None of us can avoid or revert death, but we are always responsible for our own attitude to it. The films “My Last Days” and “The Suicide Tourist” tell the stories of two terminally ill persons who chose opposite approaches to dying. Zach Sobiech, a seventeen-year teenager with sarcoma, decided to live a full-blooded life and developed a passion for music in the last months of his life, while fifty-nine year old Craig Ewert went to Switzerland in order to end his sufferings in assisted suicide. Evidently, the approach of Zach Sobiech is more consistent with the Christian morality, which teaches us not to lose heart, whatever the circumstances are.
It is obvious from the videos that Craig Ewert and Zach Sobiech differ in their attitude to life as much as they do in their attitude to death. Zach is a lighthearted and outgoing person who likes to help others and has a lot of interests. Of course, immediately after he was diagnosed with sarcoma, he was morally devastated, but after a few months in hospital, he plucked up his courage to live his life as a normal teenager, only in a more meaningful and creative way. Though this information is not provided in the video explicitly, it suggests that the Zach’s family confess Christianity and have strong moral values. Zach is described by his family as a compassionate, empathetic, ever-smiling person, who enjoys helping people. It is remarkable that, after the diagnosis was made, Zach helped the family to become stronger and more friendly. Moreover, he has a positive impact on thousands of Internet viewers who find his experience inspiring. Therefore, he has managed to bring more value to the world around him after he learned about his oncoming death. Also, he says that it has changed his own personality to the better as he is learning to be more and more accepting every day.
Craig Ewert took an opposite approach, choosing to die voluntarily on the day he had defined for himself. In his religious outlook, Craig is an agnostic, which means he does not believe people can know anything exactly about God. This way, he is sure that no one knows what waits for people after death, but he nonetheless views it as a transition to a “new journey”. Craig admits that he has not had enough time to make a lot of things in his life, but does not try to make up for it, as his condition seems unbearable to him.
Actually, he had not thought about suicide until his disease started progressing at a fast pace. Though Craig’s primary motivation for suicide is the desire to stop his own suffering, he also does not want to be a burden to his family any more, which suggests that he is deeply affectionate toward them. Craig explicitly contests the Christian prohibition of suicide, saying that people are “playing God” when they use technology to sustain lives artificially. Hence, in his view, they have no right to prohibit suicide for people who would die anyways in natural conditions. One possible counterargument that believers might express is that technology and medicine are a gift of God, not the evidence of people’s rebellion against His laws. Finally, according to this logic, Craig could have chosen to die in another way, by refusing from technology, but he chose a less painful method to do it.
I am convinced that the approach of Zach Sobiech is more courageous and more reasonable that that of Craig Ewert as he chose to use the last months of his life to help his family and inspire people around him. Nonetheless, Craig Ewert should not be judged, as his medical condition was much worse than that of Zach, and none of us can be sure what we would do if we had to bear his sufferings. From the perspective of Christian morality, any kind of suicide is wrong as it is only God who can decide when to grant life and when to take it away. We need to tolerate our sufferings and use the time that God mercifully gives us to repent in our sins and to do good to others. The approach of Zach shows us that every minute of our life is precious and we should never hasten to stop it, whatever it takes.