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Take One Off Of Life Support

What would God want us to do if we are asked to take a loved one off of life support? Is there scriptures telling us not to do it even though the person is terminal? Please give scripture reference to your responses.

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 ---Donna on 2/1/08
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Many have been on oxygen more than 21 days. So I find it odd one wants to terminate that soon. Many have lived after being vented for 40 plus days. Praying for recovery.
---kathr4453 on 11/7/20

My spouse has been on a vent for 21 days, some family members want to remove life support-my will is to allow Christ to make that decision
---paula_Hunter on 11/3/20

It is definitely a moral issue. Paul says, To die is gain." Jesus says,"He who tries to save his life will lose it." Some have Advance Directives. Some refuse food and hunger strike themselves to death refusing sustenance. One you wish to save. Another you don't. I would not want to save myself, but my daughters, I would.
---mike4879 on 1/5/17

I don't know of any Scripture support.

A terminally ill person is one that would NOT survive even with basic food/IV fluids support.

The organs will not process the nutrients.

Terri Schiavo was killed because her body organs did process nutrients given to her.

The RCC states extra ordinary means of support isn't required.

If a breathing machine is the ONLY reason the person is alive, then it is considered extra ordinary means

Let God decide. I have seen patients removed from life support and lived with only tube feeding.

Pray and trust in God on His decision.

If God wants the person to live, he or she WILL live.

Trust and accept God's Will in all things including life or death.
---Nicole_Lacey on 9/19/16

"Love to no more about God
---Ignacio_campos on 9/16/16"

Than simply take the time to read His Word.
---joseph on 9/18/16

Love to no more about God
---Ignacio_campos on 9/16/16

Hello,shira,mary,thankyou for your kindness it's been long time ago..was 'n hospital & rehab. One year I cud not speak English & cud not walk for long time. I have a seizure disorder fr beating 'n the head..also,bipolar too. From result of that assault.the detectives came again over & over the girl was who yes! I cud nev'r forget her!In all that year they had attack 10 people they kept watch who live alone,etc..they were a gang,actually,at that time I was with my husband but,he hardly home always out race track. They decide on me fr watch me go to cash my check..yes,they were apprehended. There were people saw me ....whole time.good came out of it along with the bad... I was always hospital with history!
---ELENA on 5/5/12

Elena I am so sorry you went thru that. I hope they are found and prosecuted to the hilt. God bless you and I am glad He brought you back.
---Shira4368 on 5/5/12

Wow Elena! I'm soooo sorry you went through that honey but so glad you came out of your coma! God bless you hon, hugs, Mary
---Mary on 5/5/12

Hello,I can answer this 1 real easy!'n New York City, I am on my way home fr work,lived 7 yrs. nev'r had a problem 'till a young girl 1a.m. tears, tells me she is lost "please help me!" so, I try to help her..In short,5 people with her, do all horrible you can imagine,rob me leave me for dead..police find me,taken to hospital / later go into coma from june/july it'summer when I got attacked/life support on ELENA !!! I wake up on my own after it taken off! it is Christmas Day! and so,thank God for his mercy & love and his power... God bless you bro.Eloy I am with you on this one.
---ELENA on 5/5/12

It all depends on how much life insurance the person has and if you're the benificiary.
---Jim on 2/15/12

The only way I would ever dream of such is if there is no brain activity for more than 4 or 5 days. I don't know if I could even do it then.
---shira4368 on 2/15/12

My husband has stipulated that if he's ever comatose, he wants 30 days on life support. I pray it never comes to that obviously but I would know his wishes if he ever is in that situation.
---Mary on 2/15/12


As Ecclesiastes writes, there is a time to live, and a time to die. There is a great difference between euthanasia (actively killing someone) and removing extraordinary life support measures (like breathing tubes, intravenous feeds, etc.)

People always died natural deaths when their bodies failed. Now that we have technology, does that obligate us to change the rules and keep people alive (and often in pain) beyond thier natural lifespans? Whether we should extend life, or allow God-given natural laws take their course, is seldom an easy and cut-and-dried decision.


