By Vanessa Allen
January 25, 2010
'Euthanasia 'booths' should be established on street corners for pensioners to end their lives with 'a martini and a medal', novelist Martin Amis said yesterday.
Britain is facing a demographic time bomb as its aging population places an impossible burden on society, the controversial writer claimed.
Anti-euthanasia campaigners reacted with horror to the suggestion of euthanasia booths for pensioners and called Amis's idea 'repugnant and offensive'.
The 60-year-old novelist predicted Britain could be engulfed by a 'civil war' between the old and young if it did not tackle its aging population.
'How is society going to support this silver tsunami?' he asked in an interview with the Sunday Times.
These people have paid and kept society going for decades. Is the next step, "Oh you are retired now. No taxes coming in off you. Off to the death box now like a good slave."
'There'll be a population of demented very old people, like an invasion of terrible immigrants, stinking out the restaurants and cafes and shops.
This statement is just beyond belief. From a position of pure arrogance he thoroughly insults both older people and every other race. All seniors are "demented" and all immigrants "stink".
'I can imagine a sort of civil war between the old and the young in ten or 15 years' time.'
Amis, a grandfather, added: 'There should be a booth on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal.'
At this point his attempt at humor just falls flat. Sarcasm? Definitely.
Amis said medical science had' over-vaulted itself' in extending human life, adding: 'There's a certain point where your life slips into the negative.'
At this point, I agree that medicine has been on a one-upmanship course to extend life beyond its current natural span. Doctors were keeping people alive against their own wishes when, without all the machines, etc they would pass. But his solution is just not the right one. There is a balance and medicine is finding it without his input. And he does not place blame where it belongs.
He told how his support for euthanasia had deepened since the death of his stepfather, Lord Kilmarnock, last year.
He said he had wanted to help the Roman Catholic peer to die because it was clear he was fighting a 'lost battle'.
He said: 'He thought he was going to get better. But he didn't. I think the denial of death is a great curse. We all wanted to assist him... it was clearly a lost battle.'
The writer said he had also been influenced by the death of writer Dame Iris Murdoch in 1999, two years after her husband revealed she had Alzheimer's.
He said: 'There should be a way out for rational people who've decided they're in the negative.
A person with Alzheimers can make such a decision?
Alistair Thompson, of anti-euthanasia group Care Not Killing, said the idea of euthanasia booths was 'offensive'.
He added: 'We would resist any attempt to put these death booths on the streets of this country.
'How on earth can people describe themselves as civilized when they're advocating this style of euthanasia for the elderly and disabled? It's completely repugnant.'
Amis gave the interview to promote his novel, The Pregnant Widow, which is out next month.
Mr Thompson said:
'There is a very nasty smell about using this to promote a book.There is a very nasty smell that someone as high-profile as Martin Amis could actually make such a ludicrous proposal.'
Dr Richard Lamerton, of the pressure group Alert, which campaigns against legalized euthanasia, said he was horrified by Amis's comments.
'I can think of quite a few modern writers who, if they killed themselves off, never would be missed.
'But to give elderly people the message that it would only be decent to get out of the way would be to deny the wonderful contribution of grandfathers and grandmothers to the lives of young people.
'If Martin Amis wants to avoid lame brains in our society he would do more good fighting against the young people's drug culture.'
Dr Philip Nitschke displaying his computerised 'death machine' in his home in Darwin~ he plans to open new clinics to provide legal euthanasia services
'Like too many people in the UK, Martin Amis has witnessed the bad death of a loved one.''The answer to this problem is two-fold ~ we need better access to high quality end-of-life care and we need a change in the law to allow the choice of assisted dying for those terminally ill, mentally competent adults who want it.
'Dignity In Dying's campaign for a change in the law is not about the introduction of "euthanasia booths", nor is it in anticipation of a "silver tsunami".
'Our campaign is about allowing dying adults who have mental capacity a compassionate choice to end their suffering, subject to strict legal safeguards.'
A man receiving tender care from compassionate individuals at the time of his death. He will never feel abandoned. Of course he will never learn that the moment he is dead his body is bundled off to a factory where it is turned into the food that keeps the populace alive. ~ from Soylent Green
Elderly couples are buying each other suicide kits as Christmas presents, says controversial euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke.
Speaking at Tweed Heads in New South Wales yesterday on a new "peaceful pill" suicide method being developed overseas, Dr Nitschke's comments sent right-to-life campaigners and church groups into a frenzy, The Courier Mail reports.
Asked whether it was in the spirit of the season to be publicizing ways of ending life just a week before Christmas, Dr Nitschke said he was always going to attract criticism.
"Our main opposition is from religious groups who would still be getting outraged at Easter, or any other time of year for that matter," he said
His comments angered Right to Life Australia's Queensland co-ordinator Graham Preston.
"A pill to kill yourself and your loved one as a Christmas present is absolutely reprehensible," he said.
"Christmas should be about celebrating life, so this is a very sad thing to hear." Australian Christian Lobby group Queensland director Peter Earle said no time of year was a good time to talk about euthanasia.
"Christmas is about giving people hope and life ~ how tragic Dr Nitschke would darken family lives with death at this time," he said.
Christian lobbyists clashed angrily with police at Dr Nitschke's last Gold Coast visit in May but there were no protesters yesterday as more than 100 people turned out to learn about "death with dignity".
AMERICAN VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HANDBOOK: “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family.” “My situation causes severe emotional burden for my family.”This booklet was given to returning injured vets by the Obama administration although it had been created under Bush. The very leading questions resulted in its being pulled from the hospitals as a result of public furor.
A so-called "peaceful pill" is being developed from Nembutal, a drug commonly used by vets to put down animals, but not available to humans in Australia.
Instead, many elderly or sick people are being forced to travel to Mexico, where the drug is freely available.
While the present liquid form has an expiry date, Dr Nitschke said the pill being developed could sit for years and was easy to smuggle into the country.
Jill Kleinman, of Southport watched her husband lose a long battle with cancer and said she wished a painless alternative had been available to him.
"No one should have to die like that, so I am very interested in being able to buy something like this for myself," she said.Christian Rossiter's lawyer John Hammond calls for heroin for dying
There have been five failed attempts since 1995 to get a voluntary euthanasia bill passed by the Australian State's parliament.
THE EUTHANASIA CLINIC
THE SECOND COMING
Religion advocating this concept shows me just how much society has dropped its ethical lines.
The problem is, any acceptance of such a concept can lead to such incredible human abuse. I just had no idea there was such an organized movement to promote suicide, something I was raised to believe to be one of the greatest and most selfish acts against God and nature. I am older and have seen and experienced so much more, on one level it is just not that cut and dried or black and white to me any longer.