Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Take my neighbor. Please.

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 11, 2005

After just 3 years of heavy thinking, the Royal Dutch Medical Association has concluded that it's OK for a doctor to administer a lethal injection to anyone who is "suffering through living."

Let's say that John Doe is perfectly healthy, and perfectly happy in his life. John has a neighbor, Richard Roe, who detests him. Roe is a powerful community leader-- let's say he's just donated a new wing to the medical center, where the euthanasia cases are "treated"-- and the resident doctors always show him great respect.

Another thing: Richard Roe hates John Doe.

One fine day, Roe pops in for a visit at the Roe Euthanasia Annex, and mentions that his neighbor John Doe is sadly "suffering through living." Brought in for questioning, Doe says that he's never been happier. Roe replies that it's a terribly sad case: Doe is delusional.

A panel of experts-- all trained in philosophical ethics by eminent professors like Peter Singer and Richard McBrien-- is convened to hear the case.

Doe says that he is happy because he has faith in God. That's bad, very bad, the experts agree-- evidence of a dysfunctional superstition. But the clinching evidence comes when Roe testifies, quite accurately, that he has often heard Doe refer to life as a "vale of tears."

The interns roll the gurney into the room, and the resident prepares the IV drip...

Of course this could not happen. It's just a nightmare I had. Probably because of something I ate. Don't worry, I'll get over it. I feel fine. Really! I'm OK!

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