In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC], Ludwig Minelli, founder of a Swiss "right-to-die" organization, argued that suicide is a "marvelous, marvelous possibility for a human being."
Minelli's organization, which in a macabre twist is named "Dignitas," advocates the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The group has gone so far as to advocate assisting psychiatric patients to commit suicide.
Now, in his BBC interview, Minelli criticized resistance to suicide and said, "I have a totally different attitude to suicide. I say suicide is a marvelous, marvelous possibility given to a human being." Extending his gushing advocacy of killing oneself, he added: "Suicide is a very good possibility to escape a situation which you can't alter."
Minelli makes an economic argument in pressing his enthusiasm for suicide. In his view, society benefits from the cost savings he associates with a successful suicide:
For 50 suicide attempts you have one suicide and the others are failing with heavy costs on the National Health Service. If we would have another attitude to suicide, saying suicide is a very good possibility to escape. In many, many cases they are terribly hurt afterwards sometimes you have to put them in institutions for 50 years. Very costly.
Mr. Minelli also makes clear that he does not believe that suicide is a "marvelous possibility" only for the terminally ill, but also for those who may for any reason choose to end their own life. He told the BBC of a Canadian couple planning a joint suicide. The husband is ill but the wife is not, but she just wants to "go at the same time." Minelli complained that Swiss law, though notoriously ambiguous on such matters, might present a problem if Dignitas helped the wife to commit suicide.
Meanwhile, here in the United States, U.S. News and World Report columnist Bonnie Erbe argues in her current column that abortions are "not a bad choice" in an economic downturn.
"The recession is driving American demand for contraception. And for abortions," reports Erbe. "The media have been rife this past week with stories about the rising number of couples and single mothers doing the math and deciding this is no time to bring a child into the world—not when the economy is depressed, jobs are scarce, and family incomes are dropping."
She then proceeds to complain that many media reports treat this as a tragedy. "It is not," retorts Erbe.
Erbe then related the story of a woman in Oakland, California who aborted what would have been her fourth child because she felt her family could not afford another baby. As her doctor explains, this was a wanted child and a "desired pregnancy." The woman cried as she told the physician why she was seeking the abortion.
But Erbe, who also hosts the PBS new program, To the Contrary, thinks the tears were unnecessary and the decision was right. In her chilling words:
Yes, it's sad that this unwed, pregnant mother of three had no money for bus fare. It's terrible that her boyfriend lost his job. It is heart-wrenching that she fell to tears in the doctor's office. But in the long run, can we not agree that an unwed couple's decision not to bring a fourth child into the world when they are having trouble feeding themselves and three children is no tragedy? It's actually a fact-based, rational decision that in the end benefits the three children they already have and society as well.
No, Ms. Erbe, we cannot agree that this is no tragedy. Abortion cannot be celebrated as "a fact-based, rational decision" that is supposedly justified by "benefits" to the family and society.
"It's no tragedy: it's a good decision," she insists. She also makes the economic argument central to her argument, insisting that the abortion "lessens the chance the family will have to rely on scarce public resources."
So, Ludwig Minelli argues that suicide is a "marvelous, marvelous human possibility" that will cut medical costs and Bonnie Erbe argues that abortion is "a good decision" that will benefit us all.
The Culture of Death usually disguises itself better than this. Here the ugliness and brutality -- the utter Godlessness of such proposals are here for all to see. Worldviews matter. Indeed, worldviews are a matter of life and death.
The BBC interview with Ludwig Minelli can be viewed here, courtesy of the BBC.