Monday, February 14, 2011

An Insidious MindSet

This morning, while taking my dog for a walk, I passed a neighbour whose dog is not doing well. When I asked how Lily was, John replied "well, she has trouble walking, and now she is throwing up, and her bladder is beginning to fail. I think the cancer may have spread to her organs. When I get like this, I want to just be put aside too."

I could not reply, because it would have meant a long conversation, not one that could be had in such a short meeting. But I thought the acceptance of euthanasia has really reached the ordinary person. They have no reason to protest euthanasia or assisted suicide. When your life is measured in terms of how happy you are, or how healthy you are, then when circumstances change and life involves suffering, why should we prolong it?

Aside from faith, I don't see that there is any answer to the euthanasia question. You could, I suppose, exhort people to be brave and face their death as the ultimate life experience, but I don't think that would hold much water against pain and suffering of any intensity.

Since the acceptance that a woman can kill her own child if the pregnancy interferes with her life, we really have come full circle to ending anyone's life if it proves inconvenient or too hard to endure.

If you live in Halifax, I would encourage you to attend the upcoming dinner and fundraiser put on by Campaign Life Coalition. The guest speaker is Margaret Somerville, a world-renowned ethicist who teaches at McGill University. Margaret's talk is entitled 'The Case Against Euthanasia' and this is an opportunity not to be missed. Tickets are $100 each (this is a fundraiser for CLC) and the dinner is at the Westin Hotel on March 18 at 6:30 pm.

For tickets and more information, contact Ellen at (902) 861-1982 or by email at

Let's make this a sell-out event, this is the second fundraising dinner put on by CLC and they hope to make it an annual tradition. Great food, great company, great talk. See you there.


Rebecca said...

The secular answer to the euthanasia question seems clear to me: under no circumstances should another person ever be in charge of ending anyone else's life. Ever. This automatically rules out "assisted suicide". Of course, this argument probably only appeals to (some) Americans because of the libertarian principles on which the US was founded. I doubt it would fly in a socialist country.

Julie Culshaw said...

A good article here

Somerville points out that, when religion is out of the debate, the case against euthanasia is so much harder to make, because the individual comes first and what the individual wants, the individual should get. She makes the case that all our lives impact each other, and therefore euthanasia hurts us all. A tough case to make, I think.