A set of twins in Belgium, where euthanasia is legal, were allowed to be euthanized on the grounds that their lives were destined to be intolerable. They had been deaf since birth and were going blind but were not terminally ill or suffering physically. They simply could not stand the thought that they would lose further communication with the world and each other.
To have a basic human sympathy for their plight is understandable. Yet to think it all right for them to die merely because they feared the future says something even more about their outlook on life, and of the real value of human life that societies which allow euthanasia actually hold. It says that a human life can be judged not worth living for any reason at all, even such a one as inconvenience.
Yet all lives have their inconveniences, don’t they? All lives have pain and suffering, or, at least, ample opportunities for horrible conditions. If someone at some time can end their life simply because conditions grieve them, then shouldn’t we all end our lives as they will all at times and invariably be hurtful? Are not all of our lives, strictly in terms of suffering, not worth living? What point is there to suffering anyway, again strictly in terms of suffering?
Did anyone say Helen Keller to these guys? Why do you have to have full command of all your senses in order for your life to have value? Does it show a defect in American society and the broader world that we (generally) do not allow euthanasia? Or does show a defect in those who want to be euthanized? It’s a fair question to ask, no matter how many folks may think it crudely put. Is it okay to kill someone, even yourself, merely because you don’t like your life for any reason?
We euthanize animals, don’t we? Yes, but essentially because they are not sentient, they are not self aware. They do not have the obvious gifts which human beings do. They are below us. Their lives do not and cannot have the meaning ours can and do. They react; we reflect. We have an idea of the value of life; they do not. Equating people with the lower animals only goes to prove our point further: too many in modern times simply do not believe that human life has a dignity which badgers and beavers do not.
Did you have a choice in being born? No? Then why should you think you have a say in when you die?
We are not talking here about people taking actions, soldiers, for example, which might result in their death. They are not willing themselves to die but are rather willing to risk death for a cause greater than themselves. We are not mere animals; we are sentient, thinking beings on a much higher level. The voluntary risk of death by some is in fact a recognition that there are things about human society which must be preserved. Why? Because of our right to life, and our responsibility to live well and rightly.
In the end, our lives are not ours anyway. If so, we would have willed our births and not simply have had them foisted upon us. As it is, it is below the dignity of human life, even a willing human life, to kill itself merely to avoid anything, even suffering. Our lives are not so shallow as to be ended as with the dumb animals. Assisted suicide as such is not justice. Further, it is respect for the dignity of human life in any way, shape or form. It is killing a human being. Killing one. Society dresses the issue in prettier language simply because to state in in plain English might cause people to actually realize the evil inherent in such acts.
It is evil to pretty up death by suicide. Especially selfish ones which are below our intellect.