I was listening to the radio today, and the host was talking about assisted suicide -- the point he was trying to get people to think about was via medical technology and so forth, life expectancies are much longer (in our country). His point was that "quality of life" is diminished by the end.
I'm not so sure he should be using the argument he was using. After all, it's a pretty slippery slope down to the question of what a "high quality" life actually is, or to the value of a life, even of one who cannot care for him or herself.
Henri Nouwen certainly found his worth (and found God's touch) in the process of living in a community where he was charged with taking care of those who couldn't take care of themselves, and he certainly found worth in those persons.
And besides, what quality of life is "good enough?" In high school, I remember my friend David making the proposition that everyone over 50 should be executed. After all, 50 was really old back then (funny how it isn't anymore). He pointed out that it would save lots of money (no more need for social security), and it would pump more money into the economy (no more saving for retirement). But, wow, 50?
Of course, everyone got all riled up at the thought, but here it rears its ugly head, disguised as "assisted suicide" and "dying with dignity" -- don't give me that. There's nothing compassionate about killing off those with disabilities.
For more information, check out "Not Dead Yet"