I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by this story. Assisted suicide advocacy rests on two fundamental ideological premises: First, that we own our bodies and it is the “ultimate civil liberty” to decide on the time, manner, and place of our own demise. Second, that killing is an acceptable answer to the problem of human suffering. Once these values are accepted, preventing death on demand becomes logically unsustainable.
The death on demand agenda is now being openly voiced in Switzerland, by the head of one of that country’s suicide clinics. Apparently, the healthy wife of a terminally ill, suicidal husband, wants to die alongside him via assisted suicide. From the story:
The founder of the Swiss assisted-suicide clinic Dignitas revealed plans today to help a healthy wife die alongside her terminally ill husband. Ludwig Minelli described suicide as a “marvellous opportunity” that should not be restricted to the terminally ill or people with severe disabilities...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 National Health Service.Clarification time out: When Minelli says “capacity,” he means the ability to make a decision and communicate it, not absence of depression or mental illness. His group already won a ruling from the Swiss Supreme Court granting a constitutional right to assisted suicide for the mentally ill. Also, the capacity premise is embodied into the laws in Washington and Oregon that merely require that the suicidal person be “capable,” not that they be free from depression.
Back to the story:
He said that he expected to go to the Swiss courts to seek a ruling in the controversial case of a Canadian couple who have asked to die together. “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.Actually, it is a political tactic, also followed here in the USA to get people used to the idea of suicide as a human right.
Mr Minelli, a human rights lawyer, tells The Report on BBC Radio 4 tonight that the British had an “obsession” with the requirement to be terminally ill. “It is not a condition to have a terminal illness,” he said. “Terminal illness is a British obsession.
As a human rights lawyer I am opposed to the idea of paternalism. We do not make decisions for other people. “We should have a nicer attitude to suicide, saying suicide is a very good possibility to escape”Minelli is not a fringe player, he is just more honest then some of his other brethren and sistren in the euthanasia movement. For example, Rita Marker discloses in her book Deadly Compassion, that Derek Humphry and Anne Wickett assisted a joint suicide of Wickett’s parents because the father wanted to die and her mother was emotionally incapable of refusing to go too.
Death on demand for anyone with a non transitory desire to die is either the goal of the movement—or, given its ideological premises—is the inevitable ultimate outcome of assisted suicide advocacy. So let’s—finally—have an honest debate about this issue: As Lincoln said about America not being able to remain half slave and half free because it would eventually become all one or the other; so too, assisted suicide.