By Dave Andrusko
Unfortunately the day has gotten away from me, so I will only very briefly allude to an extremely thoughtful and provocative column written by Melanie Phillips that appeared today in the British publication, the Daily Mail.
Her opening two sentences set the stage for her column: “Spring, when the trees are in bud and green shoots are thrusting up from the earth, is the season when life robustly reasserts itself. Yet in the past few weeks we have been assailed by a relentless stream of stories about people wanting to be helped to die.”
Phillips then cites only some—three, to be exact– of the many examples she could have provided:
· A BBC documentary which features “footage of a man with motor neurone disease travelling to the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas and being shown dying on screen.” What makes it worse is that Terry Pratchett, a well known novelist (and Alzheimer sufferer), is in the documentary advocating assisted suicide. Phillips writes “the BBC documentary appears to be ghoulishly one-sided.”
· Schoolchildren in British classrooms are seeing a video “featuring notorious assisted suicide campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke, in which he demonstrates how to help people kill themselves…”
· On top of that Patrick Stewart, known to most Americans for his role in Star Trek, “who apart from being diagnosed with coronary heart disease five years ago is a healthy 70-year-old, suddenly announces his wish to be allowed an assisted death.”
Part of the answer “why” is that Phillips believes this is part of a propaganda campaign to “soften up” public opinion so that the public will accept whatever recommendations come out of the Commission on Assisted Dying, led by Lord Falconer, which “is expected to deliver its recommendations to MPs over a change in the law.”
Exploiting the stories of human beings under tremendous physical and emotional strain to forward an anti-life agenda is nothing new in Britain, and certainly nothing new here in the United States. It is cynical and cruel beyond measure.
We need to keep reminding the public—here, in Britain, everywhere—that assisted suicide is not only intrinsically wrong, “It sends society down a slippery slope, where assisted suicide starts off for those suffering unbearable pain or distress through illness and rapidly extends to people wanting to die even though they are not ill at all.”
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