Human Exceptionalism

Humanism = Pro Suicide?

And we wonder why there is an epidemic of geriatric suicide.

The Humanist has published an article that could have been a perfect fit for the old Hemlock Quarterly, in which a wife (“non theist”) wholeheartedly supports her husband John’s desire to commit suicide because he has Alzheimer’s disease. From, “The End:”

The day we both faced the inevitable, we gazed at one another with tears in our eyes. He took a deep breath and then told me that when he could no longer follow his intellectual pursuits, when he could no longer drive legally, when he was not yet incontinent or blaming me for his own inabilities, he would take his own life. 

No assuring the man that whatever happens, the wife wants John to live and she will never leave his side, come what may! No suggestions of suicide prevention or treatment for geriatric depression: No siree! 

They joined the suicide “self-delivery” helping service, Final Exit Network, whose “counselor” helped John commit suicide by helium. (FEN is a traveling suicide clinic. Two of its ”counselors”  feloniously helped a mentally ill woman kill herself a few years ago.)

This was all about burdens, and being relieved of the them:

He made and executed a very brave and loving decision, and I thoroughly agreed with it. He will be missed more than he could ever know. Why am I sharing this most personal account? I want the world to know how much I admire John’s courage and selflessness…

Imagine being elderly–sinking and afraid–as your family tells you how loving and courageous you are to commit suicide. 

Is this really what humanism has become?

 

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