Human Exceptionalism

Euthanasia Activist: Don’t Burden Me With Care of Aging Parents

Ah, this story gets us to an important nub of the euthanasia debate. BBC host Jenni Murray has created a suicide pact with friends in case she becomes incapacitated. But here is the real deal: She doesn’t want to be burdened with caring for her aging parents. From the publicity materials about a coming documentary in which Murray “rants” about the so-called right to die: “Jenni is angry that, having fought so hard to become liberated and independent, women are now being trapped into caring for dependent parents.”

Poor baby. But it is good that she is being candid. I have always suspected that often, when people say they “wouldn’t want to be a burden,” they are actually (or also) saying, “I don’t want to be burdened.” And imagine the insidious message that the elderly receive from such advocacy. Why, it might be enough to make them want to commit suicide.

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