Assisted death. It’s everywhere just now. Legislation is being promoted in the UK. It’s becoming sanctioned by law in Canada, and it’s already law in several European countries and Switzerland.
And the arguments for and against allowing euthanasia are as strong and as flawed as ever they were. I was for example particularly struck by an excellent article in this week’s London Review of Books by Steven Sedley (paywall) that sets them out in masterly fashion.
Call me paranoid if you like, but there is one thing about this lively debate that makes me shudder. And that is the total absence of observation by those making it of the present concern with the eugenics ambitions of Mr Global. As an example of the sophisticated “controlled debate” strategies of the propaganda machine we are facing this could hardly be bettered. Mr Sedley’s arguments are immaculately presented. But the context of the threat (indeed reality) of mass murder of the halt and the lame is missing. If in saying this I am wronging the author’s intent -and perhaps I am – then I would simply say that it is a context which should be high on the radar when writing on this subject just now.
The arrival in our society of assisted dying at a time when such assistance is being delivered to many who do not wish it does not make for a quiet mind. The legion of ghosts from our care homes created in the last months guarantees that.