The story of Tim Bowers ended tragically last week . It wasn't one of those beautiful fairy tales in which the good guy triumphs, the villain hobbles away, and the last page concludes with "and they lived happily ever after" and a large, flourishing "The End." Tim Bowers' story took a turn no one--least of all he--expected. In a heartbreaking moment, he fell 16 feet while hunting, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. The story of his life was forever changed--nothing would ever be easy or even happy again. But with his mental faculties fully intact, his life story wasn't over!
To a culture that murders helpless babies in the womb, though, his life story was over. To a society that increasingly scoffs at the helpless, his story had no meaningful contributions left. To a world that has granted terminally ill patients the right to commit suicide, his story had ended.
This man would never be able to hunt, never be able to hold his baby, never be able to walk, and never be able to feed himself. Doctors said that he might not ever be able to breath on his own. Yet he would still be able to converse, kiss, laugh, think, debate, cry, and live. His life was still precious!
There is a time to cease artificially keeping someone alive--but this is a decision arrived at slowly and carefully. I will never know what caused the Bowers family to consider taking out the breathing tube only 24 hours after the accident or why, when they took Tim Bowers out of sedation to ask him, Tim consented to going off the ventilator. I grieve with them for the loss of this precious life.
And I grieve for my country that extols such a decision. When we end a life and praise the "control" it brings to an out-of-control situation, we set ourselves up as God. When we end a life because of its messiness, we take selfishness to its farthest possibility. When we end a life based on future possibilities, we react in irrational fear.
God has created each human being in His own image! Europe and North America--I will take the 95% of down syndrome babies you are aborting ! They are precious lives! The 673 Oregonians alone  who have committed physician-assisted suicide were precious lives from whom my generation had so much to learn about courage, love, and selfless sacrifice. To the hospital who refused to treat a baby until threatened with legal action--is this now survival of the fittest at its finest ?
Oh, precious lives! Who will speak and defend and care for them?
Weigh in: At what point is life support artificially keeping someone alive and when should it be pulled? Do you agree with Tim Bowers' decision?
 Paralyzed Hunter Chooses to be Taken off Life Support
 Caroline Mansfield, Suellen Hopfer, Theresa M Marteau (1999). "Termination rates after prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, spina bifida, anencephaly, and Turner and Klinefelter syndromes: a systematic literature review". Prenatal Diagnosis 19 (9): 808–12. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0223(199909)19:9<808::AID-PD637>3.0.CO;2-B. PMID 10521836. This is similar to 90% results found by Britt, David W; Risinger, Samantha T; Miller, Virginia; Mans, Mary K; Krivchenia, Eric L; Evans, Mark I (1999). "Determinants of parental decisions after the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome: Bringing in context". American Journal of Medical Genetics 93 (5): 410–16. doi:10.1002/1096-8628(20000828)93:5<410::AID-AJMG12>3.0.CO;2-F. PMID 10951466.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Trynes
Photo Credit: Christopher Walker