Proclaiming Hope and New Life to the Dying: Suicide and Pastoral Care
This chapter considers the nature of pastoral ministry to the suffering and dying by first reviewing the guidelines proposed in "Euthanasia and Pastoral Care". There has been a growing trend in pastoral theology to tolerate self-execution by those in despair or grave suffering. These guidelines are reviewed and examined because they express very well the theological views and perspectives of many who support rational suicide, and also because its arguments and principles will soon enter into the American churches as the suicide debate develops in the United States. The chapter then presents a more fully authentic Christian approach to providing pastoral care for those contemplating suicide than that proposed by this task force. Just as Christ allowed himself to fall under its sway, he allows people to fall into its grip, but he also calls people to place our faith in him and trust in him so that he can lead us through it to a new life.