By Dave Andrusko
We’ve long argued that abortion and euthanasia/assisted suicide were birthed in the same hatchery. They are, if not identical twins, at least fraternal twins.
Both are inherently expansionary, for example. Consider the parallels.
If offing her unborn child is a woman’s “right,” why should that “right” end at the conclusion of the first trimester? Or second? Or up till birth? Indeed, it is (as the saying goes) no accident that we are hearing occasional rumbles about “after-birth abortion.”
Likewise with assisted suicide. If the issue is about autonomy, about one’s supposed right to die “on my own terms,” why should there be any ethical calibration made about “good” reasons and insufficient reasons? If I can’t exercise my “right”–whether because I am in a weakened physical state or no longer can articulate my desires, or something else–then surely it is discriminatory not to facilitate my death.
And, of course, where the twin sisters of death meet is when countries decide that newborns should be killed if they are disabled (physically or intellectually) or because that’s what they would “want” if they were able to speak.
“Neonatal euthanasia” meet “after-birth” abortion.
Similarly, every pro-lifer writer, including me, has observed that abortion corrupts everything it touches. Jonathon Van Maren , a Canadian pro-lifer, extends that argument in a piece titled, “20 reasons why euthanasia corrupts everything it touches, and must be opposed.”
Each and every one of those 20 is worth an individual post. But let me just take three minutes to highlight three illustrations.
Assisted suicide suggests that for people to “die with dignity,” they must die faster. The underlying insinuation of the “Death with Dignity” movement is that those who do not opt for an expedited exit are not dying with dignity. …
Eugenics. Assisted suicide requires the state and the medical establishment to judge what constitutes a “life worth living.” As a result, those with disabilities become less valued as their lives are judged to be less valuable than those without disability. Parents of disabled children in Belgium have had people suggest to them that they should have their children euthanized. Euthanasia – Greek for “good death” – is being employed as eugenics, which is Greek for “good birth.” Just as abortion is used to kill pre-born children with Down syndrome and other conditions, euthanasia is already being used to kill born people deemed less than perfect. …
Assisted suicide could be used by children to pressure parents into accepting this “service.” Instances of children encouraging their parents to take this route have surfaced in the United States and Europe already. As people live longer and thus spend much of their savings on their own care, the reaction of selfish offspring watching “their” inheritance shrink should be noted. (In fact, the Calgary Herald recently published a column describing the anticipated “bequest boom” over the next decade, in which Canadian parents are anticipated to turn over $750 billion in inheritance over to their children).
Parents pitted against their own children, children pitted against their own parents. The “market” in “imperfections” resembles the real estate boom of the early 2000s. Reverence for the uniqueness of every single life is treated with disdain, a left-over from a by-gone era.
You get the picture.
That’s why euthanasia/assisted suicide is every bit as awful, every bit of an encouragement of the dog-eat-dog mentality as abortion is.
Which is why from its very beginning, National Right to Life opposed euthanasia/assisted suicide just as vigorously as it did abortion.
Be sure to come to the National Right to Life convention in Herndon, Virginia July 7-9. We will be talking about this menaces at great length.