Nathan the prophet should be taken as an example. David had an affair with Bathsheba, had managed to get her husband killed, married her, and thought there was no scandal. But Nathan was here to school him.
Note what he did, and consider this is what Christ did. He told a parable.
David had a sense of justice, and said that the rich man in the parable was condemned. Then Nathan said that he had just condemned himself. And there would be consequences.
The consequences were not because David would not be restored. Confrontation and repentance were part of his restoration. The consequences were because this had to be seen to be dealt with justly. David was king: his word was law. His orders were to be obeyed. And thus the Lord of hosts schooled him. As he had killed Uriah, so he would not see peace. As he had stolen his wife, so would his wives be stolen.
And he would lose the child.
1But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD, and the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had very many flocks and herds; 3but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. 4Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” 5Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; 6he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
7Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; 8I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. 9Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11Thus says the LORD: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. 12For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan said to David, “Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child that is born to you shall die.”
Now we may tell ourselves that we are far more democratic. Such things do not happen here. We have laws, we are just. We do not condone murder.
But we do, and (Thanks Steve for the link) we are demanding that we get paid for it. Medical Assistance in Dying is euthanasia. Which has a bill in front of a select committee in New Zealand, and that bill has been rejected. Because of the slippery slope into indiscriminate killing.
At least someone in Canada has worked out how to minimise it. Underfund it.
“It’s not sustainable,” says Daws, who describes herself as a “hard-core, passionate-to-the-bone” assisted-dying advocate. Last week alone, she turned down three patients who wanted the service because she couldn’t afford to do it. “It’s not for lack of wanting,” she says, “but it’s financial suicide.”
It may seem insensitive, or gauche, to discuss the financials of assisted dying, but all signs suggest it’s a necessary conversation. It’s no secret that fee codes influence the kind of care patients receive. Doctors paid by the number of cases they do may rush patients through and miss details. And studies have shown that physicians may favour some treatments and procedures that garner bigger payouts. In 2015, for example, researchers from the University of Toronto published a study detailing how financial incentives changed doctors attitudes around cesarean sections. Looking at data from five million hospital records, they found that by doubling compensation for c-sections relative to vaginal deliveries, doctors’ likelihood of delivering the baby via c-section rose by 5.6 percentage points.
Likewise, setting MAID fees well below what doctors are used to earning is a surefire way to discourage them from providing the service. “It feels like a planned disincentive to do the work,” says Dr. Stefanie Green, another assisted-dying provider on Vancouver Island who has recently stopped traveling to offer the service.
Originally, health authorities in B.C. told providers there wasn’t enough money to substantially fund a new service. But the argument is moot in light of findings that outline the potential cost-savings of offering MAID to qualified patients who want it, rather than continuing life-saving treatments and care. According to the Canadian Medical Association, assisted dying could cut health care costs by at least $34.7 million and up to $138.8 million a year in Canada. Both Green and Daws now can’t help but wonder whether the decision to set fees so low was a politically or ethically motivated one.
We are worse than David. We kill babies and elders, and call that right.
And against this, we need to speak truthfully, though it be called hate speech.