In Light of Coronavirus: What Makes a Human Life Valuable?

Photo courtesy of Marcelo Leal via Unsplash.

A global pandemic without enough life-support equipment is the type of scenario you’d expect to see in an ethics debate. But when the hypothetical becomes reality, first responders are expected to make life-or-death decisions.

In the current COVID-19 crisis, each hospital is approaching the situation differently. Some say it’s first-come, first-served when it comes to life-sustaining ventilators. Others are directing the most resources towards patients who have the best chance of survival. Still others are taking additional factors into account such as how many children a patient has or the essential nature of a patient’s occupation.

Such decisions are striking different moral chords, and no one envies the agonizing situations these doctors and other frontline workers never wanted to face.

But it is also making society as a whole examine the broader question: What determines the worth and value of a human life?

Eric Verstraete, president and CEO of Life Matters Worldwide has a few thoughts: “At the end of the day, life comes from God, life starts at conception, and life is valued all the way until natural death. That’s what we believe.

“Whether we’re old or we’re young, we all are made completely in the image of God. That’s where we gain our value — not from our skills or from our abilities. Are those skills and abilities that people have, are they coveted at different times in our history and different times in our world? Absolutely. But that does not make someone more or less valuable.”

In the midst of a pandemic, what does it mean for believers to be the Church and affirm the value of life at this time?

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for people who are solitary shut-ins to still feel connected and loved.
  • Ask the Lord to be near families and friends who have a loved one in the hospital.
  • Pray for people to turn to Jesus in this crisis.
  • Pray for first responders and hospital workers to have wisdom as they handle COVID-19 patients.