Cherishing the Dignity of Life

Letters 05.07.23

Letters to the editor offer a variety of opinions.
Letters to the editor offer a variety of opinions. (photo:

Dignity of Life

Relevant to “The Better-Off-Dead Mentality” (Publisher’s Note, Feb. 26 issue): There was an interview recently given by a Canadian doctor who had herself dispatched 300 people so far under the doctor-assisted dying program in Canada, which has the most liberal laws in the world with respect to euthanasia. No serial killer or mass murderer can get near such a tally without being apprehended. But she found her work to be quite satisfying, the state bestowing its compassion on the vulnerable sectors of the population. 

Others in Canada, particularly the old, disabled and infirm are finding the policies lacking. One chap, who was a veteran and in need of a ramp to leave his house in his wheelchair, was offered euthanasia as an alternative. Others, too, who had run up large medical bills or were taking up bed space in hospitals are also frequently nudged in that direction. So a combination of withholding the assistance needed for a good quality of life or the pressure to not become a financial burden has sent many to an early grave under the veil of “state compassion.”

Last year, there was a movie by a Japanese filmmaker that really nailed the subject, as he took a peek into the near “possible” future. It was called “Plan 75”: a government initiative to deal with the problem of an aging population and low birth rate. In it, the elderly, who were often neglected and struggling to survive, often alone, were offered a euthanasia package (by young, good-looking, youthful sales reps and call-center agents) whereby they can receive a government grant of $1,000 to spend as they wish (could be for a party or inheritance to their descendants) in exchange for being euthanized. A further benefit could be obtained: a free cremation and burial if they agreed to a mass cremation/burial, as it was more efficient. This may sound familiar, as was the method of their death, by being gassed.

Often as people age or are afflicted with illness or disability, their external identity diminishes. This is due to loss of jobs, finances or apparent usefulness. Their roles shrink as their families grow up and leave and they retire, perhaps alone when spouses die. And a Godless society is not capable of seeing true worth or dignity anymore. But the reality is so far from this. 

Because despite the losses we take in life, despite deterioration of body and mind, we are and will always be children of God, sons and daughters, co-heirs of the kingdom of God; we have immortal souls with a dignity far greater than we can possibly imagine, destined to an eternity of joy and bliss, should we choose it. 

To truly die with dignity is to do so in the manner and time that God provides for. 

Stephen Clark

Malate, Manila