The Obligation to Die

A Pro Life article in the National Review yesterday entitled “Doctors are wrong about Down’s Syndrome”, suggested there is great, almost extreme pressure on parents who learn their unborn child has Down’s Syndrome to abort that child.  The article goes on to suggest that before long insurance companies may refuse to insure Down’s Syndrome children, essentially forcing the parents into a financial catastrophe if they allow the child to be born.  Since the stated goal of the majority party in this country is a single payer, government medical insurance system, how long will it be before the right to abortion becomes forced abortion?

The article brought up to me the next logical step.  If we are forced to abort the disabled, will we be forced to assist the disabled and sick elderly to commit suicide?  And how long will it be before the right to suicide becomes the obligation to suicide and then forced suicide?  National Health Insurance in some other countries is now denying a whole host of available medical options to people above a given age, regardless of their state of health.  In fact, a system of quality points ( aging decreases quality points) determines who benefits from the limited healthcare available.  The fact an 80 year old may be thoughtful and productive means nothing if their age determines their quality points.  The one healthcare option available to the elderly is the “Liverpool Option”, in which an ailing person denied medical care is placed on a morphine drip and allowed to dehydrate to death–usually accomplished in hospice in several days.  Otherwise they may painfully die of their disease, their other option.

It is also possible that social security may be cut off at some arbitrary age.  An elderly person who is not disabled, but no longer considered employable may lose everything and then be forced to accept assisted suicide.  Of course, this would favor the powerful at the expense of the masses.

These are all things to consider.  We think they couldn’t happen, but there was a time in this country when abortion was not acceptable either.  Now we dismember viable fetuses and sell their parts.  When the standard is not that humans are valuable by virtue of being God’s creation, but humans are valuable according to their utility to the society, anything can happen.  The powerful decide who is valuable.


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