In a July 14 New York Times column titled “Death and Budgets,” David Brooks essentially endorses assisted suicide to solve the nation’s debt problem. Some of the lines in his piece and his reasoning are, quite simply, appalling.
Brooks feeds off an op-ed written by a man living with ALS who wants to take his own life when he “…can’t tie my bow tie, tell a funny story, walk my dog……I’ll know that life is over. It’s time to be gone.” Brooks takes it a step farther by stating that “fiscal responsibility” should be part of the equation. “It is hard to see us reducing health care inflation seriously unless people and their families are willing to do what Clendinen is doing — confront death and their obligations to the living.”
Other statements in the piece:
“The fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death — our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months.”
“Life is not just breathing and existing as a self-enclosed skin bag. It’s doing the activities with others you were put on earth to do.”
Brooks concludes: “My only point today is that we think the budget mess is a squabble between partisans in Washington. But in large measure it’s about our inability to face death and our willingness as a nation to spend whatever it takes to push it just slightly over the horizon.”
This crass view of life, death and debt makes the skin crawl. Our nation’s incredible debt has been caused by many, many complicated factors. We cannot and must not make the ailing and those with disabilities pay the price of their lives to find fiscal stability.
Read the Brooks piece here.