Death with dignity is an oxymoron. Dignity is in life. To die with dignity is to face death, boldly, calmly, graciously. A good death is one that honours the life before. Assisted suicide is a vulgar act of cowardice. It diminishes our species. Have we become so entitled, soft, so weak-willed, so whiny and petulant that we cannot even bear the thought of future possible pain that we choose a lethal injection in expectation? Have we come to a place in time that leaving the ones who love us, need us, are not as important as our "dignity"? Have we become that self-serving?
Carter v. Canada , the judge-decreed legalization of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada, tries to take a chainsaw to that old-growth forest that my colleague Dr. Margaret Cottle describes as a "delicate social ecology of mutual support and protection" which forbids the killing of a patient.