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In Response to Belgium’s Legalization of Euthanasia for Children: the iron logic of euthanasia

Once each person is no longer taken as an unquestionable given, eventually everyone will have to show that he/she has a life of net positive value (is justified in living) in order for it to be thought reasonable for him/her to go on living.

And there is no reason to think that his/her net value will be measured only against the (let us assume) zero value of death; it will be measured against the value that would be generated if the resources now being used to feed and clothe the person at issue were devoted instead to other, perhaps more useful, human beings (or animals, for that matter).
This is how we think today with regard to animal husbandry. It’s simple economic rationality. Once the “taboo” against killing humans is gone, it will be the iron logic of euthanasia for us, too.
Richard Stith

Richard Stith is now a research professor at Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana. Having received both his law degree and a doctorate in ethics from Yale University, he taught legal philosophy and comparative law for 41 years. From Harvard and from the University of California, Berkeley, he holds degrees in political theory. He was for a year director of the Program in Biomedical Ethics at St. Louis University School of Medicine. He has served for many years on the Advisory Council of the National Lawyers Association and on the Board of Editors of the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW and has taught and published on comparative law and legal philosophy in Spain, India, China, Ukraine, Chile and Mexico. In 2001, he became the first U.S. professor to be designated by the European Commission as teacher of a Jean Monnet Module (on the law of the European Union) and shortly thereafter was named the first Swygert Research Fellow in recognition of his scholarship. He is a consultant on the Academic Council for the doctoral program in law at the Universidad de Los Andes in Chile, where he has directed doctoral seminars. Professor Stith has served as a member of the national boards of University Faculty for Life and of Consistent Life. He has been a speaker at national, state, and international right-to-life gatherings and has presented pro-life testimony by invitation before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution and to state and foreign legislative committees. Among his significant publications: “The Priority of Respect: How Our Common Humanity Can Ground Our Individual Dignity,” International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2004): 165. Other works can be found at http://works.bepress.com/richard_stith/