Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

It’s about time: Other than the disability rights movement and Nat Hentoff, it seems to me that the Left has been not only supine in the face of the oncoming “duty to die,” but its enablers.  Maybe the worm is beginning to turn. Mickey Kaus at Slate believes—silly man—-that he should have a right to live.  From his blog:

I want to make the decision to cut off treatment, not have it made by a cost-watching health board. Choice! The resonance with the abortion debate seems obvious. ... Both are life/death decisions. Are they both best handled by individuals and their families in consultation with their doctors? You’d think the case for “choice” at the end of life might be stronger, since the life at stake is likely to be able to participate in making that choice. ...

Update: Prof. Althouse distinguishes this kind of choice from “right to die” cases. “It’s one thing to deny the choice to die, quite another to deny the choice to live.”

Health care rationing and Futile Care Theory about taking away that very choice. As the post points out if someone doesn’t want life-sustaining treatment, more power to them. But utilitarian bioethics boards shouldn’t be able to force that “choice” upon us.

I have always believed the medical futility debate is extremely winnable because for once the “choice” soundbite cuts against the culture of death.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles