As health care costs rise and the public as a whole becomes more financially responsible for the care of individuals; as the population ages and the massive increase in health care costs in the final years and months of life becomes an increasing burden on society, and as legal abortion stays front and center as the most brutal form of utilitarianism, where a weaker and “lesser” life is deemed expendable for the well-being of others, I expect the United States culture to be drawn closer and closer to the seductive policy of legal euthanasia. It is now legal in Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Maine (as of next year), New Jersey, Hawaii, and Washington. You may note what these states all have in common….not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I believe that permitting an individual to kill another with the victim’s consent is so ripe for abuse—Dr. Kevorkian comes to mind—that it crosses an ethical line that should be thick, black, and forbidding. The alleged consent can too easily be coerced or manufactured for the convenience of others. A recent case in the Netherlands confirms my strong reservations.
The unidentified patient, 74, had asked in writing for doctors to end her life if she had to be admitted to a nursing home, and if she thought the time was right. When she entered a home in 2016, however, though incapacitated, she appeared to have changed her mind, and gave what prosecutors called “mixed signals” about her desire to die. Continue reading