What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Choice devours itself: Proposal to kill the mentally disabled in Delaware

Recall that choice devours itself when something worshiped by ideologues--usually death or unmarried sex--is first promoted in the name of "choice" and "consent" but then pressed upon those who do not or cannot properly consent, and the ideologues look the other way or are enthusiastically in favor.

So choice devours itself when women are forced into abortions in China and the left is in denial. Choice devours itself when Planned Parenthood covers up statutory rape of a 12-year-old to promote abortion for minors. Choice devours itself when a facilitator of assisted suicide holds down the hands of a person who wants to breathe again after having set up suicide by asphyxiation. And choice devours itself when the mentally disabled are given the "choice" of assisted suicide, which has now been proposed in Delaware and is already a reality in Europe.

Rep. Paul Baumbach is at the moment the only sponsor of an assisted suicide bill in Delaware, and hopefully it will stay that way. The bill didn't pass in 2017 but carries over to the 2018 session.

Wesley J. Smith notes that the sponsor has deliberately amended the bill to make sure that it contains a provision for those who are significantly mentally handicapped to receive the great blessing of a lethal injection.

First, note the definition of “intellectual disability,” standard in the field. From Amendment 2 to House Bill 160:

“Intellectual disability” means a disability, that originated before the age of 18, characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills.”

This means disabled people with significant intellectual impairments.

Why think that they are consenting at all? Oh, because a social worker affirms that they "understand" that they are going to be killed:

(b) If the patient has a documented intellectual disability, the attending physical shall refer the patient to a licensed clinical social worker who shall ensure that the patient fully understands the information provided pursuant to § 2504B

(3). No medication to end a patient’s life in a humane and dignified manner may be prescribed unless the licensed clinical social worker has confirmed in writing to the attending physician that the patient understands the information provided pursuant to § 2504B(3).

But this is absurd. As Smith points out, people who meet this definition cannot legally vote in Delaware, make their own medical decisions, or enter into contracts. How can they possibly be capable of consenting in any meaningful sense to death? To put it no higher, this proposal would make Delaware law quite incoherent. Such a person would not have the right to consent to a healing treatment but would be able to "consent" to a lethal injection! But since when have ideologues cared about legal coherence?

Comments (7)

I'll bet that if you look up section 2504B, you DON'T find something that tells you anything at all about the social worker being able to figure out that the person "understands" that he or she is going to be killed, but is about something much more pro-forma and merely procedural. I tried to look it up, but can't find the section. It's probably in the bill rather than in current law, but I could not locate the actual bill either.

The whole idea is crazy, that's for sure. I imagine that some pro-death people will say something like "well, if the person were able to understand his situation properly, he would say that he consents. (After all, I myself would not want to be like that person, so I feel that if I were faced with the prospect of being like that person, I would rather die...so HE WOULD TOO. If he knew how disgusting his life is to the rest of us, anyway.)"

I could talk a 6-year-old into "agreeing to go to heaven" or "agreeing to have no more pain and go to a happy place" or something to that effect if I were really wicked.

Anyway, many of these folks can't consent in any legally meaningful way to normal treatment, not so much as the administration of an antibiotic, but are merely told, "It's time to take your pills, Johnny, here you go" etc., and yet this bill sponsor wants to pretend they can consent to a lethal injection.

After all, I myself would not want to be like that person, so I feel that if I were faced with the prospect of being like that person, I would rather die...so HE WOULD TOO. If he knew how disgusting his life is to the rest of us, anyway.

Yep. Putting him out of our misery.

"Such a person would not have the right to consent to a healing treatment but would be able to "consent" to a lethal injection!"

You're OBVIOUSLY confused, getting killed is as close to healing as they can hope for - or something like that.

Sean, ahhh, yes, that love affair they have with death, underneath it all. "Death solves all ills." Maybe even "death heals all wounds", instead of time?

There is a an illness of the spirit in this thinking, of course: when you have rejected the Lord of Life, you have an emptiness in the soul that cannot be filled, regardless of how much physical pleasure you seek out. That emptiness calls out to death because it comes from the father of death, who is also the father of lies, and a murderer from the beginning.

That love affair with death (and with the darker side of Eros, also) has been very much at the heart of my idea that "choice devours itself."

This is getting rather metaphysical, but I think it's no accident that this type of choice-to-no-choice phenomenon clusters around sex and death. One doesn't seem to find people clamoring for the right to the choice to do some other random thing followed by *forcing* people to do that thing or forcing it upon those who cannot really consent to it.

There is something about these things that seems to cause them to take on a life of their own: You have a *right* to die. Oh, you can't really consent to it. Well, you have a *duty* to die.

You have a *right* to have sex with whomever you want to. Oh, there are teenage prostitutes on the streets? Well, let's just assume they're totally freely exercising their right. I forget which "civilized" country it was--I believe Australia or New Zealand--in which teen prostitutes who were still minors were simply "encouraged to find indoor work" rather than being stopped/rescued from prostituting themselves. There was a cutoff age--either fifteen or sixteen. Below that they actually took them into foster care. In another country foreign workers would make common cause with traffickers in order to get "access" to enslaved women and give them medical care. They agreed not to help them escape, even though apparently there were things they could do to help them escape, and the trafficking was illegal in the country. I'm somewhat inclined to doubt that they would do that if the women were being forced to work in salt mines.

Or, heavy household labor? Noooo, not scrubbing floors!

Post a comment

Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.