Another Perspective

A Modest Proposal

For Preventing the Disabled and Elderly in America From Being a Burden to Their Families or Country.

By 3.23.05

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It is a melancholy object to those who travel in America when they see the hospices and hospitals crowded with the disabled and elderly. These people, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood or even show signs of meaningful mental life, impose severe burdens on the healthy.

I think it is agreed by all parties, at least within America's mainstream, that this prodigious number of disabled and elderly in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their family members, and frequently of their isolated and deprived husbands, is in the present deplorable state of the country with its deficits, unsustainable Medicare costs, and Social Security crisis a very great additional grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of euthanizing this class of the ill would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.

There is a great advantage in this scheme, that it will prevent those undignified lingering deaths of those with no hope of recovery, and that horrid practice of husbands murdering their wives, alas! too frequent among us!

I have been assured by a very knowing Democrat of my acquaintance in Washington, that a disabled person can be dehydrated to death in 8 to 12 days. It is not improbable that some scrupulous person might be apt to censure such a practice (although indeed very unjustly and unconstitutionally), as a little bordering upon cruelty; which, I confess, has always been with me the strongest objection against any project, however so well intended.

Yet many Americans of searching conscience, many of them Democrats who have long supported the Special Olympics, are sincerely concerned about that vast number of disabled, who are aged, diseased, or irreversibly maimed. It is very well known in the medical schools and courts of this country that these disabled will not recover and can't pursue lives of discernible purpose as any fair-minded magistrate would determine it, and thus the country and most importantly themselves are happily delivered from the indignity of disability by starvation, dehyrdration, or injection.

If nothing else, this scheme would greatly lessen the number of papists and back-sliding Protestants in America, with whom we are yearly overrun, who pollute hospitals on purpose with a design to deliver America to a "culture of life." Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the liberation of millions of dollars in Medicare fees with which to finance new Viagra payments for seniors not yet disabled.

I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of innocent people will be thereby much lessened in America, a risible objection at a time of obvious overpopulation. Let no man talk of selling our country and consciences for nothing, until he has at least some glimpse of hope that research on crushed embryos will cure the disabled and has a hearty and sincere commitment to put that research into practice.

Before anyone advances a proposal in contradiction to my scheme, I desire the author or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, as things now stand, how they will be able to find Medicare resources for the millions of useless mouths and backs. And, secondly, recognize that there are thousands and thousands of disabled throughout this country, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock would leave us in debt billions of dollars.

I desire those politicians who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the spouses of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been starved for the sake of a death with dignity, thereby avoiding such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since gone through by the oppression of their infirmity or age, the impossibility of sharing the costs their families must carry to care for them, and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their family for ever.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.