ill person alive as long as possible. But is this really the most loving, humane, and godly thing to do? How might Christians have been influenced by a secular view of death?

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:7, 3:19; Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 27:24–25; Job 1:20–22; Proverbs 1:11–12, 15–16; Ecclesiastes 9:3–10; Daniel 3:13–18; Matthew 5:21–22, 26:6–13, 26–29, 36–46, 51–56; Mark 12:30–31; Acts 7:54–60, 17:24–28; Romans 5:12, 13:8–10, 14:7–9; 1 Corinthians 13:4–7, 15:24–26; 2 Timothy 4:6–8; Hebrews 9:27; James 1:5; Revelation 21:3–4


• The Issue

Sample questions:

How is the view of death changing in our society?

How do the attitudes and beliefs of most doctors affect their approach to treating the terminally ill?

• The Scriptures

Sample Scriptures:

What perspective do the following verses give to life on earth?: Psalm 39: 4-7, John 11:25–26, John 14:2–4

Read Genesis 2:7; Job 1:20–22; Acts 17:24–28; and Romans 14:7–9. What control do we have over our own lives?

• The Application

Sample application questions:

Divide into small groups of three or four. Discuss how you would feel and act if you were (1) the patient, (2) the doctor, and (3) a family member in each of the following cases.

What new insights have you gained into the issue of medical care for the terminally ill?


The Inevitability of Death, by Rob Roy MacGregor (April 1987, 10 printed pages)

Total number of pages

  • Word Document
  • SMG-CLBS05-D