The circle of those leading what certain members of the West’s cultural elites think are “lives worth living” got a little smaller yesterday. Baroness Mary Warnock, whom the London Daily Telegraph refers to as “Britain’s leading moral philosopher,” has consigned those suffering from dementia to the trash bin:

Lady Warnock said: “If you’re demented, you’re wasting people’s lives – your family’s lives – and you’re wasting the resources of the National Health Service.

“I’m absolutely, fully in agreement with the argument that if pain is insufferable, then someone should be given help to die, but I feel there’s a wider argument that if somebody absolutely, desperately wants to die because they’re a burden to their family, or the state, then I think they too should be allowed to die.

“Actually I’ve just written an article called ‘A Duty to Die?’ for a Norwegian periodical. I wrote it really suggesting that there’s nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so for the sake of others as well as yourself.”

She went on: “If you’ve an advance directive, appointing someone else to act on your behalf, if you become incapacitated, then I think there is a hope that your advocate may say that you would not wish to live in this condition so please try to help her die.

“I think that’s the way the future will go, putting it rather brutally, you’d be licensing people to put others down.”

Ebenezer Scrooge–who famously said of the poor, “If they are to die, let them die, and decrease the surplus population”–would be proud of her.

The amazing thing here is how many weasel words and expressions she managed to get into such a short number of sentences. “Duty to die,” “incapacitated,” “burden to their family,” “allowed to die,” “help her die,” “wasting people’s lives”–any of these phrases can be invested with a meaning that will essentially give the green light to doctors and families who think Granny’s got to go.

But the really chilling expressions are “put others down” and “burden to…the state.” The first, commonly used of animals who have no say in the matter, is now transferred to human beings, who will also presumably be deprived of a say in the matter, regardless of expressed wishes. The second is a license to kill, and would be welcomed by any totalitarian dictatorship, which Britain isn’t.


(Via Hot Air.)