Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far?

…Even as law and culture make euthanasia seem more normal, it remains among the most unfamiliar acts a society can condone. It isn’t enough that the legal niceties be observed; there needs to be agreement among the interested parties on why it is taking place, and to what end. Without consensus on these basic motivations, euthanasia won’t be an occasion for empathy, ethics or compassion, but a bludgeon swinging through people’s lives, whose handiwork cannot be undone.

Two years ago the Netherlands’ health and justice ministers issued a joint proposal for a “completed life” pill that would give anyone over 70 years of age the right to receive a lethal poison, cutting the doctor out of the equation completely. In the event, the fragmented nature of Dutch coalition politics stopped the proposal in its tracks, but doctors and end-of-life specialists I spoke to expect legislation to introduce such a completed-life bill to come before parliament in due course…

Read more at The Guardian…

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