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Martin Amis Recommends Euthanasia Booths For Upcoming Silver Tsunami

martin-amisMartin Amis is certainly no stranger to controversy or public argument. He’s famously outspoken and eager to speak his mind. This time, he’s talking about the rapidly ageing population of Britain, and how he predicts the coming ‘Silver Tsunami’ will result in a clash between young and old and tear the country apart.

His proposed solution? Euthanasia booths on street corners, which issue martinis and medals before snuffing the user.

I suspect Amis’ suggestion is more tongue-in-cheek than literal, and merely meant to call attention to an important-to-him issue. In recent years, Amis has witnessed the slow and painful death of his stepfather, and the confused, bewildered and frightened decline and eventual death of his friend and fellow author Iris Murdoch who died of Alzheimer’s Disease.

While clearly Amis’ suggestion of erecting suicide booths might sound like a cross between P.D. James’ Children of Men and Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, (both excellent, if you’ve not read either/both) and too far-fetched to be anything but science-fiction or satire, the fact remains he brings up an interesting point.

We allow our pets the mercy and dignity of euthanasia, when death is imminent and suffering begins. Meanwhile, humans, who have the capacity to open their mouths and indicate their wish and readiness for death, are not afforded the same quiet, end, even though it would be at a time of their own choosing.

Read the entire article about Martin Amis and the Euthanasia booths in The Guardian.

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