The veteran Government adviser said pensioners in mental decline are "wasting people's lives" because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.
She insisted there was "nothing wrong" with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society. (link)
The battle over human dignity is still in its infancy. Do humans have inherent ontological value or only utilitarian value? Health care is expensive and many people lead lives that don't add value to the economy or culture- should we just off them so there's more money for the rest of us to spend on upgrading our iPods or so we can afford organic rather than proletarian foods?
There's a long history of governments helping people to die "for the sake of society"- in recent times Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Hitler come to mind as major proponents of this line of thinking. Should we get rid of everyone who can't hold down a decent job? Round up all the panhandlers and toss 'em in the sea? Send hit squads to the Special Olympics? Gas all the nursing homes?
With all the partisan rancor today, how many angry right or left wingers would agree that doing away with their political opponents would be the best thing for the sake of society and the planet and the future of the human race?
Who decides whose life is worth living? Who determines the standards and decides how to apply them?
Human beings are made by and for God. Life is sacred. But if we stop believing in God, that becomes a nonsensical statement. Christians believe that ALL human life is sacred, including, yes, the lives of unbelievers. But atheists and agnostics have no logical reason to agree. In the end, for them, it comes down to economics, or perhaps sentimentality.