Unplugging a machine can also mean one believes God can heal without needing machines if he wants to, and puts it in his hands.
---StrongAxe on 2/15/12

match 3, my sister had a heart valve replacement in 1993 so God must have wanted her to live. I think we can all hasten our death if we wanted to do so. She was also on life support for 9 days but she had her brain function.
---shira4368 on 2/15/12

My belief is that no one has the right to take someone else's life, so in essence, I do not believe in Living Wills. For those of you who do not believe in life support, what are your views on dialysis, transplantation, stem cell therapy, angioplasty, heart valve replacements,and the list goes on. Each of these are all forms of life support. God put each of us here for a purpose ... doctors to heal, teachers to teach, ministers to spread the word. God knew the hour, minute, second we would be born, and He knows the hour, second, minute we will die. It is not our decision to make when someone's life should end.
---match3 on 2/15/12

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pallitivecare has accurately described what life support is NOT meant to be.
I'd like to say what it IS meant to be. It is intended to keep vital functions going while a person RECOVERS from a life endangering condition. Thousands are enjoying full and satisfying lives because of "life support" they received when needed.
If your body systems begin to fail, but your prognosis (chance of recovery) is good or even hopeful, you WILL be put on life support. As Eloy says, medical people have no choice. .

A DNR (do not resuscitate) order is honored ONLY if you are frail and elderly, or suffering a terminal disease.
I hope it will be increasingly honored when a person is a persistent vegetative state (which is irreversible)
---Donna66 on 5/2/11

Doctors take the hippocratic oasth for a reason, euthanasia is sin.
---Eloy on 5/1/11

This is a tough question. I was faced with this situation quite a few years ago. Our dear mother was on life support. We met with the doctor and learned the real truth of her sickness. She would never recover and have a good quality of life again, according to her doctor. Doctors are not God but they are trained and get their talents from God. But if a loved one is too far gone it is best to pull the plug.But I would hate to be the one to make this type decision. Common sense would dictate we do this, but common sense sometimes get in the way, when it comes to our loved ones. My mother expired on life support. The family was divided on what to do. The problem was resolved when she passed on life support. The decision was made for the family.
---Robyn on 5/1/11

Who is terminal? There are people that have come out of comas and so-called "vegetative states" which were on life support systems, and today are very grateful that they were not unplugged because they were not strong enough to live on their own without the machines. If you unplug the machines then your actions manifest that you do not believe that God Almighty will or that he is not able to make the incapacitated person well again.
---Eloy on 5/1/11

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I work in hospice AND am a born-again Christian. Life support was never intended to keep people alive who are in a persistent vegetative state, have a terminal illnes or who are in their late stage of life. "Pulling the plug" NEVER kills anyone - illnesses and mortality do. Miracles are extremely rare among the dying, but if God wanted a dying person to live, they would live even after "pulling the plug." There are NO scriptures that promote sustaining artificial life. The question is not whether someone should die, it's HOW one should die - in a prolonged, suffering state or in a peaceful one.
---palliativecare on 5/1/11

No where in scripture does it tell us, hint to us, etc. that we were ever to artificially be kept breathing and heart electrically stimulated to keep beating. There is a season to die. Let us do it with dignity. I maintain a do not attempt to resusitate order. And I mean it.
---dan on 5/12/08

nurseroberts, I have no fear of death which is already conquered in the Christian. We are buried with Christ by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised up from the dead, even so we also walk in newness of life. Thanks be to God, which gives us born-agains the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed and holy, he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but we will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him a thousand years.
---Eloy on 4/25/08

.nurseroberts, there are also prisons made for those whom break the law and kill people as dr.jack kevorkian has, and I am sure if you choose to kill also, that you likewise could be accomodated with a prison cell.
---Eloy on 4/25/08

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Eloy, why are you so afraid of death?
---NurseRobert on 4/25/08

.nurseroberts, NO WHERE, NO, NOT ANY WHERE will you find people born with clothes, therefore should we not wear them since God did not naturally give them to people at birth and they are manmade? NO WHERE, NO, NOT ANY WHERE do infants feed and care for themselves therefore should we not nourish them? because by your sinful reasoning, if God wants them to live they will live on their own without man doing their part.
---Eloy on 4/24/08

I am a chooser of life rather than death including the living death of being kept alive in a shell of a body, when the spirit has already left the body. Since we do not have the supernatural sense that dogs have, we cannot tell when that moment is. We have to act in accordance with our intuition. After a certain time the body will die naturally from infections etc. quietly slipping from unconsiousness, into the next life. Let them go and stop pumping them with fluids to keep them going.
---frances008 on 4/24/08

NOWHERE, NO, NOT ANYWHERE in the New Testament will you find Jesus Commanding any body to pull the plug ---Eloy on 4/24/08

NOWHERE, NOT ANYWHERE in the Bible will you find IVs, feeding tubes and respirators. These are man made. If God wills it, they will survive with or without the machines.

