Home > Political Opinion > What euthanasia fans lack is joie de vivre

What euthanasia fans lack is joie de vivre

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for poison, and other sources of lethal danger.


From the Editor

October 22, 2010

Hi there,

I am flying into Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, at the moment, as comments on Cristina Alarcon’s article on euthanasia accumulate.

Tasmania is also debating euthanasia and this reminds me of Janet, an 80+ widow I once met in a sunless Hobart suburb. I may have told this story before, so please stop me if I repeat myself. A friend of mine and I had been chopping firewood for Janet (long story, will explain later) and stayed for a cuppa afterwards in her chilly cottage.

Janet’s life story was dismal. She was born with a disfiguring wall-eye which probably explains why her mother abandoned her at birth to a state orphanage. She left at 14 and at 16 married a garbage collector. He was not a bad fellow really but drank heavily. One or two of her children had died and her eldest grandson had just been released from jail. One or two others were drug addicts. Her health was not good and she had a huge tray of pills for every possible ailment a woman of her age could have. Blind in one eye, she could barely read the gigantic headlines of the tabloid on her coffee table with the other. In short, she seemed a candidate for the euthanasing ministrations of the ghouls from the local Dying with Dignity crowd.

Not a bit of it. Janet was bubbling with loquacious exuberant vitality. Her only problem in life was meeting her date with destiny. She was about to become a great-great-grandmother, not, as she noted with some disdain, an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, garden variety, great-grandmother, like her friends. A great-great-grandmother. Was she happy or what?

We left her house wondering if Tasmania’s euthanasia enthusiasts should pay her a visit for a bit of a pick-me-up.

After reading Ms Alarcon’s article, try Godfrey Hodgson on the Tea Party movement in the US and Michael Coren on police madness in Canada.

Michael Cook

PS — Deputy Editor Carolyn Moynihan is on holidays next week. There will only be one newsletter, at the end of next week.

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