Housing and treating the mentally ill have always been problematic. From tying them down to bed railing, to nailing shut the hut with the crazy person in there alive–to die slowly of starvation and self-harm–it is always the same response: society doesn’t know what to do with the mentally ill and doesn’t care enough to try. In this day and age, society is trying, if half-heartedly and with a little lip-service; but, now that the Segal Family, of Vancouver, Canada, have tried and seemingly failed to raise the monies needed to build a permanent hospital “resort” for the mentally ill, something else must be done.
Enter legislation for physician-assisted suicide for the “severely mentally ill”.
This tricky piece of legislation is telling us we can conceivably stop the suffering through ending life instead of healing it. Really what society is saying is that normaloids can live more convenient lifestyles if society just practices the good principle of eugenics. No longer will it be “kill the mind but save the flesh,” but, rather, as one policeman put it, “I don’t have time for this,” shooting the young schizophrenic man in distress in the head, unapologetically, and even framing it as a suicide.
Who cares? Why do research for a cure when you can warehouse death for the menaces to society? Why should you care, ye normaloids? What if your daughter or son had schizophrenia? Or your father, depression; your grandmamma, borderline personality disorder? What real difference would it make?
From my understanding, if I can be allowed to be as objective as possible for once, the principle and practice of eugenics is a good and reasonable thing, biologically speaking. If mental illness has a genetic component, it makes no sense to have a schizophrenic parent to pass his/her genes to an innocent and vulnerable young life, making that life more vulnerable as the child approaches adulthood and passing on to old age. Raising a child as a mentally ill person makes no sense, as instability and lack of parenting skills make him or her unlikely to pass on good tools to make well-adjusted adults out of their children (or, simply, well-adjusted and happy children). In fact this whole libertarian advocacy for letting the mentally-ill breed is right up there with advocacy to let all mentally-ill stop their medications if they should so desire (and they will!) It is irresponsible, unethical and downright harmful, if not dangerous. Breeding mentally-ill offspring is like blowing smoke into a child’s face continually during its first crucial decade of development. I can’t say enough about how breeding fragility into the human gene pool is completely and utterly self-defeating as a race.
Having said that, think of Vincent van Gogh. The prices you normaloids pay for his prints, or, even, if you’re extremely sophisticated, one of his originals, reflect the contribution that this man, the supposed consummate painter, has made–not just on the art scene–but to all of the whole world. Say if, after some counselling, he was told he had the option to die through doctor-assisted suicide, would he have painted “Starry, Starry Night”? Would he have painted things that made him truly happy? Would you have been impoverished of the joy from his work if he had logically decided life was not worth living? Eventually, yes, he did decide on suicide; but, if he had a cure, which we should have had by now, would he not have remained alive and painting prolifically? There you go. Eliminated from the gene pool: Talent, genius, compassion, and generosity of spirit from his genes are wiped out. Are not these things in themselves an enrichment to the gene pool, or rather to the human race?
Think of the practice of more or less, the random eugenics that doctor-assisted dying is, as a permanent mute switch for those whom you don’t understand and cannot bother trying to. Out go the van Goghs, the Christopher Smarts, the Virginia Woolfs, the John Nashes–the 20% of defective humanity who don’t fit your criteria of “fit minds” to warrant being alive. They deserve everything they get, after all. It is simply a matter of keeping the 80% untainted by insanity and any atrocities that unmedicated, mentally ill persons may or may not end up doing because the system is not equipped to handle them. Why? Because in times of austerity and in prosperity alike, the mentally ill are severely taxed and punished, or, at best, are of lowest priority. (After all, here in our province the provincial government already spends $5 billion dollars a year on mental health, so it seems as though our provincial Premier likes to advertise, but to what avail?)
To some, keeping the mentally ill alive means fostering entitlements. And countries in the first world are already up in arms about sharing their disgustingly lavish goods with those who have, literally, only a shopping cart filled with junk.
You can send an iPhone-sized spaceship to Alpha Centauri on a laser beam and give a great cheer! But, you can’t even meet the basic needs for stability, food, shelter, warmth and acceptance for the “defective” 20% whom Big Pharma has given up trying to cure and, in some cases, even treat. What is left after eliminating that defective 20% from the gene pool? You are left with the calloused, the greedy, the mediocre, the competitive, the corrupt and inhumane leaders and sheep of tomorrow, who will still rape, riot, loot, murder, commit arson, thieve, abuse and assault others despite having passed as genetically sound and mentally fit to live. Congrats. You guys deserve everything you get. ~V
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