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

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
Books

The Plot against Kavanaugh

Justice on Trial, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino (Regnery,  256 pp., $28.99) The nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was the political event of 2018, though not for the reasons anyone expected. All High Court confirmations these days are fraught with emotion and tumult ... Read More
Politics & Policy

He Just Can’t Help Himself

By Saturday, the long-simmering fight between Nancy Pelosi and her allies on one side and the “squad” associated with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the other had risen to an angrier and more destructive level at the Netroots Nation conference. Representative Ayanna Pressley, an African-American Massachusetts ... Read More
White House

On Gratitude and Immigration

Like both Rich and David, I consider it flatly inappropriate for the president of the United States to be telling Americans -- rhetorically or otherwise -- to “go back where you came from.” In consequence, you will find no defense of the president from me, either. What Trump tweeted over the weekend was ... Read More
Education

Gender Dissenter Gets Fired

Allan M. Josephson is a distinguished psychiatrist who, since 2003, has transformed the division of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology at the University of Louisville from a struggling department to a nationally acclaimed program. In the fall of 2017 he appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation ... 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
PC Culture

A Herd Has No Mind

sup { vertical-align: super; font-size: smaller; } Funny thing about my new book: I had begun shopping around the proposal for writing it long before my brief period of employment with that other magazine and the subsequent witless chimp-brained media freakout and Caffeine-Free Diet Maoist struggle ... Read More