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A game of shadows
Readers may remember that a Canadian fashion retailer recently made headlines by celebrating euthanasia and using death as a grotesque marketing campaign. National Post claims that the woman featured in the advertisement did not want to die but felt she had no other option. Jennyfer Hatch, who was just 37, shared in a TV interview in June, "It is far easier to let go than keep fighting". Her primary care physician had moved away and Hatch was bounced between other doctors who were not acquainted with her rare condition.
Canada has been in sharp focus over its loose euthanasia policies, even as it looks to expand the qualifying criteria to include mental ailments. A piece in New Atlantis presents evidence that professionals in this field have a jarring disinterest in protecting the vulnerable from being killed, instead seeing the deaths of those with "poor social supports" as an "extraordinary lever" to save money. Less people, less problems.
Another grim factoid: a new report says that Canada's euthanasia deaths will soon outstrip deaths from COVID. But in our self-determined society which values autonomy and consent as the highest virtue, this makes perfect sense. You can't say killing is health care for long before it is assumed to be the case.
But death is not "beautiful", it is the wage for sin. Yet the spirit of the age is busy convincing the lonely, poor and sick that being dead is better than living without help and hope. And it would appear, people are believing it. Would they choose this if lawmakers were called out for their cruel laws? If we got beside our neighbors with friendship and help? If we gave an account of the hope we have in Christ? It is worth praying about.
Christmas is fast approaching and the image of light and joy, pouring out of the stable into the dark streets of Bethlehem may be just a Hallmark card. But nonetheless, the prophet Isaiah says that the coming of Messiah means
"The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined"
Our human condition is enough for anyone to despair of life. But Jesus birth means forgiveness, hope and resurrection – the light for who are being consumed by the shadow of death.