Pro-Euthanasia Referendum Garners 65 Percent of New Zealand Vote

By Wesley J. Smith

Editor’s note. This is excerpted from a post at National Review Online.

New Zealand will soon join the list of countries that permit doctors to kill or assist the suicides of patients. A recent referendum to support legalization won 65 percent of the vote. From the NZ Herald story:

The result caused anxiety among parts of the disabled community today. Although the law forbids access to euthanasia on the grounds of disability alone, advocates feel it fundamentally changes the way vulnerable people will be perceived in New Zealand.

There are also concerns that the law’s relatively narrow eligibility criteria could be broadened in future.

Of course it will. That very loosening is happening as I write these words in Canada, only a few years post-legalization.

As I ponder this, I am struck how Kiwis [New Zealanders] epitomize contemporary progressive secular culture. …

These are all symptoms of a civilizational disease. When human exceptionalism is discarded, the intrinsic value of human life becomes relativized and “eliminating suffering” becomes the prime directive. If that means letting doctors eliminate sufferers, so be it. If it means sacrificing freedom on the altar of security, so be it.

I say, hell no. But I might be spitting into the wind.