The decline of Christianity is one reason for the attraction of assisted suicide
The gynaecologist who writes the lethal prescription for clients of Dignitas has explained his philosophy in the London Times. As if to confirm the analysis of many critics of the so-called "culture of death", he links abortion and euthanasia. Dr Alois Geiger writes that "I have helped many children into this world. And I have done so gladly, it has always been an act on the borders of existence, bringing someone new to the world. But it is also part of my job to terminate pregnancies, that is to destroy something that could have led a healthy life. I have done this with less enthusiasm because the decision to end pregnancy is never taken with the knowledge of the creature whose life is about to be ended.
"Now I am consciously active at another existential borderline, the voluntary exit from this world. I am not saying of course that suicide is the ideal resolution of a life. But it is just as legitimate as soldiering on to the natural end of a life. Both possibilities should exist — neither course is better than the other. And only those directly affected can decide on which way is the best for them."
He also attributes the attraction of assisted suicide to the dechristianisation of society. "The social rejection of suicide does not so much derive from the Hippocratic oath but rather from Christian traditions. Suicide is abhorred by all monotheistic religions. The Christian religion, which has influenced most of us, trusts to God’s will in all of life’s difficult moments. Only God who gave us life is entitled to take it away, runs the argument. So suicide becomes a sin. But what if this God doesn’t exist? For those who do not believe, can there not be arguments for deciding the end of one’s life: a life of suffering perhaps, or one blighted by increasing isolation, or the dependency on outside care? " ~ London Times, Oct 24
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