I still can't believe Ross Douthat writes for The New York Times, especially when he pens such ludicrous nonsense as this item against assisted suicide. The following passage is arguably the most ridiculous thing Douthat has written for the NYT:
We are all dying, day by day: do the terminally ill really occupy a completely different moral category from the rest? A cancer patient’s suffering isn’t necessarily more unbearable than the more indefinite agony of someone living with multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia or manic depression.
Douthat has obviously never watched someone die from terminal cancer -- the patient, barely human, crying out in pain, the morphine drip barely working but its effects turning the dying sufferer's words into loud, moaning gibberish. I assure you, however awful those other afflictions are, this is nothing like MS, manic depression or, as Douthat smugly writes, the normal aging process -- "we are all dying." Such nonsense.
Do the terminally ill occupy a different moral category? Yes they do, just as certain words or certain movies or certain video games or certain types of magazines can be sanctioned by the religious right on different moral grounds than, say, the Bible.