“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

May 11, 2010

"Inconvenient people" and the rising "Obligation to Die Movement"

I've been warning about this for years in my lectures on global aging, about how what we currently know as the "right to die movement" is steadily morphing into what soon will be soon be the obligation to die movement, which will increasingly target old people and others whom our sick society deems to have "outlived their usefulness." Authors such as Peter G. Peterson (Gray Dawn) and Ken Dychtwald (Age Wave), Patrick Buchanan (The Death of the West) and Wesley Smith (Forced Exit), have been ringing the alarm bells for years (much louder and more eloquently than I have been, to be sure), though it doesn't seem like many are paying attention to what's coming. Thomas Sowell is one of the few who is. Here are some of his thoughts about a common mentality that is paving the way for enforced euthanasia:

One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have "a duty to die," rather than become a burden to others.

This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government.

Make no mistake about it, letting old people die is a lot cheaper than spending the kind of money required to keep them alive and well. If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly.

There was a time— fortunately, now long past— when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Sometimes the elderly themselves would simply go off from their family and community to face their fate alone.

But is that where we are today?

Talk about "a duty to die" made me think back to my early childhood in the South, during the Great Depression of the 1930s. One day, I was told that an older lady— a relative of ours— was going to come and stay with us for a while, and I was told how to be polite and considerate towards her.

She was called "Aunt Nance Ann," but I don't know what her official name was or what her actual biological relationship to us was. Aunt Nance Ann had no home of her own. But she moved around from relative to relative, not spending enough time in any one home to be a real burden.

At that time, we didn't have things like electricity or central heating or hot running water. But we had . . . (continue reading)