Let’s Eliminate Suffering (And Those Who Suffer)

It's for their, and our, own good.

By William M Briggs Published on August 21, 2017

Editor’s Note: The following is a satirical reaction to Iceland’s effort to eliminate all babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

The news is “Iceland Has Nearly Eliminated Down Syndrome — Through Abortion“.

Iceland — through the use of abortion­ — apparently is on the brink of completely eradicating the disorder from their society or at least killing off all the unborn children with the condition.

Turns out, “Icelandic law permits abortion after 16 weeks (4 months) only if the fetus is deformed,” and having Down Syndrome counts as “deformed.”

Said Helga Sol Olafsdottir, a Landspitali University Hospital counselor, “We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended.”

Many “things” are being ended in Iceland.

Hey, Shorty, Look up

I approve of this trend of ending useless things. Which is why elsewhere I wrote, “I’m hoping they can do the same for short people. They’re always underfoot.”

Why should I suffer these ignominies?

Let’s face the cold, brutal truth. Short people are an annoyance. I tried playing basketball with one once, but had no fun (there being no challenge) and ended up having to scrape the guy off my shoes. Plus, given my celebrity, I’m often forced into taking “selfies” with my groupies, many of whom are short. The amount of bending over I have to do is wreaking havoc on my back.

Why should I suffer these ignominies?

If you can’t go through life easily, without suffering, something is wrong. And that something wrong is short people. Short people and those who need glasses.

Can’t you see?

Answer this next question honestly: Do you really want to fly with a pilot who wears glasses? His optical correctives might slip off at any moment and you could fly right into a mountain. What kind of society allows such unnecessary risks? Don’t we care about people?

It is indisputable that people who need glasses are less fit than those with perfect vision, like me. These semi-blinds are forced to live suboptimal lives as they stumble from obstacle to obstacle, knocking into the furniture and tipping over vases. This causes insurance costs to rise.

What’s far worse is that these optically defective folks often seek out one another and breed. Well, they have no choice, since the perfect-sighted prefer to stick with their own. And we all know what this indiscriminate breeding leads to. More people who need glasses.

Just consider: Wouldn’t it have been better for these people if they were never born? They would never suffer. And would not cause the rest of us any grief, either. These are logical truths.

Logic can be brutal

In case you think I am being facetious, it really is a logical truth that if a person will suffer a medical malady if he is born, preventing his birth means he will not suffer the effects of the malady. And we won’t have to suffer watching him suffer.

This is the very logic Iceland’s Olafsdottir is using to end “things.” It goes without saying — though I will say it — that Down Syndrome is a medical malady that causes its victims to suffer (let us call it politely) cognitive deficiency. Therefore, diagnosing this Down Syndrome as early as we can, and then killing those diagnosed, will alleviate their suffering.

This is the very logic Iceland’s Olafsdottir is using to end “things.”

Society will also benefit in not having to deal with their suffering. The time we have to spend on dealing with their suffering would be better applied to ensuring progress for the rest of mankind. Not killing these people is therefore causing suffering in those who do not have the malady.

Suffering cannot be countenanced. What is worse than suffering?

What I am suggesting, then, is applying these rigorous logical arguments to all maladies. Like short-heightedness and short-sightedness.

We should not suffer suffering

My great friend Jerry Coyne says that sometimes our medical testing fails and we can’t diagnose maladies that cause suffering until after people are born. This is why he asked, “Should one be allowed to euthanize severely deformed or doomed newborns?”

His question is rhetorical. The answer (and his answer) is obviously yes.

He says killing people who “are doomed to a life that cannot by any reasonable light afford happiness” are “merciful action[s]”.

This is true if suffering is something that mustn’t be allowed.

It mustn’t be allowed at the end of life, either. This is why doctors are right to abandon their millennia old ideas of healing and instead embrace killing those who lives entail suffering. And who knows how to kill better than a doctor?

Eliminating suffering is a must. This is why short people, those poor souls, have got to go. Never again will they have to stretch in vain for the item on the high shelf. Never again will wretched people strain their meager eyes at menus in darkened restaurants. The future is clear. The future demands that we forbid suffering.

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