Monday, June 18, 2012

Euthanasia - Write or Wrong?

There were several articles/essays concerning euthanasia in the weekend edition of Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper. All day my thoughts skittered back and forth. Images niggled and nudged until I decided to discard the post I had prepared for this week’s blog.
Recently, a short story of mine was included in an anthology, Indie Trigger Short Stories, published by Simone Press, UK (available on Amazon).
Rachel Pryor, in her June 4th blog,, said this of my speculative fiction: “The Culling of a Nation is a chilling story about euthanasia for the pursuit of greater economic success.”
I had never considered my story to be about euthanasia. I suppose it is. It is a frightening story for those who are struggling with the health care system. Especially the seniors.
This month, Culling of a Nation, is the feature story in the U.K. online journal, The Sim Review.
It is introduced thus: “Phyllis Humby imagines a future where life is devalued by the pursuit of economic success and greater productivity. Her cold, main character backs this ideology with an enthusiasm that is disturbing.”
“A future where life is devalued...” Yes, in a sense that is an accurate analysis of the story.
My story has nothing to do with dying with dignity...or does it? Is that the ultimate result?
Dying with dignity is what comes to mind when I think of euthanasia. The choice to end our own life. A choice to end our suffering from a terminal condition. A choice to die rather than burden family.
If euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal, is the affected individual the only one who is authorized to apply? Or do the family members have a say? Can family members dispute the application?
Conversely, can the family send a letter to the government saying, Grandma is not contributing here and she has become a burden?
Perhaps they will write, She has lived a good long life and she doesn’t do anything but garden and watch the birds.
Elder abuse is a serious problem. How far will people take this? Will guilt and coercion play a part? I have a problem with where the line is drawn. At what point do we decide that this is the time to ...
Will the life sections in the newspapers that post the births and deaths, also list the departures?
Departure service begins with the divesting and distribution of personal holdings at 7:00 PM followed by a reception with finger foods and beverages. There will be a champagne toast at 9:00 to bid farewell to our loved one and commemorate the final transition. All family and friends are welcome. Good wishes only please.
This is written tongue-in-cheek but I do not intend humour. My heart is pounding from outrageous imaginings. Afterall, this is a matter of life or death.
What we find ridiculous today, becomes reality tomorrow.


  1. wow. very thought provoking.
    what would a departure party look like?

    I love the new look for your blog, too :)

    1. I had read and heard so much on this subject in the last few days that I couldn't shake it loose without commenting. Glad you like the new look for the blog. Thanks Elena. Now, as for the departure party, I have given it thought. Perhaps it will surface as a short story. :)

  2. I am all for the right to die with dignity. If there is no quality of life and only pain and suffering, that is no life at all.
    That's my opinion.
    Writer Dave

    1. Your opinion, and that of many others! Thanks, Dave.