By Dave Andrusko
The Federalist webpage (thefederalist.com) is a terrific source of commentary on an array of issues. More than a few deal directly with our issues—for example, there is Mollie Hemingway who wrote brilliantly about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week.
Two more, one today and one last week, address the bizarre commentary written by Ezekiel Emanuel described aptly by the Federalist’s Greg Scandlen as “a major article in The Atlantic, in which he provides a rationale for death at age 75.” Cheryl Magness penned a touching commentary under the tongue in cheek headline, “Why I Want To Live Long And Burden My Children.”
But there is something about Emanuel (brother of the mayor of Chicago) that even when people realize how off-kilter his recommendations are, they wind up saying something equally wrong. Enter the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus in “Why set a deadline on life?”
Here’s how she begins:
“My friend Ezekiel Emanuel, in his typically smart, provocative and bullheaded way, has decreed that he hopes to die at age 75, which would give him just 18 more years during which to exasperate friends and family.”
She does a nice job in addressing Emanuel’s language (which blends condescension with despair) about “life com[ing] to center around sitting in the den reading or listening to books on tape and doing crossword puzzles.”
“This goes, I know, against the Emanuel family DNA, but there is no sin in slowing down. There is satisfaction in completing the crossword. You don’t always have to bike past the roses on your way up the mountain. In high gear.”
In other words Emanuel “veers off-course,” she writes, with “his conviction that the capacity to be productive is what makes life worth living.” Good critique, as are many other thoughtful observations, including the blessings of grandchildren.
Then, before you can say, “what?!” Marcus tells us she disagrees with her friend over something she should agree with him about.
“Here I break from Emanuel. He opposes euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide….”
Why does she part company here? Because
“this position does not give adequate weight to the dignity with which we would like to live and die.”
In the very next paragraph Marcus bring up the rape and incest clauses of the pro-euthanasia contract: terminally ill cancer patients “suffer[ing] an agonizing decline” and Alzheimer’s.
She should read both Greg Scandlen and Cheryl Magness for starters. Although not a Catholic, Marcus could learn something profound from Pope Francis about the dignity of all life, especially the elderly, but also including the cognitively impaired.
And it would help if people like Marcus read NRLC’s own Burke Balch and Jennifer Popik, or Wesley Smith, Alex Schadenberg, Paul Russell, and Peter Saunders. The “right” to assisted suicide has long since metastasized from “terminally ill patients with six months to live” to the “right” of children to be euthanized.
Along with patients supposedly in a persistent vegetative state, Alzheimer’s patients are the opening shots in a campaign to make it possible to kill hundreds of thousands of cogitatively disabled people, if not many, many more.
If, as Marcus says, Emanuel has veered off-course by believing that the “capacity to be productive is what makes life worth living,” has she not made the same fundamental error?
It is the kind of error that unintentionally paves the way for a lethal campaign against massive numbers of vulnerable people.