Recent political developments have brought the question of euthanasia again to the fore
Even if all the world and everyone agreed,
Euthanasia as a philosophy would still be wrong.
This is an escalator whose insidious speed
Will take us very far, and it wouldn't take very long ...
The terminally ill would qualify, for a start,
To be speedily dispensed with, as they were
In Nazi Germany, even though the heart
Of a heartless world might still aver
That 'caring' attendants drove the smooth machine
Through which such 'mercy-killing' made its way.
And as for the severely disabled, they'd be seen
As necessary subjects, too, and who could say
That those with incurable mental illness shouldn't be spared
A life of suffering, whether they said 'Yea' or 'Nay'?
And as for terminally ill children, if we really cared
Shouldn't they also be included, and wouldn't they
Be better 'out of it' altogether? And what of those
Potentially suicidal who at present
We counsel otherwise? If they in future chose
To join the ever-burgeoning list-think what a pleasant
Place this world would be for those of us who were left
(Assuming, of course, that you and I were among that lucky band)!
Let's face it, such a brave new world belongs to the morally deft
Or wilfully blind who cannot understand
That such a killing culture has its own momentum,
Where already abortion kills each year its hundred thousand plus, and
It's really just a matter of rationalizing the per centum ...
Armed with the force of law, then, who'd go slow?
Bruce Dawe is one of Australia's most admired and widely published poets. He has been a regular contributor to AD2000 for many years