A Canadian man with diabetes named Dan Laramie, whose illness had advanced to the point he would need amputations, decided to be lethally injected instead. He was killed by his doctor to cheers and applause from family and friends at his euthanasia party — at which photos were taken to commemorate the event, and perhaps, to send along with the story to the media. From the Daily Mail story:
She said music was played an important part in the end-of-life celebration and he had even written 30 songs while he was in hospital.
Speaking after the party [Laramie’s wife] Stef said: ‘I don’t really feel loss, we don’t need any sorrow at this time and I don’t know if that sounds rude.
‘We had a really amazing relationship, if he had died in a way that we had no notion of it or by surprise then it would be a sorrowful thing. But I don’t think dying should be sorrowful.’
His friends, sister, son, daughter, grandchildren and some of his nurses all came to the party.
So, let me ask you, my dear readers, to ponder: If invited to such a “party,” would you go?
It could be an agonizing decision. Attend, and it seems to me you become complicit in the suicide/homicide. You validate it. You affirm to the suicidal patient that his or her worst fears about continuing to live are true, such as: my life can never have meaning again; I will die in agony; I won’t be remembered well; I am a burden, etc.
But refuse, and you could feel guilty for not being with your loved one at his or her death. Moreover, your family supporting the suicide/killing could ostracize you. “How dare you judge grandma! How dare you not be there to support her ‘choice’!”
Getting Restless; Time to Die
Back at the euthanasia party, people were getting restless, and so it was time to get on with the killing:
Once Dan signed the papers and said he was ready, his family gathered at his bedside. Stef explained: ‘You could see sort of an energy in the room where people could feel that it was time.
‘It was a really blessed evening. It happened a little later than we had planned so you could feel people getting a little bit restless. ‘The doctor came down, he was beside us and the nurse, the pair of them brought such light and beauty into this assistance.
‘I can’t even tell you how beautiful the smile in his eyes was, he was so ready and it felt like everything we had talked about , that we planned about all these people made it the perfect exit.’
She said after he received three injections, his eyes closed and she gave him a kiss.
Stef said that Dan wanted a round of applause as he died so everybody cheered for him.
‘The release of all that energy, it was really great. There were a lot of things that were very comforting and Dan just loved every minute of it.’
These death events — this is far from the first such story about euthanasia parties — are being publicized in the service of normalizing euthanasia as the best way to die. It’s the real “death with dignity,” don’t you know? The goal, I believe, is to push society toward the point that having oneself killed becomes the expectation, not the exception.
Is this kind of thing right or wrong? It depends on one’s values and moral beliefs. Some may see it as empowering, dying “his own way,” as the media continually put it.
Others, as I do, see darkness and nihilism in cheering on death, an (often unintentional) abandonment of people at their darkest hour. Indeed, this story reminds me of Canadian journalist Andrew Coyne’s cogent warning against the culture of death from many years ago:
A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured.
Cross-posted at The Corner.