Thursday, 5 January 2012

Terry Pratchett's Assisted Suicide Argument is Fatally Flawed

On tonight's BBC News at Six, Terry Pratchett asked how we would possibly get from people "choosing to die" to people getting killed by the state.

I'm sorry but he is not a thick, unintelligent man. I have read and enjoyed most of his books, and he is clearly quick witted.

Can't he see the day that old people are pressurised by lazy, greedy, hard-pressed or "busy" relatives to sign a piece of paper so they can be injected with a lethal concoction? We already see "DNR" on old people's clipboards in hospital. A relative of mine was infuriated to see it on hers -- Do Not Resuscitate. The NHS is already looking out to save money and/or clear beds.

In a world where money means all, do we think the NHS would care for elderly people for years when they could "humanely" dispatch them?

Does Terry Pratchett not see the precedent of abortion? Initially this was supposed to have safeguards. It would only be when the mothers' lives were in danger. There would be safeguards with doctors' signatures required. Oh - and sex education and contraception (and even lately the morning after pill) would lower the number of abortions.

Only none of this worked, and the number of abortions has grown and grown. Now people who think they are "too poor" kill their child just as quickly as people with "careers" or even those who want to kill their child because they want a new car or have a holiday planned. We even see the same people give "advice," provide the murder machinery, and profit from the abortions. It's become a big business with media-savvy mouthpieces ready to promote their agenda and protect their profits.

Just as the "safety net" of unemployment benefit has become instead a lifestyle choice for what have been called the generation of "Shameless" families (named after a notorious TV series) and those who have no intention of working (a newspaper report today said half or dole recipients would give up their payments rather than be forced to work); so abortion has become a "lifestyle choice" for hundreds of thousands rather than the supposed 'safety net' for pregnancies that threatened a few dozen mother's lives each year. And I speak as someone whose mother was told by the "experts" to abort me for that very reason, happily we both survived.

If Terry Pratchett is indeed an intelligent man, then he must know that assisted suicide, no matter what the claimed safeguards, however it is entered in law, will undoubtedly change once enacted. Over a relative few years the dozens will become hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands and so on. The selfish generation who have holidays planned will pressurise the old to sign for their death, as quickly as they would seek an abortion.

The "inconvenience" of pregnancy and childbirth will be joined by the "inconvenience" of old age and caring/visiting the elderly. Plus there will be the 'added bonus' of early inheritance for the greedy, corrupt or desperate.

There are none so blind as those who will not see, and I do appreciate the onset of an irreversible disease must induce truly terrifying emotions; however we cannot change the law of the land and open the door on all sorts of awful eventualities just because a few selfish people wish to end their own lives.

That is not looking out for the Common Good. I do not wish to see a society in which the millions killed by abortion, for all manner of dubious, twisted or even 'good' intentions (and we know where they lead) are joined by millions killed by lethal injection.

I would ask Terry Pratchett to think again. He may not see the logical consequences of his actions, but we weren't told legalising abortion would end up like it has with millions dead. Opening the door to assisted suicide for a few vocal people with access to the media, would be a disaster for this society.

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