Thursday, November 7, 2013

The one about euthanasia

Belgian legislators, doctors and clergy have entered the spotlight these past few weeks, after PM Elio Di Rupo's Socialist party proposed a bill extending the right of euthanasia to children and dementia patients.

I've seen plenty of reactions to this news in foreign media, most of it cooly sceptical/intensely PC about the whole thing, some of it horrified at this supposed crime against humanity.

You may accuse me of reductionism, but to me, the real question regarding euthanasia is this:

Should people's responsibility for their own lives include the right to choose between life and death?

Until I hear a good argument to the opposite, my answer is a roaring yes. And I'm not talking about vague prophecies about a "culture of death". And if I hear the word "non-Christian", I will dismiss every word following it as based on a delusion.

Pro-choice is my objective approach, but I can't tell you how I would feel if anyone close to me were to become terminally ill or handicapped in a way that would make a comfortable life impossible. I would probably want them around for as long as possible, regardless of their own feelings or discomfort.

But wouldn't that be selfish?

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