Human Exceptionalism

UK Court Refuses to Impose Legal Euthanasia

A UK Court of Appeals has refused to impose legalized euthanasia on the country. From the AP story:

British appeals court upheld a law against euthanasia in rejecting appeals from two severely disabled men who argued that doctors should be allowed to legally kill them.

The two men – one of whom died of pneumonia last year – claimed their right to “private and family life” as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights was being violated since they were not allowed to choose how and when they wanted to die.

The plaintiff is upset by the ruling that he can’t be killed:

“I am absolutely gutted,” said Paul Lamb, one of the men involved, who was severely paralyzed after a car accident. “I was hoping for a humane and dignified end,” Lamb said in a statement. “This judgment does not give me that.”

I am very sorry Lamb believes his life isn’t worth living. And I hope he is able to find joy again.

But as the court ruled, this isn’t just about him or any individual. Euthanasia (and its advocacy) changes culture. As I have repeatedly demonstrated over twenty years, it devalues human life. Once it is widely accepted, it never stops expanding.

At the very least, if it is going to be allowed, a court should not be the instrument of government so doing.

P.S.: Lamb and Nicklinson are not the first attempt to use the “right to private and family life” to promote euthanasia. It could happen. The right has been interpreted very broadly, for example forbidding a prison sentence to a convicted burglar because of the impact it would have on his family. In other words, the clause could become an excuse in Europe for anything goes.


Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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