A Wise Care of Piety

We’re oddly ambivalent now about not whether a man is permitted to kill himself but the manner and place of it. Tobacco, no; euthanasia, yes. He must do it through rationalized institutions at the hands of an expert and not his own passions; out of sight unless he be a wild man we can use to fright the kids into compliance and complicity. We don’t tell them not to die but not to be a leech on the system while they’re doing it. Remember, my soul: to die well is not to die with dignity, which is a means test at the gates of hades, but to die for dignity, as a guttering light or glass stain stirs the conscience.

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