Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Anti-euthanasia voices from early last century...

“. . . .Think of the intense, natural interests which urge the extinction of many lives; the money there would be in it; the bribe to domestic treason, selfishness, rapacity; the class of physician it would develop. Think of the gloom and horror which it would cast over old age and sickness; the pressure on minds of those anxious to relieve others of a burden; the voluntary suicide of wronged wives and husbands; the suspicions which would poison hears and eyes; the gossip of survivors; the bitterness, the feuds.
The care of children, of the helpless and the old has been the moral educator of mankind, and has raised it above the beasts. The race can never dispense with this stern instruction nor dismiss its Instructor.” L.M.N.
Editorials, L.M.N.
The New York Times; Feb. 11, 1906, pg. 6)

“Will. . . .the ultimate result of the practice of euthanasia. . . .not be the destruction of all the finer feelings and of all the softer virtues? Perhaps they are useless and ought to disappear? Perhaps humanity has been on a wrong tack altogether for the past nineteen hundred years?
. . . .Though I am still by far on the bright side of forty, and in no danger of being chloroformed, I am old-fashioned enough to see in this bedlam of modern print a rapid tendency toward savagery, down from the unfortunate phrase about the ‘survival of the fittest’ through the labyrinths of Nietzsche’s actual madness. . . .

. . . .I thank God for every new author who gives us an oasis in the desert, or an eddy from the rapids where the blue sky is mirrored, and we may still dream of love, charity, humility, and compassion.”
Editorial, S.A.Y.
The New York Times; Feb. 13th, 1906, pg. 6)

(Some Euthanasiatic Thoughts
By John Kendrick Bangs
The New York Times, Feb. 18th, 1906, pg. 3)


Liz said...

Euthanasia--a practice that the Nazis carried on. Its so sad that we have sunk so low as to even allow a case like Terri Schaivo's to go to court. Why does this fall in a "gray" area? To me the answer is clear cut, she is not a complete vegetable, there is hope for some rehab. WHY kill her?

mynym said...
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mynym said...

"WHY kill her?"

Perhaps in an increasingly narcissistic culture people do not, or cannot, understand the faith and compassion of the self-less nurse. If that is so they will assume that the nurse is thinking as they are, "Changing bedpans, turning...ugh, this is hard...and expensive. We would all be better off if she was dead."

Yet that's not what the nurse is thinking, as illustrated by their attempts to sneak in food and so on.

Anyway, I think you are correct that this is a clear cut case. And there is no reason.

As for me, I suppose I should write down what I want done. That seems much better than being starved and dehydrated to death thanks to the passive agressive nature typical to many a scientist, those cold toads.

The thing is, I don't really know.