Pulling the plug and putting a gun to their head is NOT the same thing.
---Nurserobert on 4/24/08

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Theres the parable of the Good Samaritan and I guess the man who set him up did so making sure he had everything payed for in order to get back on his feet so to speak. Faith without works is dead and so I'd say if at all it is possible keep your loved one supported with Prayer Never Ceasing plus Life Support,until God will be done.
---Carla5754 on 4/24/08

.nurseroberts, What I have posted has every thing to do with living. Jesus Christ also not only gives the plenteous life, but also he restores life, and raises the dead, even NOW, but he also Commands us to do likewise. NOWHERE, NO, NOT ANYWHERE in the New Testament will you find Jesus Commanding any body to pull the plug and end a life which he has created, but you will find just the opposite: Go you all, into all the world and preach the gospel, heal the sick, and raise the dead. period.
---Eloy on 4/24/08

nurseroberts, how very wrong and sinful it is to take a person off life support, off of a respirator, because they were injured or impared to where they are not strong enough to breathe on their own yet. I am sure that all the millions of people whom have gotten better and they no longer need a respirator are grateful that no nonChristian "unplugged" them resulting in their death. The glory is in the praying, anointing and laying on of hands, and then watching God heal: it is not in the killing.
---Eloy on 4/24/08

How awful it must be to be trapped, unable to move, in your body. I have had a paralyzing drug given to me, so I know a little bit about it. Death would be far preferable than that. However, God's will be done. I am not in favour of prolonging life artificially.
---frances008 on 4/24/08

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Eloy, do you make it a point to misquote scripture. This scripture has nothing to do with sustaining life by artificial means, but of eternal life with God through Jesus.

You seem more the type that is afraid of death of the physical body and therefore must try everything to stay alive. I pity you.
---NurseRobert on 4/23/08

But then, as you off quote:

"You will believe whatever you desire..."
---NurseRobert on 4/23/08

.nurseroberts, "A night thief comes not except that he steal, slay, and devastate: and I am come that they have life, and have more plenteously. For whom God so loved the world, so as the Son of him, the single-sired he gave, that all in who obey him be not abandoned, but have life eternal." John 10:10+ 3:16. Therefore, you nurseroberts, stay far far away from me.
---Eloy on 4/21/08

Eloy, I also do not believe in euthanasia (executions... well, thats for another blog), but I do believe there is a time to step aside and let God work. God never promised we could live forever, but I deal with families who feel their 95 year old mother should have every medical intervention known. Thats not God's will, that's man's will.
---NurseRobert on 4/21/08

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nurseroberts, I do not believe in euthanasia, executions, nor ending a persons life, but instead I believe and know that God both heals the incureable and also can miraculously restore any life to soundness. For generations medical practitioners used to take the Hippocratic Oath:..."I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death."
---Eloy on 4/21/08

Death is rebirth into a better life for those who believe in Jesus Christ, and for those who led a godly life. We have a right to die, and just because today everyone thinks death is unnatural, they should get close up to it and see that death is a friend. Our soul's home. An end of tears and heartbreak.
---frances008 on 4/20/08

Eloy, do you believe that turning off a machine is killing?
---NurseRobert on 4/20/08

I work in a job where I see this all the time. Everyone should have a living will made out, specifying what you want done or not done.

Nothing is sadder than seeing family fight with each other about what mom or dad wanted.
---NurseRobert on 4/20/08

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I do not believe in killing.
---Eloy on 4/20/08

Ecclesiastes 3.1-4 'There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal , a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.....' You must decide if it is a time to switch off. I think so.
---frances008 on 4/19/08

That's one tough question. That is also the value of having a Living Will. Not sure the Bible addresses this issue. Here's my advice: Don't spin the Bible to state what you or some well meaning friend want, listen very, very closly for what the Lord says, take the advice of medical persons seriously, try to find someone who has had to do this and ask them for their advice. Don't feel guilty, or let others make you feel quilty regardless of your decision.
---wivv on 4/19/08

This is a tough question. I mean, the Bible does teach against this, but if a person's pretty much gone, then it's time to make that tough choice. If there's still hope, then don't give up on that.
---tabit8547 on 4/8/08

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Blessings Donna, I had to make this decision about my 33 year old son in Oct 2006. His body was full of cancer, and the doctors gave him a 5% chance to live. I talked to my Pastor and I also prayed to God for guidance. When they disconnected the machine, he was dead in about 7 minutes. He had no brain activity. I know he would not have wanted to live in a vegetative state. He is with Jesus now, and I will see him again one day. God bless!
---Cynthia on 2/6/08

If the person is lucid, then that person should be asked. They may be ready to go on.

