By Wesley J. Smith
It used to be considered a tragedy when elderly couples committed joint suicide. Now, in more and more places, it’s celebrated.
A former Dutch prime minister and his wife had themselves killed at the same time by a doctor. And instead of being appalled, all reports and reactions laud the lethal act. From the Daily Mail story:
Former Dutch Prime Minister, Dries van Agt, has died by euthanasia, ‘hand in hand’ with his beloved wife Eugenie. They were both 93. . . .
A statement from The Rights Forum read: ‘He died hand in hand with his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg, the support and anchor with whom he was together for more than 70 years and whom he always continued to refer to as ‘my girl.’
Van Agt’s biographer, Peter Bootsma, said the politician suffered from after-effects of his brain hemorrhage, saying ‘his ability to speak also deteriorated.’
‘But the way his life ended is something that characterizes the man,’ Mr. Bootsma added, ‘stubborn and autonomous, until the end. I sometimes thought: they have been married for 65 years, what if one of the two is no longer there?’
They died of poisoning “hand in hand.” Are we supposed to believe this is romantic?
So, fear of future suffering — the worry about being in grief and lonely — is depicted as a just cause for both husband and wife to die.
The prominence of this couple will add to the cultural damage this story causes. When famous people engage in radical behavior, it impacts the society as a whole by causing others to follow suit. I have no doubt that this joint homicide will give other elderly couples dark death ideas.
That many no longer see the harm of such acts is harmful in and of itself and evidences the profound moral subversion caused by the euthanasia movement. Let us call attention to it and stand against it.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and reposted with permission.