Monday, June 12, 2006

When Melanie met Harry

A comment here asks, "i can't wait to see what melanie philips's first blog at harry's place will be about". How about this:
What drives the euthanasia lobby is the view that some people’s lives aren’t worth living – and that others are entitled to make that judgment. Professor Doyal says that the lives of some patients are ‘of no further benefit to them’ on account of their mental incapacity, illness, shortness of life or distress and suffering. So they should be killed instead.

However noble the professor’s intentions may be to relieve intolerable suffering, this is the road to barbarism. It opens up the appalling vista of the wholesale killing of people because they are deemed too inconvenient, useless or expensive to keep alive.

Who is entitled to judge that a life has no value? Life should be respected in itself. That is our most basis protection against the kind of inhumanity that lay behind the eugenics movement and the ideology of the Nazis, who made precisely this distinction between those whose lives were valued and those who were considered worthless and who were thus murdered.

Unfortunately, our society has generally lost that sense of the innate worth of every human life which is rooted in the Judeo-Christian heritage. Valuing only what is ‘useful’, we have lost our respect for the absolute — and with it, the greatest defence for the vulnerable against the abuse of power.

It has also resulted in widespread moral confusion. Professor Doyal lumps together withdrawing food and fluid, stopping the giving of antibiotics and switching off a ventilator. But this muddles up people who are dying with those who are not.

If someone is dying, continuing treatment such as antibiotics may not be in his or her best interests because it merely prolongs the dying process. Indeed, trying to feed someone who is a few hours away from death may be positively cruel.
('Killing medical ethics', Daily Mail, 9 June 2006 )


Blogger fairscape said...


i guess the thing to remember is that we are all dying

some of us are just closer to the end


the beginning

depending on how you look at it

12:05 am, June 18, 2006  

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