Thursday, July 9, 2009

Assisted Suicide in Great Britain

There's an interesting article in The Herald wherein the writer, one Anne Johnstone, recounts her epiphany on the subject of assisted suicide. She writes ...
"Why have I changed my mind? The leader writer in me would carefully marshal the intellectual arguments against reform and harvest some key quotes from medical and religious leaders but that would be fundamentally dishonest because this change is primarily heart-felt."
... and goes on to relate the "heart-felt" change came about because of personal experiences.

It's well worth the read, and I finished the essay believing that among assisted suicide advocates once the personal meets the utilitarian there is invariably a change.

Sadly, if we recognize the impetus of the assisted suicide movement is utilitarianism -- an assumption that humans can take control, to direct life along the path of least resistance and most profit for those who can profit -- we find ourselves shouting into a whirlwind.

That understood, it is depressing that those who talk about "death with dignity" can be persuaded that humane and empathetic palliative care is far better than utilitarian disposal only when it influences them personally.

1 comment:

Carter said...

I didn't have a strong opinion on this until I read this article, though I did wonder about people who might favor it so they could get rid of troublesome relatives.

This article put me firmly on your side. Thank you for calling it to my attention.

Incidentally, it's lot better than some of the CNF stuff we've read over the years, I'd say. This is, I guess, part memoir, part argument, but it's anything but "poor me." She's sharing an important epiphany.