Focus on the Family is dedicated to defending the sanctity of human life. Every human, in any condition from the single cell stage of development to natural death, is made in God's image and possesses inestimable worth. Because we believe that each human life is significant and unique, the taking of innocent life is a role specifically relegated to God, not man.
Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia violate the sanctity of human life, so we oppose both.
Thanks to developments in medical technology, many Americans are living longer and healthier lives. Today, patients diagnosed with diseases and conditions that once were fatal now have a fighting chance to survive due to a variety of medical interventions and treatments.
People living with terminal illness deserve more than the offer of a physician to facilitate their death. They merit true compassion. Focus on the Family encourages accessing expert palliative care and comfort care — treating the symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible during the natural dying process. Palliative care differs from acute care in that it becomes appropriate when aggressive therapies are no longer beneficial to the patient and there is no longer an attempt to cure the disease.
We need to remove the barriers that prevent patients from receiving available treatments for pain and other symptoms — not alleviate the safeguards that protect patients from psychological or financial coercion to choose an untimely death. Our goal should not be to legalize physician-assisted suicide but rather to adequately provide available means of care so that patients and their families do not feel the need to consider an early death.