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No to “Quality of Life” Coronavirus Healthcare Rationing

I write in National Review this morning on the latest push to make euthanasia lawful:

If you want to see what may soon go wrong in public policy, just read the professional literature. Bioethics journals are particularly illuminating in this regard because many of the leading voices in the field long ago discarded the sanctity/equality of life for the utilitarianish “quality of life” ethic, which grants higher value to some over others based on invidious distinctions such as disability, age, and health.

An advocacy article in the current Clinical Ethics provides a case in point. In, “Counting the Cost of Denying Assisted Dying,” an academic bioethicist and a business management professor support legalizing euthanasia…

You’ll have to read the full piece to understand the complete “why” behind this push.

I underscore that “the authors hope to persuade us that society has a utilitarian stake in allowing the sick, the mentally ill, the elderly, and people with disabilities to be killed.”

As with so many attacks on human dignity and human rights, the activists pushing here for euthanasia don’t simply want it to be a legal option—”safe, legal, and rare”, if you will—but rather the logic behind the push seeks a broad social acceptance of euthanasia as if it were a positive social good.

“This advocacy,” I note, “is both immoral and amoral. It creates a disposable caste of people and reduces the sick and suicidal to mere beans for the counters to enter on spreadsheets.”

We must do better.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.