British 'Moralist' says Dementia Patients Have a 'Duty to Die'
"If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives - your family's lives - and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service."
She told the Church of Scotland's Life and Work magazine, "If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives - your family's lives - and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service." In another article for a Norwegian periodical, titled "A Duty to Die?" she suggests, "There's nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so [commit suicide] for the sake of others as well as yourself.In other contexts, sacrificing oneself for one's family would be considered good. I don't see what is so horrible about the motive of not wanting to be an increasing nuisance."
Baroness Warnock's comments come as prominent voices in Britain's House of Lords continue to advocate for legalised euthanasia and assisted suicide.Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, said she was concerned about the influence Warnock has. "Because of her previous experiences and well-known standing on contentious moral issues, Baroness Warnock automatically gives moral authority to what are entirely immoral view points."
Contemporary utilitarianism - the idea that individual lives are of no inherent value and can be sacrificed for the good of society - is widely held in modern academia and medical circles. The principles of utilitarianism form the foundation for the modern "bioethics" (of which Baroness is a prominent proponent) that has largely replaced traditional Natural Law medical ethics that follow the principle of "do no harm" in many modern national health care systems.
John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, wrote that Warnock's comments are "a regression to the brutal ancient world, when enforced suicide as a punishment was commonplace." Warnock's ideas, however, can also be traced to a period of history much closer to our own. In his book "The Origins of Nazi Genocide: from Euthanasia to the Final Solution", US holocaust historian Henry Friedlander chronicled the growth and application of utilitarian and eugenic philosophies identical to Lady Warnock's.
Under the influence of utilitarian eugenic philosophies, also called "social Darwinism", German officials in the 1930s instituted a program of mass euthanasia for persons the state considered undesirable, labeling them "lebensunwertes leben": life unworthy of life and "useless eaters." Among the groups targeted for euthanasia were developmentally disabled people, disabled children, and elderly people suffering from dementia.
In Nazi Germany's Aktion T4 programme, in which the gas chamber technology was developed, patients "judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination," were killed by physicians on the grounds that they were a burden to their families and to the state. After the war, the Nuremberg Trials found evidence that about 275,000 people had been euthanised.
An important part of the Nazi euthanasia program was a campaign of propaganda to convince the public that euthanasia was a "compassionate" solution for patients and their families and that it would control the costs of health care.
As one of the world's most prominent proponents of the "new" utilitarianism, in 2005, Baroness Warnock said that Britain should follow the Dutch euthanasia model in setting an age limit below which premature babies would not routinely be resuscitated. She said that only those infants who show a strong chance of living to be healthy should be allowed to survive.
Her interview this week was not the first time she has suggested that there is an obligation for suicide among seriously ill people. In 2004, she told the Times that parents who want to continue medical treatment for their seriously ill children should have to pay for it themselves. "I don't see what is so horrible about the motive of not wanting to be an increasing nuisance," she said. "I am not ashamed to say some lives are more worth living than others."Maybe it has to come down to saying: 'Okay, they can stay alive but the family will have to pay for it.' Otherwise it will be an awful drain on public resources," she said.
- - -
LifeSiteNews.com is a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family. It was launched in September 1997. LifeSiteNews Daily News reports and information pages are used by numerous organizations and publications, educators, professionals and political, religious and life and family organization leaders and grassroots people across North America and internationally.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Europe News
- Pope Francis: To Evangelize, We Must Be Open to the Action of the Spirit of God
- Pentecostal Pope Calls Ecclesial Movements and the Whole Church to Newness, Unity and Mission
- Historic Meeting between Pope Francis and Coptic Patriarch, Tawadros II, Fosters Christian Unity
- Pope Francis Shakes up the Ambassadors Meeting and Addresses Economic Issues
- AU CONTRAIRE! Economic crisis has been 'pulling European public opinion apart'
- Pope Calls Whole Church to Encounter Jesus Christ Personally Through the Holy Spirit
- France ponder one percent 'Internet tax' to fund domestic computer production
- Pope Francis Canonizes 802 Saints: 800 Martyrs of Otranto and Two Latin American Foundresses
- Growth in Number of Catholics Worldwide, Along with Priests and Deacons
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?