Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dignitas’ Assisted Suicide for Healthy People

I’m often more than a little bemused when naiveté inevitably results in shock and disbelief.

Why? Because there are two groups of people who generate shock among those who listen to them:

First, there are those who deliberately seek to shock our sensibilities for the sheer delight of seeing the reaction produced. Like grown ups who tell potty jokes at polite dinner parties.

Second, a much more dangerous group: people who say things that are not necessarily meant to shock, but are simply said because they are true. These people mean what they say, and say what they mean.

And then act on what they have told us they would do.

Saying what they believe is not the biggest problem, though – it’s that people react by thinking they cannot possibly mean what they are saying, and so either ignore it, or are disproportionally incredulous.

Incredulous is exactly how the UK press have been acting over statements made by Dignitas founder Ludwig Minelli.

You do remember Dignitas, don’t you? In case you missed previous posts about this outfit, see here, here, here, here, and here.

I’m shocked that the UK press is shocked. Minelli is just saying what he believes, how he intends to proceed, and what his actions will mean.  Minelli wants to  stretch the envelope of whom he helps kill.

He's as serious as a heart attack (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Minelli’s comments are also a rare glimpse past the pro-death spin and propaganda of “dignity,” “autonomy,” and “compassion” into the horrific abyss of twisted pro-death values and deceit.

The Times of London fretted that Minelli ". . . now wants to kill people that are perfectly healthy." 

(Sidebar: That’s the ultimate goal of all this pro-death stuff – death on demand anywhere, any time, for anyone).

Let’s look at what Minnelli actually, and accurately, said:

Ludwig Minelli described suicide as a “marvellous opportunity” that should not be restricted to the terminally ill or people with severe disabilities.

Just to make sure you see the spin: Suicide is not nihilistic, selfish, and probably avoidable. It’s a wonderful act that people should embrace. Oh yes, and by the way, we don’t need to be selfish about it – why should only terminally ill people or those with severe disabilities have access to this “marvelous opportunity?”

See how magnanimous? Marvellous opportunities should be available to all, otherwise it’s discriminatory, don’t you know.

On we go:

Mr. Minelli said that anyone who has “mental capacity” should be allowed to have an assisted suicide, claiming that it would save money for the NHS.


If you have “mental capacity,” suicide’s the thing for you. Note, the mental capacity term is not an accident: Even newborn infants have “mental capacity.” Ergo, assisted suicide for all!!!

If what Minelli means is that assisted suicide should be available for people in their right mind, that’s only a stepping stone to killing people who aren’t in their right mind (e.g., Alzheimer’s patients) when others decide that, were they in their right mind, they would want to commit suicide.

The last part is not a joke – it’s how they justify euthanizing people with impaired “mental capacity” in the Netherlands.

But here’s the coup de grace: Killing people saves the state (the British National Health Service) money.


No more pretence.

No more backtracking (as many pro-death people do) that saving money is never the intent, although sometimes an unintended consequence, of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Does anyone really think that the bean counters in any health organization won’t see this as a very tempting idea? Can we say Useless Eaters, anyone?

But, now, finally, to the reason for the fuss (see, nobody these days is too upset about someone spinning assisted suicide & euthanasia as a “marvellous opportunity” or that killing people will save money – that’s old hat).

Everyone got their knickers in a tangle because Minelli was "revealing plans to help a healthy woman to die alongside her terminally ill husband."

Minelli explained:

“The husband is ill, his partner is not ill, but she told us here in my living room that, ‘If my husband goes, I would go at the same time with him’,” he said.

So, Mr. I'll-kill-you-for-any-reason-as-long-as-you-ask is going to do what any champion of a worthy cause would do: He’s going to challenge the Swiss law that bars assisted suicide for healthy people.

Now there’s a really brave, kind man.

Coming soon to a place near you.

Be afraid, be very afraid.


Claire said...

What does it say about our society when death is so readily considered an option to living? Have we become so selfish that we choose to escape any sort of trial that life sends our way? We believe in our rights but have no sense of responsibilities...to each other or to ourselves...how very sad.

Dr. Mark Mostert said...

Well, Claire, it all goes back to a society that has, as its utmost aspiration, pleasure and instant gratification - the rest be damned.

And, it's also about deceit. For example, almost all pain in the dying process can be controlled very effectively, so implying (and often saying outright) that assisted suicide is a way to avoid this is just a canard.

But if you keep up a drumbeat of lies about pain, about how you are a burden to society, how wonderful assisted suicide us, eventually many people who don't look at the issue in any depth are swayed - just as other propangandas do the same in other areas.

Anonymous said...

Surely it is more selfish to live then die -