The Corner

Culture

Pushing Euthanasia for the Depressed

When it comes to euthanasia, I am rarely wrong.

For years, I have argued that the terminal illness limitation is a ruse to get us used to killing as an acceptable answer to suffering. Once society swallowed the poisonous meme, sooner or later the killing license would be expanded to others who suffer more profoundly and  longer than the dying. If the dying can be lethally jabbed or prescribed, why not the severely depressed or the chronically ill?

I never heard a cogent denial, just claims of the SLIPPERY SLOPE fallacy!

No, facts on the ground. Belgium and Netherlands both permit euthanasia for the mentally ill–and couple it with organ harvesting.

“But it hasn’t happened in Oregon!” I am told.

Not yet, I respond. Our society hasn’t fully imbibed the hemlock. But that’s where advocates want to take us.

Now, in the Hastings Center Report–the most prestigious bioethics journal in the world–the noted bioethicist Bonnie Steinbock pushes the envelope to include patients with “severe, treatment-resistant depression.” From her article:

Some of the arguments for an absolute exclusion of patients with severe, treatment-resistant depression from receiving PAD [physician-assisted death] are dubious. The rationale for a terminal illness requirement, which would exclude those suffering only from mental illness, appears arbitrary and inconsistent with the two arguments underlyng PAD, namely autonomy and suffering.

Precisely what I have been saying all these years, to the catcalls of bioethicists! Back to Steinbock:

Indeed, the terminal illness requirement forces those who have an incurable illness but are not terminally ill to suffer longer than those who are terminally ill.

Hmmm. Where have I heard those words before? More.

In addition, the suffering that patients with major depressive disorder endure is at least as severe as that experienced by patients with a terminal illness.

Do you see how making eliminating suffering the highest goal quickly metastasizes into eliminating the sufferer?

Steinbock doesn’t propose organ harvesting of those depressed people doctors would kill, but that would surely follow as a matter of respecting “choice.” At that point, we would cease being a moral society because we would be telling the mentally ill that their deaths have greater value than their lives.

Assisted suicide limitations about terminal illness aren’t meant to last. And even if they were, logically they can’t last.

So. no more pretense that it would be just a teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy, change in the morality of society–when, in fact, it would be a radical life-disaffirming earthquake shattering the sanctity/equality of human life as the foundation of our culture and our laws.

 

 

Most Popular

White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Completely Assimilated

Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas Senate candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn., last week: ... Read More
Sports

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice. It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an ... Read More
U.S.

The ‘Squad’ Gives a Gift to Donald Trump

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave the Democrats a gift -- comments that indicate he thinks native-born congresswomen he detests should “go back” to the countries of their ancestors. On Monday, the four congresswomen handed Trump a gift in return, managing to respond to the president’s insults in some of the most ... Read More
U.S.

Men Literally Died for That Flag, You Idiots

The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable. The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and ... Read More