People Magazine has published an article about a man who writes that his wife’s last week was so traumatic to him that he believes Brittany Maynard gave her husband “a gift” by committing suicide. We wouldn’t dream of linking to this sick justification of selfishness.
The article is clear evidence of how far down the slippery slope our society has already slid, even in the year and a half since assisted suicide became legal in Vermont.
During the debate in Vermont, proponents of assisted suicide told us it was for the comfort of the dying person. No one disagreed that a duty to die is never a real choice, and we were assured that no one would be made to feel he or she had such a duty. Now People is working hard to create that very sense of duty, and People is certainly an example of media for the masses.
If we can be convinced that living one’s natural death inflicts trauma on others and that suicide is an act of altruism to one’s family, how long before those who choose to live with conditions needing care and support see raised eyebrows or are even shunned by families? How long before they experience the same lack of support in hospitals and doctors’ offices that people with disabilities and the old are telling us they already face? How long before insurance companies and states refuse to pay for any end of life care except the false mercy of assisted suicide?
Make no mistake. The real reason for the push to legalize assisted suicide is not compassion but pure utilitarianism. Dead people are simply cheaper than living ones, on both the personal and financial levels. Proponents are no longer even trying to hide that fact.
Dutch ethicist Theo Boer wrote in summer 2014 that “Euthanasia is on the way to become a ‘default’ mode of dying for cancer patients” in the Netherlands and that advocates for euthanasia and assisted suicide there “…will not rest until a lethal pill is made available to anyone over 70 years who wishes to die” ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2686711/Dont-make-mistake-As-assisted-suicide-bill-goes-Lords-Dutch-regulator-backed-euthanasia-warns-Britain-leads-mass-killing.html#ixzz3KXnjlmMW ). Current developments in the US, as exemplified by the People article, should lift the veil from the eyes of anyone still tempted to believe the soothing lie that things will be any different here if we don’t stop this in its tracks. As Boer wrote, “Some slopes truly are slippery.”