Margaret Somerville does a good job in this piece of describing why and how two people could watch the same movie and come to very different conclusions. In short, she saw a movie intended to be part of the “Death with Dignity” movement and found it to be a powerful statement against assisted killing. I personally wonder what on earth it would do to us as a society if we sanction killing as care. It’s a bleak enough world out there without adding in this particular macabre concern. I don’t like hospitals right now. I don’t know that I’d be able to set foot in one, or see a loved one cared for there, if I knew doctors were in the killing business as a legally sanctioned enterprise.
Watching the physician euthanizing her is a chilling experience: The lack of any human warmth. The lack of any sense of the momentousness of what is being done – one human being, and a physician at that, intentionally killing another human being who is his patient. The mundaneness of it all, which is reinforced by the scenes of the physician sitting at Eva’s kitchen table, after he has killed her, routinely filling out the necessary reporting forms. I was puzzled by what stance on euthanasia the film makers were taking, but my overall impression was it was probably one of neutrality and, I thought, the film might function as a very powerful cri de coeur against euthanasia.