Maison Simons, commonly known as Simons, is a major Canadian fashion retail chain. At the end of October, a three-minute film was released: a mystical, emotional and tearful tribute.
His subject matter was the suicide of a 37-year-old British Columbia woman, Jennyfer Hatch, who had been granted what Canadian law calls “medical aid in the event of death.” due to suffering associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of disorders that affect the connective tissues of the body.
In an interview quoted by Canada’s The National Post, Simons’ business chief said the film was “obviously not a commercial campaign”. Rather, it was a civic-minded display of a desire to “build the communities we want to live in tomorrow and leave our children behind.”
For those communities and children, the message of the video is clear: must believe on the sanctity of medically assisted suicide.
In recent years, Canada has enacted some of the laws on physician assisted suicide the most permissive in the worldallowing adults to request assisted suicide or direct euthanasia for many different forms of severe suffering, not just terminal illness.
Expansion of the law
In 2021, more than 10,000 people ended their lives this way, over 3% of all deaths in Canada. It will go into effect in March. a new enlargementwhich will allow physician-assisted suicide mental health disorders; Assisted suicide is also evaluated “mature” minors.
In the age of populism, there is lively debate about when a democracy stops being liberal. But the rise of physician-assisted suicide raises a different question: What if a society remains liberal but ceases to be civilized?
The rules of civilization necessarily include gray areas. It is not barbaric that the law recognizes that there are difficult decisions in end-of-life care about when to withdraw life support or how aggressively to treat dying pain.
However, it is barbaric to establish a bureaucratic system offer death as a reliable treatment for suffering and involve the medical profession in the application of that “cure”.
And while there may be worse evils ahead, this is not an argument based on the slippery slope fallacy: when 10,000 people a year take advantage of a physician-assisted suicide system, We have already entered the dystopia.
Indeed, according to a lengthy article by Maria Cheng of the Associated Press, the Canadian system shows exactly corrosive traits predicted by critics of assisted suicide, presumably by health professionals suggest it to your patients even sick people who seek respite for reasons related to economic stress.
In these themes, one can see the obscure ways in which physician-assisted suicide interacts with other problems of late modernity: the isolation imposed by family breakdown; the spread of chronic disease and depression; the pressure faced by aging societies with low birth rates to reduce health expenditure.
But the evil isn’t just in those interactions; It is present in the foundation. The idea that human rights encompass the right to self-destructthe assumption that people in a state of terrible suffering and vulnerability are indeed “free” to make a choice that ends all options, the idea that a healing profession must include death in its battery of cures, are ideas inherently destructive.
If left unchecked, will forge a cruel new worlda dehumanized final chapter of liberal history.
For anyone on the right who opposes Donald Trump and the filth around him (most recently at his table in Mar-a-Lago), the past six years have forced him to ask hard questions about When does it make sense to identify with conservatism?worry about their direction and their survival.
One answer depends on which dystopian future is most feared. Between “Never Trumpers” (The Never Trumpists) who have completely abandoned the right, the overwhelming fear is an authoritarian or fascist future, a right-wing threat to democracy that requires all possible resistance.
But in the Canadian experience you can see what America might look like with the real power of the right broken and a tamed conservatism offering minimal resistance to social liberalism.
And the dystopian danger there seems not only more immediate than in any right-wing authoritarian context, but also more difficult to resist, because its characteristics are congruent with many other tendencies, while its path has been paved by many powerful institutions.
Yes, there are liberals, Canadians and Americans, who can see what is wrong with physician-assisted suicide. Twitter reactions to Simons’ video they were tough, and the video disappeared from the company website.
But without a powerful conservatism, the cultural balance is tilted too much against these doubts. And the further de-Christianization proceeds, the stronger is the impulse to go where Simons’ video already went: to rationalize the new order with implicit guarantees that that is what a higher power wants.
The fact that the strongest objections come from biblical religion is often treated as a defense of physician-assisted suicide. But spiritual topics never really disappearand the liberal order in a dystopian twilight will continue to be imbued with some kind of religious faith.
So I remain a conservative, sadly but determinedly, because only conservatism seems to offer a stubborn obstacle to that dystopia… and I’d rather not discover the full nature of its faith.
c.2022 The New York Times Society
Translation: Elisa Carnelli
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.