The end of life is still life? Euthanasia in question

Life, one god or crowd of different miracles?

Even the most cynical and deconstructing thinkers have their deities. So it is michel Houellebecq and in his wake Erwan Le Morhedec, who publishes ‘End of life in the Republic, before turning off the light’, a tribune against euthanasia. In them life is a divinity. As such it is an indecomposable whole.The quote speaks for itself. “The end of life is still life” indicates that there is only one type of life, a single definition, a universal appearance. A deified symbol.

Certainly these authors have rubbed shoulders with the end of life. But not its diversity. Otherwise they would come down from their perch facing the one God to become a little more animistic. Each of our lives is an individual miracle, and none of these miracles die out in the same way.

When the miracle fades away

The most common case in hospitals is persistent organic life when the mind has long since fled. If Houellebecq and Le Morhedec define life as a mass of tissue traversed by fluids, indeed it is necessary to save this deserted vehicle.

But most relatives don’t see their parent that way. The one they knew has clearly disappeared. There is no longer any exchange possible. But impossible to begin his mourning. We must continue to suffer in the face of this carnal ghost maintained in reality by technical and unethical progress.

Conservation of the body out of step with the mind

This is an extremely common situation thanks in particular to cardiological advances. The heart of the old man has been slowed down and protected, can last for many more years, whereas before it was he who gave the signal of the end. Have we progressed so much for the receptacle of our spiritual identity, the brain? Not. On the contrary, the lengthening of life and the attentive cocooning enjoyed by the elderly allows them to survive for a long time even in the event of a profound deterioration of their mental functions.

It is not this cocooning of course that must be questioned. On the contrary, it is threatened by the misuse of means in lost causes. The help and resilience of the old whose minds are still sharp are hampered by the leaks from the system, by the moral inability of some to recognize that everything is over.

False ethics and misuse of the law

Not only do Houellebecq and Le Morhedec condemn entire families to suffer sometimes months in front of an uninhabited body,which starves and ends up erasing the beautiful image they could have of the living. But they also condemn old well-preserved people to beg more difficult for social solidarity, because there are coffers to account for it, and deep down gaping holes created by these pseudo-ethicists.

Their mistake is widespread: believing that general legislation is adapted to strictly personal situations. The essence of legislation is to prohibit, not to authorize. If we recognize the existence of a freedom to leave, why annihilate it? Two points of view complement each other on this subject, without opposing each other. The individual look, when it exists: the person is sufficiently aware of his decline to claim euthanasia. Although it respects a fundamental freedom, it is the most questionable look. Because lonely.

The other point of view is collective. The spirit of the dying is no longer there. Or stultified by painkillers. This does not prevent him from suffering. Houellebecq and Le Morhedec seem to reduce suffering to physical pain. That of hating one’s condition is not eliminated with morphine. Is the decision to euthanize susceptible to abuses? Not if it is really collective, the object of a medical and family consensus.

The support of the routines

This consensus requires reflection and discussion for each individual case. By barring the possibility of euthanasia, Houellebecq and Le Morhedec find paradoxical support among a certain category of doctors: those who do not want to bother with all these complications…


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