Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This is an Interesting Article

On why there is no dignity in euthanasia, written by a man who has worked with the terminally ill for many years and who has himself been on dialysis for twenty years.

This paragraph is especially interesting:

Medical research in this area indicates that the desire for euthanasia is not confined to physical or psycho-social concerns relating to advanced disease. As many researchers have found, a request for death often incorporates hidden existential yearnings for connectedness, and care and respect. Euthanasia requests cannot be taken at face value but require in-depth exploration of their covert meaning, in order to ensure that the patients' needs are being addressed adequately.

I try to avoid demonizing liberals and liberalism on this blog. I see many good aspects of liberalism and, in a sense, everybody is a liberal-- just as everybody is partly a conservative, and an anarchist, and a feminist, and so on.

But, to me, the fundamental problem of liberalism is this matter of consent. The whole social philosophy of liberalism is built upon an overriding respect for consent, but consent is a very murky issue. Is someone who agrees to work in degrading conditions of labour really consenting? Does a prostitute consent to her work? Does a teenager who gets involved with sex or drugs really give a full and free consent? Does a marriage that breaks up because all of the social pressure and social messages are in favour of the break-up really represent the will of the couple in question?

Obviously, in all those questions, the answer is both "yes" and "no". Strictly speaking, in all of these cases, there is consent. But it is a very problematic kind of consent.

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