Human Exceptionalism

Germany Opens Door to Culture of Death

If there is one lesson I have learned in 22 years of anti-euthanasia activism, it is that you can’t compromise with the culture of death.

Once it gets its scythe through the door, it becomes like the universe: it never stops expanding.

Now, Germany has failed to learn the lesson by legalizing assisted suicide for “altruistic” reasons. From the AP story:

German lawmakers passed a bill Friday allowing assisted suicide for “altruistic motives” but banning the practice in cases where it is being conducted on a “business” basis.

The suicide pushers don’t think that was enough:

Lawmakers voted 360-233 in favor, despite fears voiced by many that it could lead to charges against doctors. The measure allows assisted suicide on an “individual basis out of altruistic motives” but threatens up to three years in jail for anyone who offers suicide to someone else “on business terms.”

This bill was one of four offered, ranging from outlawing to wide-open legalization. It is being touted as a “compromise.”

I have seen this stacked-deck game before. Back in 2006, I was invited to debate euthanasia at a Fulbright event in Lisbon. I was the “no euthanasia” guy, and there was a wide-open “pro euthanasia” guy against me from the Netherlands. It didn’t take me long go realize that we were supposed to reach consensus by agreeing to ”a little” euthanasia.

When I refused to play, I was essentially told disdainfully by one participant that I did not believe in “conversation”–even though I flew some 8000 miles to do just that, and did so without rancor or name-calling. (In fact, I was the one verbally attacked at the end-of-conference dinner.)

That is the kind of “compromise” gambit that Germany just fell for.

But legalizing assisted suicide, is legalizing assisted suicide, is legalizing assisted suicide. The destructive premise has been accepted, now it will just take time–perhaps short, perhaps long–for the fetid compromise dough to leaven into full-bore culture of death.

Whether by judicial fiat, future legislation, or shrugging refusals of prosecutors to prosecute lawbreaking in this area–or a combination thereof–assisted suicide consciousness will grow in Germany like a metastasizing cancer.


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