Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Monday, December 20, 2004

They're Not as Senile as They Look

Natalie Solent reports on an effect of the acceptance of euthanasia in the Netherlands:

However, here is an anecdote, told to me first-hand, which demonstrates that legalised euthanasia on the Dutch model affects the quality of life of old people in ways that the "beautiful death" campaigners did not anticipate.

A decade or so ago a member of my family was living in Holland and working as a care assistant at a Dutch old people's home. (She speaks Dutch.) She told me that when the time came to give some of the old men and women their medicine they would occasionally react with terror. "No, no," they would cry, "not the pill!"

What some cried aloud many more, particularly those whose minds were failing, must have feared in silence.

The recent move to allow involuntary euthanasia shows such fears aren't baseless.

Some American elderly are starting to have similar suspicions. I don't think the following incident is evidence of dementia:

My only personal experience with family members losing their minds is when my great-grandmother slipped off that slippery precipice. She was lying in the hospital bed and called my mother over. She then proceeded to whisper to her in a conspiratorial manner, saying and I quote, "You have to get me out of here. This is an abortion hospital."

Normally you are stuck in "real life" where the abortionists aren't going after ninety-one year old women but slap a little degenerative brain disorder and a whole new world opens up. Anything can happen. That sounds like the science fiction version of virtual reality that's being touted so much these days, but you can have it RIGHT NOW!

There's enough similarity between the arguments in favor of abortion and those in favor of other forms of euthanansia for the above to make a little sense.


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