We have become a culture that tells the elderly, people with disabilities, and others who need care and support that they are “burdens.” Indeed, in my recent debate in Edinburgh with Dr. Libby Wilson, my opponent explicitly supported legalizing assisted suicide so that the ill and disabled could give their families the “gift” of not being a burden.

This is why I think that the assisted suicide/euthanasia agenda is a culture-changing issue that will—if it succeeds—radically and adversely transform the way we interrelate as members of society and as family members. And when you read about murder/suicides motivated by the “burden” fear, it really raises the alarm. From the story:

An elderly husband killed his poorly wife then committed suicide because he feared she would outlive him and become a ‘burden’ on their family. When Eileen Martin, 76, developed dementia, her husband of more than 50 years, Kenneth, cared for her at their home. But when he developed cancer he vowed not to leave his sick wife behind for the family to care for. Kenneth Martin and his wife Eileen. He hanged himself after killing her He warned his children: ‘I won’t leave you with the burden of your mother. When it’s my time to go, it’ll be her time to go.’

The message that it is worse to be a burden than dead is being broadcast and received—and stories like this tragedy, I believe, are a direct consequence. It’s a very scary time to be old, disabled, or needing care.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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