Friday, November 2, 2012
Wesley Smith writes, at First Things, about our "dangerous obsession with health." Using the upcoming assisted-suicide-legalization vote in Massachusetts as a starting point, Smith notes, among other things, that "[w]hen eliminating suffering becomes the overriding purpose of a society, people can easily come to perceive that it is proper to accomplish the goal by eliminating the sufferer" and "[e]levating 'health' to the ultimate purpose of society turns it into something other than health."
I certainly hope that the voters in Massachusetts reject euthanasia, as some "liberal" observers, as well as the expected pro-life "conservative" voices, are urging them to do. And, "liberals" should oppose physician-assisted suicide. As then-Chief Justice Rehnquist recognized, 15 years ago, in his Glucksberg opinion, the danger is very real that the legalization of euthanasia exposes the disabled, the vulnerable, and the inconvenient to marginalization and abuse. We do not allow doctors to assist in the suicides of healthy, young people, and we should not exclude from the law's protection those who are elderly or disabled.