The Advantage of Living in a Movable House
Last Monday a friend called me to say that her condition was deteriorating and that she could no longer be alone. On Tuesday my trailer was packed – not well enough as there were books all over the floor, again – and I was on my way to Wellington.
My commitment is to care for her until the end, which could be a matter of weeks or maybe a matter of months away. Who knows?
So it is fitting that these Thoughts are both the last to be published here (on LinkedIn) and that, on Halloween.
On Death, Euthanasia and Vaccine Mandates
Death, in itself, doesn’t disrupt too much. Yes, there is the loss, the grieving, but once it happens, it’s done. The person is no longer here, we feel loss but life restarts, differently, but it goes on.
It is the preparation for death that disrupts. The person concerned obviously has to come to terms with it, the people emotionally affected also. And there are many, many people with experience of this and plenty of books written.
But next to that, and generally unacknowledged, there is a huge disruption to the life of a full-time carer. Everything else stops. Life as we knew it ceases to exist. Like, really ceases to exist. A door shuts, and is bolted. No more walks when you want, it is lockdown a hundred-fold.
And we don’t know for how long this will continue as the Grim Reaper makes his appearance in his time, when he is ready.
Which brings me to euthanasia
(but has nothing to do with this situation)
At heart, the pro-euthanasia argument is one that rests on control. Controlling the time, place and means of death. There are arguments made about reducing suffering and these are equally valid but, fundamentally, even that is about control.
Controlling the time of death is the ultimate in human agency.
It is the one thing we cannot foretell (fortunately) and the one thing that is guaranteed to take us by surprise. So in a social environment wherein we attempt to control everything (you can come up with your own examples), it is hardly surprising that control over time and means of death would be seen as desirable.
Now an interesting thing happens.
One of the many put-downs for the vaccine-hesitant is that they are inappropriately exercising agency. Being too individualistic, not accounting for the common good.
But euthanasia is the ultimate in human agency…
What would you find if you asked pro-mandate people about their views on euthanasia?
Would you find that these “for the common good” mandate supporters are also pro “the ultimate in human agency”?
When is human agency acceptable and when is it not?