“Quality of Life”

Yesterday the local news station had the following headline: “Baby Giraffe Dies At Zoo After Breaking Leg”
(http://www.wlwt.com/news/28424249/detail.html). I wondered how an animal could die from breaking a leg– was it an infection? I clicked on the article and saw that the giraffe did not die from natural causes, but that the vets decided to euthanize it “based on the animal’s quality of life.” Other than a broken leg, the animal was fine– it was young, and perhaps it would have been able to compensate for the broken leg and adjust; but we will never know.

It made me angry that people decided to take the life of this animal. Who determines “quality of life”? How far can one take that? Right now there is a distinction between human life and animal life– more value is placed on a human’s life; but is it possible that one day people can look at a severe Alzheimer’s patient and say that he or she does not have “quality of life”? The thought is very scary.

I think of Colossians 1:16, “through him [Jesus] God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him” (NLT). No one but God can determine life or death.

Yes, this baby giraffe was just an animal, but God gave it life. Who are we to determine the “quality of life” of any living thing?

Copyright © 2011 M. Teresa Trascritti

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One comment

  1. RJ Dawson · July 2, 2011

    This is all a matter of mindset. Many people cannot see past the end of their nose and therefore make decisions such as this one. Of course, it was not at all about the giraffe’s quality of life. It was about the care the animal would need that they were not willing to give. The animal would have almost certainly survived. In the wild, probably not. This brings us to the central issue of what the Lord is attempting to show us: All things are possible with God. He performed repeated miracles to show us that all is not lost in such situations, and that with enough faith things can be turned around. The sick can be healed, the dead raised, and our lives can be blessed. Believing for the best is harder than doing nothing and simply letting nature take its course, but allows for LIFE where there is no life. Good post.

    Thanks,
    RJ

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