REFLECTION: Remembrance of Death
by Wesley J. Smith
I was once approached by a member of the Hemlock Society after a speech opposing assisted suicide. She asked me, “Mr. Smith, how do you envision your death?”
I was a bit taken aback. Her whole approach seemed backwards to me. So, I replied, “Ma’am, I’m still trying to envision my life.”
We in the West are often accused of being a “death denying” culture. But I think the contrary is true. As my long ago encounter with the Hemlock member illustrates, we are actually — and to an increasing degree — becoming death-obsessed culture.
Death obsession is corroding our society’s belief in the intrinsic value and inherent dignity of human life. Evidence of this cultural septicity is ubiquitous: in the rise in hedonistic escapism, the violence of our popular entertainment, in the media’s heated embrace of assisted suicide as the next great progressive cause, in particular their hagiographic drumbeat over Brittany Maynard’s supposed courage in promoting and committing assisted suicide.