The Economist Pushes Death on Demand

by Wesley J. Smith

The media no longer present objective reporting on issues of social or cultural controversy. They choose sides.

This has been generally true for about ten years about assisted suicide, and ever since the Brittany Maynard manufactured media frenzy, the bias has really ramped up. Hence, The Economist had a huge fawning piece on euthanasia.

I don’t have time or space to get deeply into the article. So, let’s just focus on The Economist’s accompanying editorial. First–unbelievably–it says that euthanasia has not expanded radically where it is legal. From the editorial:

Evidence from places that have allowed assisted dying suggests that there is no slippery slope towards widespread euthanasia. In fact, the evidence leads to the conclusion that most of the schemes for assisted dying should be bolder.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

  • In Belgium elderly couples are killed by doctors side by side–even if healthy–if they prefer death to eventual widowhood.
  • In the Netherlands and Belgium doctors kill the mentally ill, as do Swiss suicide clinics.
  • In the Netherlands and Belgium, disabled and mentally ill people are killed by doctors and then harvested for their organs.
  • We have seen euthanasia as a treatment for suicidal ideation and as a remedy for an unsatisfactory sex change surgery.
  • In the Netherlands seriously disabled babies are killed by doctors in their cribs.
  • In the Netherlands and Belgium thousands of people have been euthanized over the years who never asked to be killed, with no meaningful legal consequence.
  • In Oregon, Medicaid patients were denied life-extending chemotherapy and offered payment for assisted suicide.

Yet, The Economist’s editorialists approve!

No one wants to make suicide easier for the depressed: many will recover and enjoy life again. But mental pain is as real as physical pain, even though it is harder for onlookers to gauge. And even among the terminally ill, the suffering that causes some to seek a quicker death may not be physical. Doctor-assisted death on grounds of mental suffering should therefore be allowed.

No one wants it easier for the depressed to kill themselves, but we should make sure they can. Good grief.

So, this is the game that is afoot. First, say, “there is no slippery slope toward widespread euthanasia”–there isn’t, these are facts on the ground–and then dismiss the evidence that supposedly doesn’t exist by saying that it is not only good, but insufficiently broad.

The Economist claims their call for what amounts to death on demand is required by “secular society.” Who knew that secularism = nihilism?

In any event, the cat is now out of the bag, and it is hissing.

Euthanasia/assisted suicide is not about terminal illness but a radical definition of autonomy that endangers the weak, vulnerable, ill, disabled, depressed, scared, grieving, chronically ill, dying, deeply dissatisfied, and perhaps most cogently of all, the expensive for which to care.

In other words, all of us.