The politics of death

Saturday 4 October 2008 1:01 AM

So capital punishment is "morally repugnant" (Editorial, 4/10). No argument there from this writer. But then I'd have thought the same of euthanasia and abortion on demand. As a community we are poorly placed to pronounce on matters pertaining to the sanctity and dignity of human life. Our elected representatives are on the threshold of sanctioning terminations to 24 weeks with minimal constraints and later term abortions with not a lot more. The cause of euthanasia is less promising so far, but one suspects that "dying with dignity" advocates will be popping corks yet. Mind you, Islamic societies like Indonesia typically are equally confused though in the reverse direction. Capital punishment gets the nod, but abortion and euthanasia are unthinkable.

Not a lot of defining clarity on human life in the world generally, it seems. So stone-throwers from either side might check their armour first.