Euthanasia – Define Your Terms
Guest post from Mr. Jose Trasancos
Just ask my wife – I tend to communicate with certain efficiency. I don’t waste words. Euthanasia, ‘mercy killing’, should be counted among the first steps down a ghastly and barbaric road. Human history is replete with examples of where the general mindset leads. Before going any further, let us define our terms.
Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. This definition is provided by the Catholic Education Resource Center.
My eye is drawn to two key phrases in this definition. ‘Intentional killing’ is the first and ‘alleged benefit’ is the second. The act of euthanasia is preceded by some cognitive process where value judgments are made and the ‘alleged benefits’ are rationalized as support for the intentional killing of a person. Said just a little differently, a person or a group of people decide to kill someone, convincing themselves that the killing is for that person’s own good. It feels different when you say it that way, doesn’t it?
That very mindset, that the value of life is subject to quantitative and qualitative assessment and can end with a decision made by another, has caused unimaginable pain, horror and calamity throughout human history. The Holocaust and the Cultural Revolution in Communist China were both justified in this manner, as have countless wars, abortion and chattel slavery.
These gross crimes against humanity all have that rational process in common with euthanasia and that rational process can establish some hierarchy of value of human life. That rational process has been used and manipulated by monsters and madmen over the centuries and it now comes to us wrapped in the beautiful paper of ‘mercy’ and ‘benefit’. That compassionate presentation is intentional obfuscation.
The larger goals of euthanasia are not based in delivering value or virtue; euthanasia is a mechanism of control and, ultimately, political expediency. ‘Mercy killing’ is a slippery slope, indeed the genie in the bottle. It has been released from the bottle a number of times in the past and it has always evolved into other forms of rationalization, allowing the ‘intentional killing’ for some other ‘alleged benefit’. Euthanasia diminishes the value of life by subjecting it to some form of calculus and the darkest side of human nature will embrace that diminution and eventually use it in the most unspeakable and evil ways.
History tells us this is so. Beware when death is presented to you all dressed up in a nice suit and wearing the cologne of compassion. What will you do to stop it? If you don’t stop it now, if you wait for the value of your own life to be ‘assessed’, it will be too late.
Image Credit: Thumbnail – Bengt Ekerot as Death, from the film Det Sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) 1957.