Andrew Brown–Assisted dying: who's to decide when a life is not worth living?

Those who stand to benefit from someone’s death are very likely, sincerely, to see the life they want to end as hardly worth living. This is a nasty fact about human nature, but any kind of humanism that isn’t grounded in human nature is no more than ludicrous and sinister self-deception. Our propensity to self-serving self-deception is one reason why Christians must insist that God loves every one of his creatures; no one except God does or could.

No wonder that the most recent piece of anti-euthanasia propaganda that I was sent highlighted a figure of 300,000 incidents of elder abuse every year. Supporters of assisted dying see this point. But it just makes them believe more firmly that the right kind of legislation, with the clearest possible safeguards, will stop unwanted grannies being liquidated for their asset value.

I can’t share that confidence. Really demented and unpleasant old people can appear rather less human than foetuses do and the changing interpretations of the Abortion Act show how little legal safeguards are worth when the sentiment behind them evaporates.

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