The DR. OZ Show, as part of its plans for an upcoming episode on assisted suicide, has sported a snazzy survey on the show’s website titled “Should you have the right to die?.” The survey puts forward sly socratic-like questions that inevitably lead the participant to affirm that one has the “right to die,” that one’s family should support one’s “right to die,” and that doctors should “assist” in helping patients end their lives.

Can there be any other reasonable response than to agree with culture-of-death advocates and their argument for one’s “right to die?” Yes, but only if one agrees to live in a world turned “upside down” (see Acts 17.6).

1. Should you have the right to die? Yes. No. Undecided. Please explain your position.

The answer must be “No” since human life is fundamentally a GIFT, not primarily a legal RIGHT that one can toy with as he or she desires. Since every newly created person receives human life in the mode of “gift,” it should be treasured as such and should not be reduced to the mode of “right.” To treat “life” more as a “right” than as a “gift” would be as disastrous as a lover who treated his beloved’s affection and intimacy as a “right” instead of as a “gift.”

In the end, every human being imbued with the gift of life is a unique unrepeatable person with immeasurable value. Each human existence should be treasured as such.

2. Should your family have a say in your right to die? Yes. No. Undecided. Please explain your position.

Again, the answer must be “No” since no one has a “right” to die. Human life is fundamentally a gift. No one has ever received life on account of some preexisting worth or merit. Life is pure gift that has been freely bestowed. The family is the place where one’s gift of life is cherished and nourished. Family members should help one to LIVE, not to DIE. When the time naturally comes for one to die, the family should support the one dying with love, honour, and respect, to the very end, to the last breath.

3. Do you believe doctors should assist in helping patients end their lives? Yes. No. Undecided. Please explain your position.

Yet again, the answer must be “No” since doctors must also treat human life as a gift. The healing profession is for the sake of helping to restore a patient to health. If this cannot be achieved for the patient, then a doctor can at least help the sick person to deal with his or her pain and suffering. The doctor who prescribes death as a solution acts contrary to what the art of healing is all about.

“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone,” reads the Hippocratic Oath taken by ancient doctors who swore to practice the art of healing ethically.

“I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan,” the Oath made the doctors swear.

4. Have you discussed your right to die with your family? Yes. No. Undecided. Please explain your position.

Yet again, the answer must be “No” since there is no such “right” as the “right to die.” Something that does not exist cannot really be discussed with one’s family. All that can be discussed are various scenarios and healthcare options that will best aid a dying family member to lovingly, peacefully, and naturally depart from this world.

The family is the primary social institution where one lives the fullness and richness of a human existence. In relation to the gift of human life, the family’s role is to nurture, safeguard, and cherish a human life until the the time comes for one to depart from this world through natural causes.

At no time must the family willingly play an active part in ending the life of one of its members. To do so would be to betray the family’s very reason for existence. To play an active role in ending someone’s life is false compassion, and even murder. The family is not the theatre for murder, but the sanctuary for the treasure of human life.