But if there's no brain function, then that person is already dead. Life support should only be kept going if another's life, such as an unborn child's, depends on it.

For all other cases, one should ask what would be most merciful to the patient.

Death in its time is not something to be feared. After all, no one gets to Heaven without dying first.
---Nancy on 2/4/08

John, If it is Gods business (life & death) then why put the person on life support in the first place?
---sue on 2/3/08

John...I was referring only to life or death regarding God's will. God alone decides whether someone dies once they are taken off life support. I too have seen God heal people who were not expected to live.
---Susie on 2/2/08

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This is a good example of why we all need to have legal documents in place that show the medical professionals what "our" wishes are at a time like this. It is so hard for the families to make this decision.
---Susie on 2/2/08

It is difficult to find scriptural reference for either sides of this issue. There is no scripture that will directly reference weather one should use technological assistance to sustain another's life beyond what would occur otherwise. What would your loved one have wanted?
---Chris on 2/2/08

1. This must be just about the most difficult decision that some people are called to make. Modern technology creates a dilemma that used not to exist. We could argue that without the machine the person would be dead anyway so if they die when it is switched off that was God's timing. We could also argue that we use modern technology all the time - Xrays, blood tests etc., and the treatments indicated as necessary by these tests, without which many would also die.
---RitaH on 2/2/08

2. I think that we each, individually, have to decide how much modern technology we are prepared to accept to enhance or try to prolong our lives. I don't know what decision I would make if the patient were a loved one. My family are aware that I would not wish to be a patient hooked up to a machine for what could turn out to be years whilst loved ones cannot get on with their lives. For families who are Christians prayer is the only way and then wait for God's answer.
---RitaH on 2/2/08

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Lesson learned. Save the family the grief and make sure that you have orders not to have any extreme life saving measures. If your salvation is sure, go in peace.
---dan on 2/2/08

I think it is cruel to keep people in suspended animation as it were. It is as much a right to die as it is to be born, I mean natural death not suicide. Not euthanasia. Mima is correct IMHO.
---frances on 2/2/08

God tells us to chose life. Terminal? People have pulled out of that so many times how can we unplug them and not wonder if a miracle was going to happen at the last moment? We are told to choose life.I think God would expect us to do what we can until he takes them home. It's not our responsibility to be the judges of whether someone is terminal or not. That's God's business and we should stay out of it.
---john on 2/1/08

I prayed for a so called "terminal" patient who was on his last breath from liver failure. The family had been called in. His complexion was yellowish green and he was bleeding internally and was on intravenous. They were going to "pull the plug" We prayed, God raised him up within a day and he walked out of the hospital within 3 days, healthy. God doesn't give us the right to purposely let people die just because we think they are not going to make it.
---john on 2/1/08

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Susie."if God wants it to happen it will"?
That kind of phylosophy isn't Godly. Did God want the Israelites to make a golden calf and worship it? No. Did they do it? Yes. Did God get what he wanted? No. He leaves the decisions up to us. It is our choice. If we unplug a person we are choosing to let that person die. Although it may seem more humane to do it,I don't think we have the Scriptural okay from God.
---john on 2/1/08

Donna....God is in control of life and death. A machine is not. If God wants him to stay alive after the machines are disconnected it will happen.
---Susie on 2/1/08

Honor your father and mother.

Whatever they want, wanted, honor it. Long term life support can become an artificial means of keeping someone alive for years.
If your father made his wishes clear before it reached this point, honor what your father wanted.
---Michelle on 2/1/08

Ecclesiastes 3:2 says," A time to be born, and a TIME TO DIE, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted," perhaps this answer is too hard for you but nevertheless it is a scriptural answer.
---Mima on 2/1/08

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