Thursday, December 16, 2004

Better for old to kill themselves than be a burden, says Warnock

"Warnock's views are of considerable significance as she sat on an influential Lords select committee that agreed on a complete ban on euthanasia in 1993. Last year, however, she and two other peers on the committee conceded that the law needed to be reviewed and backed a private member's bill permitting assisted suicide for the terminally ill."

I think humane assisted euthanasia should be available to anyone, regardless of medical condition. We're so afraid of death that we've effectively criminalized it, as if it's something unutterably obscene; consequently, we're unable to deal with it in any productive context. Ironically enough, you run up against the same ideological paralysis when you talk about extending healthy lifespans; suddenly death ceases to be abhorrent and becomes natural, even "sacred."

We're afraid of dying; we're afraid of living forever. So most of us settle for the willful oblivion of organized religion, television-watching and flag-waving. It's not death -- not quite -- but it certainly isn't living, insofar as "living" implies some capacity for productivity.

And suicidal people are supposedly unbalanced? At least they know what they want, which is vastly more than you can say for most.

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