Life Essay Contest Winners5 min read

The following essays were the 1st and 2nd place winners of the 2023 Lutherans for Life of Michigan Essay Contest. They were originally published in the LFL newsletter, Lifelines.

Physician Assisted Suicide: Killing the Living

By Madison Ford, St. Lorenz Lutheran School

(1st place winner in Michigan; 2nd place winner in national LFL essay contest)

“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10). Some people do not live by this Bible verse. Many believe that ending their lives before they die a natural death that God would want is fine. Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is the voluntary termination of someone’s life by lethal substances given by a physician (Morrow). It is vital to be informed about why PAS is a problem, why it happens so often, and what Christians can do to help the situation.

PAS should be stopped because of the problems it causes. Firstly, the act of PAS is a sin because it devalues human life which is a gift from God. As Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” PAS puts those who are handicapped, elderly, and mentally ill in a vulnerable position (Smith). Finally, the biggest problem caused by PAS is that once this option becomes available to more people, doctors will not be able to stop the spread of suicides this way (Allen).

In order to understand why PAS exists, it is important to learn why people choose this option. Thousands choose PAS because of mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression (Smith). When someone is diagnosed with a life-ending disease, such as cancer, they might choose PAS because they do not want to suffer. To stop PAS, people need to be educated on how to help those who may suffer from illnesses or disorders.

As Christians, it is essential to know how to help stop PAS cases. An important way to help people is to provide hope to those who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease because many times doctors are wrong about how long someone will live (WebMD). For example, my aunt had blood cancer and lived for seven years longer than the doctors had predicted. Instead of choosing PAS, she had the opportunity to live the rest of her life to the fullest.

Ecclesiastes 3:1–2a says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.” PAS is not the way God would plan for lives to end, so in order to stop PAS, learning about why it is a problem, why people choose it, and how to prevent it is crucial. God is the ultimate Creator and it is vital that Christians take action and follow His command.


The Unborn Are Human

By Daniel Hudeck, Trinity Lutheran Church in Reese

(2nd place winner)

“Each unborn life isn’t a potential person, it’s a person with potential” (Roman et al.). Everyone can agree that it is unconscionable to kill a toddler. However, our society finds it acceptable to end the life of the unborn. Why? What is the difference between a toddler and an unborn human being? Perhaps it is because some people do not view the unborn as human beings. The unborn are most certainly human. “According to the science of embryology, from the earliest stages of development you were a distinct, living, and whole human being” (Klusendorf and Feldhahn). Only four differences distinguish the unborn from a toddler or adult and those differences do not affect their value. The unborn are human and have great value!

Size is the first difference. We would find it ridiculous to consider a large person more valuable than a smaller person. Yet this reasoning happens during abortion when a toddler’s life is protected while a smaller unborn child’s life is not. Level of development is the next difference. Each person has a unique set of abilities which vary based upon their age and situation, but this does not determine their inherent worth. Environment is the third difference. Are people in different places more valuable than others? No! How can your value change with a seven-inch trip though the birth canal? God declares us valuable before we were born. “Before I [God] formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Degree of dependency is the last difference. We are all dependent on others to some degree for our basic needs. For example, we do not grow all our own food and make all our own clothing. As Paul explains in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve, we each have a unique and important role to play and need each other to function well.

The unborn are definitely human and the four qualities that make them different from a toddler or full-grown adult do not affect their value. “Just as I am” in my size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency, I am valuable to God. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Each unique human being has value and a purpose designed by God before we were even born. How much potential has been missed because of abortion?

Join us on Wednesday, November 8, for the Michigan March For Life. It will begin with a rally at the State Capitol in Lansing at 11 a.m. and end at about 1 p.m.

Photo of hospital patient © KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock; graphic of unborn child © Cinefootage Visuals/iStock


Subscribe to Blog Button

About the Author

This blog was published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

More by This Author

Stephen Starke - August 12, 2023

Great essays! Good arguments for life and thought-provoking as well! God be praised for your fine words!