Monday, May 20, 2024
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Doesn’t human life mean anything now?


FOR A language which to the British ear occasionally sounds guttural, German contains a few words as musical as they are useful. Think of Doppelgänger or Schadenfreude. Words such as these creep into the English language when we lack an equivalent to convey the meaning that is so succinctly expressed.

One such word with contemporary relevance is Entzauberung. The sociologist Max Weber gave it its modern meaning which is commonly translated to English as ‘disenchantment’, but he was referring to something much deeper and more dynamic. To him, Entzauberung is the de-mystification of the sacred elements of society, the persistent and extensive rejection of the metaphysical and the spiritual aspects of both private and public life. It was a phenomenon he observed until his death in 1920 and which has accelerated over the succeeding century, perhaps most energetically in the sexual revolution when the reproductive act in effect lost its meaning along with the purpose and truth of marriage and, most recently, in the erosion of the self-evident biological realities of the male and female sexes.

The final Entzauberung has yet to come but it is appearing in sight. This will be the loss or total rejection of the sacredness and inviolability of human life, and it is manifesting itself most powerfully in the drive throughout the western world for the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Such practices don’t appear from nowhere. Rather, they are preceded by a philosophical and theoretical basis to make them palatable. This is the Entzauberung now at full throttle in the UK and elsewhere, implicitly yet forcefully proposing that life has no intrinsic value and that death is an enlightened solution to any kind of suffering.

The people advancing this Entzauberung are openly frustrated by the Christian sentiments in the DNA of the British people. Time and again they insist almost fanatically that those who oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia do so because they are religious – ergo, irrational and superstitious.

They see Catholics, in particular, everywhere. Polly Toynbee, a Guardian writer always on hand to rouse a mob, challenged even Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, the Professor of Palliative Medicine at the forefront of the campaign against assisted suicide, to declare her Catholicism before she spoke against ‘assisted dying’.

It must have been to Toynbee’s chagrin to discover that Baroness Finlay is no more Christian than she is herself. Finlay is among the many non-Christians who recognise that euthanasia and assisted suicide will create not a post-modern utopia in which no one will suffer but a hell on earth, a trap for people considered ‘imperfect’. They also understand that the only safeguard that works is prohibition.

Here is Baroness Finlay, the medical professional with no religious faith, explaining last week, in her own words, why alternative ‘safeguards’ always prove utterly useless in protecting the vulnerable against exploitation, abuse and murder, how it is always ‘incredibly easy to expand those boundaries’, adding that ‘Canada should be a warning to people here’.

Canada is indeed a case in point. Not since Adolf Hitler implemented the Aktion T4 euthanasia programme, under which 300,000 incurably ill and disabled people were murdered, has any slope proved to be quite as slippery.

Comic actor Robin Williams once described Canada as ‘a really nice apartment over a meth lab’ but if he were alive today he might be wondering if Dr Harold Shipman or Dr Josef Mengele had moved in. Some observers believe it is no exaggeration to say that Canada is going the way of Nazi Germany. They include Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia, who told Associated Press recently that the euthanasia law has introduced ‘probably the biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazis’ programme in Germany in the 1930s’. 

Euthanasia and assisted suicide became legal in Canada in 2016 after the country’s highest court decided that a ban was unconstitutional because it deprived people of their dignity and autonomy. The law had robust ‘safeguards’. Access was limited to mentally-competent adults with serious and advanced diseases, who were enduring ‘unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be relieved under conditions that patients consider acceptable’, and whose deaths were ‘reasonably foreseeable’.

However access was quickly expanded to encompass more categories of people, while rights to object on grounds of conscience were removed. Medical insurers have grown reluctant to pay for palliative or nursing care but will cover ‘medical assistance in dying’, known as MAiD; a lethal injection or a deadly cocktail is the cheaper alternative. Initially there was an implicit assurance that it was meant for the few, but last year 10,000 died at the hands of medics.

It is now ridiculously easy to get a lethal jab in Canada where euthanasia is offered for non-terminal cases, such as disabled people, elderly people who claim their frailty is unbearable, and anyone who says they are mentally ill. Soon it is expected that children can qualify too.

The Canadian government is actively making it easier for medics to kill. Nurses as well as doctors can perform euthanasia, and Canada is unique in encouraging medics to present death as a ‘clinical care option’ in preliminary chats with health carers. An offer to kill is put on the table even before therapeutic options have been tried or exhausted.

The state, meanwhile, is covering up the truth about how its citizens die by ordering doctors to omit euthanasia as a cause from all death certificates and by protecting medics from the ire of disaffected families.

Take the case of Alan Nichols, a 61-year-old partly disabled by a stroke and suffering from depression, who was given a lethal injection against the wishes of his family. His relatives complained to British Columbia’s College of Doctors and Surgeons and to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police but were told that he ‘met the criteria’ and that the family had no right to intervene.

This hell is presided over by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the globalist woke authoritarian and self-regarding virtue-signaller par excellence. While Canada grants medics a right to kill with apparent impunity, his government thinks nothing of stripping away authentic rights and freedoms from the general populace, forcing them to have dodgy vaccines and wear face masks in a phoney war against Covid, an illness now no more harmful than the common cold.

A person with two glass eyes can see that it is the Canadian state that is truly sick. If they were to wonder how this awful situation came to pass, they could start by pondering the German concept of Entzauberung and how the apostasy of the West has become an atheistic onslaught against religion which is now destroying the very notion that life is sacred along with the idea that genuine human rights are innate and not the gift of the state.

This very dangerous situation should make any person of good will pause for thought – and perhaps to consider other foreign words which have found a home in the English language. They include sho’ah, a Hebrew word meaning ‘catastrophe’, and holocaust, derived from the Greek word holokauston, meaning a burnt sacrifice, because the mass murders of the 20th century may be echoed in the final Entzauberung of the 21st.

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Simon Caldwell
Simon Caldwell
Simon Caldwell is a freelance journalist, formerly of the Daily Mail, whose debut novel ‘The Beast of Bethulia Park’ is out now.. Click on this link to learn more and to order your copy. The sequel is expected in 2024.

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