Posted by: Bruce | April 29, 2010

Euthanasia the Soylent Green way.

My dictionary defines Euthanasia (easy death) as the act or practice of killing individuals (as persons or domestic animals) that are hopelessly sick or injured, for reasons of mercy.

Movie history defines Soylent Green as a science fiction movie from 1973 set in New York in the year 2022. Population 40 million; housing, resources and food are in short supply. The world polluted and in trouble.

When I read the definition of euthanasia, I found it to be disturbingly blunt. This surprised me, I don’t know why. Nevertheless, I think euthanasia should be a legal option for how we exit this world when the time comes.

Soylent Green – The movie

When I watched Soylent Green years ago, I liked it; over time I remembered it; and a particular segment stayed with me. It concerned euthanasia. Samuel G. Robinson played a character who could no longer endure his existence having learned a dreadful secret.

He decided to go to a government clinic, referred to as ‘home’. The clinic provided assisted suicide. He opted to end his life his way. With medication administered he lay on a bed in a sensurround room, watched wall to wall images of the world he once knew, listened to music that soothed his soul, and passed peacefully into final sleep. I can think of worse ways to go.

When animals suffer from a terminal condition, we do the ‘humane thing’ and euthanise them. When humans suffer from a terminal condition, we don’t.

A Dementia sufferer.

Dying can be a lengthy, painful process for all concerned. Prior to death, a life can be a constant indignity despite best intentions and care; an emotional challenge for family and friends.

Hardly a cheery subject, but I’d like a choice as to when and how I go when the writing is on the wall. Star Trek is known for futuristic innovations. Soylent Green and it’s ‘Home’ idea does it for me.

Perhaps slipping away could be like the movies, surrounded by family or soothed by sound and visuals. Simplistic, I know, but I like the idea of  the following photo fading away rather than a flouro light.

One thing is certain. I wouldn’t live to regret it.

The following link is to the Dying with Dignity Australia Organisation. Just found this recently and will check it out in the near future.

The next link is to an opinion, in the Sydney Morning Herald, on the right to die with dignity.

A little update, Feb 28, 2015.

Derryn Hinch in his segment on Sky news tonight (Feb 28), talked about his support for euthanasia and how his mother would have chosen it.

Word for today:   Humane;  marked by compassion, sympathy or consideration for other human beings or animals

More to come; same blog time, same blog channel


  1. I agree with you 110%. I am 50 and recently lost a job I had for 30 years. I decided to go back to college to get my degree in Human Services. As you know you have to do research papers and I picked the topic Euthanasia. I feel our society needs this. To much money is being spent on keeping those alive who would rather be dead, but much thought has to go into this before it can be an option. I dont want the insurance company to force someone into this option if they are not ready for this. This has to be a personal decision.


    • Hi Michelle; This post and my other; A Choice – Death with Dignity is all about an individual having the choice as to how they exit this life. We just don’t have it. That brave woman in New Zealand (A Choice….) had to fight for the right to starve herself to death! Why wasn’t she able to choose something a little more humane? It’s a simple yet complicated subject. The point you raise about 3rd parties (such as insurance companies) becoming involved is valid. That’s where it starts to become complicated. Thanks for your comment. Good luck with your studies. William


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