On Euthanasia: How France lost her dignity

Michael Cook, the editor at BioEdge, has written a summary of a bracing article by French Novelist Michel Houellebecq. Cook describes the writer as follows:

Michel Houellebecq (above, with cigarette) is France’s most acclaimed living novelist, a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and a provocateur extraordinaire. Contradictory adjectives blanket his name like particolored Post-It notes: brilliant, pornographic, brutally honest, Islamophobic, violent, humanist, nihilistic, repugnant, bold, Marxist, reactionary, etc, etc.

He has taken a few of the most powerful excerpts from Houllebecq’s essay, the entirety of which is published in English on UnHerd. He tears apart the notion of dignity being defined by health. Here is his understanding of human dignity.

Well, so what? If that is dignity, one can very well do without it. On the other hand, everyone more or less needs to feel themselves necessary or loved; and, failing that, esteemed—even in my case admired. It is true that can also be lost; but one cannot do much about that; others play in this respect the determining role. And I can easily imagine myself asking to die in the hope that others reply: “Oh no, no. Please stay with us a little longer.” That would be very much my style. And I admit this without the slightest shame. The conclusion, I am afraid, is inescapable: I am a human-being utterly devoid of all dignity.

Instead of us responding, “Oh no, no. Please stay with us a little longer,” assisted suicide responds. “Well, if that’s what you want, go right ahead.”

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