BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- While America debates whether the federal government should dictate which insurance policies and medical treatments it will allow us to have, here in the UK, the conversation has "advanced" to the approval of assisted suicide.
Debbie Purdy, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has won a landmark ruling in the House of Lords that many believe will move Britain one step closer to self-destruction. Purdy must be told under what circumstances her husband could be prosecuted should he accompany her to the Dignitas euthanasia clinic in Switzerland. The Director of Public Prosecutions will now be required to spell out exactly when the government will act if someone helps a friend take their own life abroad.
The media and "right to die" advocates are calling it "compassionate assisted suicide." There are always euphemisms to help us through the troubling practices we might not, under other circumstances, wish to pursue.
One doesn't have to be a futurist or prophet to see where this is headed. Having removed the right to life from the unborn in the UK and the United States, it is only a matter of conditioning before the at first "voluntary" and ultimately involuntary snuffing out of life at its other end will be tolerated and, indeed, promoted as the state seeks new ways to cut expenses.
What is to stop them if life has only the value assigned to it by the state? As suicide, like abortion, becomes a "choice," it will be done for reasons that go beyond the reason through which it is ushered in: the supposed "intolerable pain and suffering" and "lack of hope" of recovery. Abortion on demand was conceived through the bogus rape of an unmarried woman and now it can be had for any reason, or no reason. Crimes against humanity don't begin in the ovens or on killing fields, but by small steps among civilized people.
If granny has willed you her nest egg, why not convince her and the doctor to slip her a pill and end her "suffering." Wouldn't she "want it that way" so as not to be a "burden" to her family? The executioners will not come with black masks, but in white coats and bureaucratic suits. Let us prey.
Should individuals make decisions about whether they want life-extending methods used if they suffer a catastrophic medical event? Absolutely. But that should be distinguished from a third party (besides you and your doctor) making that decision for you or "helping" you make it and then assisting in your suicide.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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