Is Resuscitation Against God’s Will?

Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show, Patrick fielded a call from Irene who asked two questions. Her first question asked whether babies in the womb have guardian angels, to which Patrick responded that they do.

“It seems that they do,” he said. “The Church’s general opinion, theologically, is that everybody receives a guardian angel. Jesus talked about guardian angels and how they behold God’s face in heaven. And because life begins at conception, the assumption is that you receive your guardian angel when you come into existence.”

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“Okay,” responded Irene. “My second question is when somebody passes away, but somebody brings them back to life, is that going against God’s will?” In other words, when somebody’s breathing stops or they no longer produce a pulse, first responders will often attempt to resuscitate them using CPR, defibrillators, or other compression methods. Irene was asking if somebody is on the brink of death like they’re being called home by God, doesn’t it seem like we’re holding them back from joining God by keeping them alive?

It’s worth noting that somebody is not legally considered dead until all brain activity ceases. That can occur anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes after the heart stops beating or oxygen stops getting sent to the brain. After the brain stops functioning, you are considered dead. But directly prior to that flatline, there is an important window where you can still technically be alive and require resuscitation.

And in those cases where it is possible, Patrick replied that no, we are not counteracting God’s will by resuscitating anybody. He referred to our human nature and reminded Irene of our innate desire to survive and thrive. As humans, it is our baseline instinct to cling to life. We don’t want to die.

If we were to fall into the ocean without knowing how to swim, we wouldn’t simply resign ourselves to the fact that we’re in danger and God must want us to die. Our natural instinct is to begin flailing and keep ourselves afloat long enough for someone to assist us.

“That’s not only true for ourselves, but we also have a natural desire to try and save the lives of other people, unless you’re Planned Parenthood. In that case, you can make a whole lot of money killing other people. But normal people, they seek to help others,” said Patrick.

When someone falls down, what happens? People rush over to see if they’re okay, to help them up, or to help them gather their things. When people get into a serious car accident, usually people don’t just continue driving. They often get out to see if anybody is injured or in danger of becoming injured. It’s a natural and very instinctual thing to preserve life.

When we save somebody from danger or prevent certain death, it is not contrary to God’s will. Innovation and progression in the realms of medicine for the preservation of God’s creatures gives glory to Him. Patrick warned against the adoption of the apathetic fatalism that comes with applying the term “God’s will” to tragic things that may or may not have been avoidable. If God decided that it was the end of a person’s life, He would make it so and there would be nothing we could do about it. But until someone has passed on from this life, we are dutybound to do everything we can to keep them alive as it may also be God’s will that they go on living.

Tune in to The Patrick Madrid Show on weekdays 8am – 11am CT

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.