I first heard the slogan “Death with Dignity” when I was 13. Even in my youth, the phrase didn’t sit well with me. And, as I researched it, I came to a solid conclusion: euthanasia was wrong.
Many said I was brainwashed and naïve and that my views would develop and mature as I grew older. Well, I’m not exactly old, but four years later, I can say that, although I have developed and matured, my conclusion has not changed.
The slogan “Death with Dignity” is a lovely illusion. The concept behind its birth appears flawlessly kind. It holds that controversial yet alluring “logic” that dances around the idea of ethics and goes straight for the jugular of emotion. But it is for this reason that we should be warned.
Euthanasia advocates are practiced in the ways of the heart. They know how to tug on heartstrings, how to pull out raw emotion, and how to toy with human instincts. They need raw emotion because their arguments hold little appeal to the mind.
Consider, on the other hand, the arguments against euthanasia. These look at past experience with euthanasia, which has proven that there can never be enough safeguards put in place to ensure that no one dies an unwilling victim under the guise of “voluntary” euthanasia. They also point out that elder abuse is all too real an issue to ignore. They point out that those who suffer from mental illness, like clinical depression, could easily slip through the restraints surrounding euthanasia and be gone before anyone can give them the help they really needed. They point out that the chance of unwanted infants being enveloped under euthanasia laws is not only a possibility but is a current reality in some countries, throwing open the question of “who will be next?” They point to the fact that, where euthanasia is legalized, advances in palliative care stagnate. All these arguments are based on hard facts, not manipulative emotional pleas.
And, yet, those who oppose euthanasia do also appeal to the heart. They appeal to the real need that lies within each person to be told that their life matters, no matter what the current state, and that there is hope, no matter how dark the current situation. It is a position that actively pursues palliative care instead of merely offering lethal doses and body bags.
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Euthanasia supporters claim that anti-euthanasia activists are monsters. They attempt to paint pictures for the masses of evil, sadistic people who enjoy the torture of the sick and elderly. In reality, we seek to protect and uphold the value of human life and we believe that “Death with Dignity” means that we embrace the idea that it is possible to kill the pain and not the patient.
LifeNews Note: Lila Mills is a student pro-life activist.