It’s going to be interesting to track the development of, both, the right to die and its concomitant, the responsibility to die. Old age doesn’t just become physically unendurable, it gets to be economically unaffordable, too.
The darkness is increasingly going to fall at our behest. Choosing the moment will be straightforward enough. Humans live in the future. Our zest for now resides in our expectation of what lies in store for us next. We’ll know when we want to go: no next, no point. Pass the dose, doctor.
Here’s a new poem by Fleur Adcock in this week’s Spectator:
Where is Dr Shipman when we need him
to ferry us across the fatal stream
and land us gently in Elysium?
Shipman, boatman, ferryman – whatever
the craft he plies to help us cross the river –
we seem to have been waiting here forever.
How did we get the timetable so wrong?
Things are becoming vague, and we’re not strong.
Life was OK, but it went on far too long.
When we’ve forgotten how to keep afloat,
Scoop us up, Doctor, in your kindly boat,
And carry us across the final moat.