Essay: Euthanasia and assisted suicide – underlying social forces

Campaigners in favour of assisted suicide sometimes seem to live in an alternative reality. It’s a world in which rational people make choices about how they wish to die on the basis of personal preferences, untouched by crude social and economic forces. If elderly and dying people want to choose to end their lives then we should let them.  But in the real world it is very different. As theologian Nigel Biggar has argued, the notion that we are all rational choosers is a flattering lie told to us by people who want to sell us something. The uncomfortable truth is that much of the time we are influenced and motivated by social and psychological forces that we barely understand. . .

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