Here is a story about a Belgian couple who ‘couldn’t imagine living without each other’ and so asked for euthanasia together (hat tip to Wes Smith):
You heard right, you don’t have to be terminally ill to get it…but why would you? When a culture presumes that one’s choices about one’s own life and body are entirely up the individual, who is the state to get involved and regulate on what basis that individual can make a decision about such a deeply personal matter? Quite logically, many Dutch are now calling for legal euthanasia when they are simply ‘tired of life.’
But when ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’ are concepts simply floating about, untethered to any sense of ‘the good’ or other goal toward which such autonomy is directed, it does not produce liberation. Rather, it simply papers over and even ensconces those deep injustices that already exist in a culture. In the case of euthanasia in the secular West, among other things, this means an uncritical examination of a consumerist and youth-obsessed culture which sees older people as a burden and leading a kind of life that is not worth living.
Nigel Biggar’s book ‘Aiming to Kill’ powerfully argues that any culture which attempts to legalize euthanasia, which also locates their primarily value in untethered autonomy, will be unable to stop a slide down a slippery slope to euthanasia on demand. Sadly, the news is making his argument look pretty good.