Archbishop Nichols of Westminster has penned an article in The Telegraph (16th July 2009) regarding the debate about assisted suicide which is bubbling on in the United Kingdom as a result of recent events. See post below.
His article is worth reading in full. But the following passage is striking:
“Once life is reduced to the status of a product, the logical step is to see its creation and disposal in terms of quality control. This raises important questions: Who is to decide? What value is to be put on suffering that is borne with patience, or on enduring love and care for those in distress and pain?
If my life has no objective value, then why should anyone else care for it? The notion of an absolute right to choose "a good death" may sound libertarian but it undermines society's commitment to support fellow members in adversity. And it encourages the abandonment of the ailing.
Once life is entirely subject to human decision in its beginnings and endings, then the horizon of hope is dramatically reduced. I may hope to be the agent of that decision. But the likelihood is that someone else will either take it for me, or guide me towards taking it. Once the coin of sovereignty over death has been minted, then it will be claimed by not a few.”
Hat tip to Saint Mary Magdalen