The ultimate in recycling! Euthanasia as a food source…!
by Pseud O'Nym
Last week – or maybe not last week depending on when I post this, but in the last month, DEFINITELY within the last year – The Supreme Court, in a judgment which should have come as no surprise to anyone, rejected a case bought by individuals, who wanted the current law on assisted dying to be changed so that anyone who assisted them would not be liable for prosecution.
The Supreme Court decision was unexpectedly far-reaching insofar as whilst it dismissed the appeal, the ruling gave the strongest possible suggestion that Parliament should change the law so as to be in line with human rights guarantees. Five of the nine judges suggested politicians should amend the law to be in line with the human rights guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights. As part of its ruling the Supreme Court also made it clear that the subject of assisted dying or euthanasia was not part of its remit. They could only interpret the law. They made it clear that if any change in the law was to be done, it was to be done by parliament.
This is both a good and a bad thing: good because the judges of the Supreme Court mix, and I don’t want to be judgmental here – isn’t it ironic that people who say that they don’t wish to be judgmental normally do the very thing they say they don’t wish to do – in the sort of social circles that merely reflect their own view of society and that the people who they come into contact with are precisely the kind of people who would never consider assisted dying or euthanasia. I mean they might consider euthanasia in their dotage but not if they were in rude health. Doesn’t the right to life, which is held to be so important mean equally that one has the right to end it? It is a bad thing because parliament has time and time again proved itself to be out of step with public opinion on this matter. Given that an overwhelming proportion of the public support euthanasia, it is quite remarkable that our elected representatives don’t.
However, as this American survey of public attitudes to euthanasia demonstrates, it is not the question of euthanasia itself that people find problematic but more in which the way in which the question is asked. When the question is asked like this “When a person has a disease that cannot be cured, do you think that doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life by some painless means if the patient and his or her family request it?” the response is overwhelmingly positive, 70% are in favour. But when the question is worded like this, “When a person has a disease that cannot be cured and is living in severe pain, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed by law to assist the patient to commit suicide, if the patient requests it?”, the response is markedly different. 51% thought it should be allowed, 47% thought not and 4% ‘had no opinion’.
Quite possibly you are, by now, wondering why I festoon my posts with links to site’s whose findings I’m about to cite. The reason is this. If I were reading a blog and someone made a claim to which made me think “Hang on, that’s a pretty bold claim you’re making there. Can you verify it some way, and not just by referencing some obscure blog written by a deluded mental pygmy of a redneck American, but a trustworthy source? “, I’d want reputable evidence from a credible source, which cause me to think “Fair enough, you’ve cited your sources, whether I checked them out or not is another matter, but if I had wanted to, I could. Now carry on as you were.”
Anyway, when 76%, – a sizeable and not to be sniffed at portion of the population – fully agree with euthanasia and with that feeling remains strong in the 60’s, precisely the age group who see their dream of a happy retirement instead turn into a nightmare where society struggles to come to terms with an increasingly ageing population. It is ironic, is it not, that we are exhorted by successive governments to be prudential and save, only for those who have had the foresight – or so they thought – to save for a rainy day, to find that their retirement is not so much a rainy day but more of a flood of biblical proportions. No wonder euthanasia seems like the sensible option when the alterative is penury and hardship instead of a gentle old age. Of course euthanasia seems like a rational choice.
Now would seem to a good time to mention the dystopian nightmare future of the 1973 film “Soylent Green”, Where the year is 2022, food shortages are endemic and the population is out of control and given to frequent riots. Soylent – an amalgam of the words Soya and lentils – is a corporation that has introduced foods such as Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow, which have proven to be a lucratively huge successes. So much so that Soylent bring out the eponymous “Soylent Green” of the title. There is only one tiny snag, not worth mentioning really. Soylent Green is made from the rioters, who protest about the power corporations wield, are bulldozed up and taken to a waste disposal plant where they are turned into Soylent Green. lt neatly solves the problem of over-population, where people so are desperate for nutritious food, they want to beleive that Soylent Green is made from algae, despite there existing evidence that oceans are so polluted, that they can no longer produce it on such a scale. The government has set up specially built facilities for people “going home” – a euphemism for euthanasia – in which one can watch films of earth as it was, not as it has become, as they make their final journey. They too become food as euthanansia solves the problems of over-population and starvation quite neatly. The ultimate in re-cycling!
Think its all a bit too futuristically nightmare sci-fi? That this couldn’t possibly happen? Cast your mind back to when green issues like recycling were the faddish preserves of people who knitted their own lentils. And now, decade’s later, green issues are seen as part of the global political mainstream. Now think of the so called ‘horse-meat scandal’ – the only scandal being that some people thought they could buy ready meal lasagnas for £2 and for it to contain best cuts of meat. Imagine a future, maybe forty years from now, maybe more, maybe less where land resources are scarce, that over-population means humanity is unable to sustain itself. And then, ask yourself, if the premise of “Soylent Green” is so farfetched?