That rapidly ageing scribbler Ian McEwan is again pushing the idea of legalizing assisted suicides. This morning, he gave an interview in the Telegraph, calling for an overhaul of suicide laws "allowing terminally ill patients to receive medical help to die".
Ironically, legislators across the world are rejecting bills to make it easier to dispatch the terminally ill. The "End of Life Assistance" Bill in Scotland was comprehensively defeated. The Canadian Parliament rejected a similar draft law. Likewise, bills legalizing euthanasia in South Australia, New Hampshire and France were all defeated. Even the European Court of Human Rights offered a rare moment of legal sanity, ruling that there was no "human right" to suicide.
In this permissive age, it is curious why euthanasia has struggled to achieve legal acceptance. I suspect that parliamentarians across the world understand the long-term agenda behind this campaign to liberalize euthanasia.
Stripped of its misleading poetry, such as "dying with dignity" and " making a good end surrounded by people they love", liberalization means a Harold Shipman-like killer approaching the hospital bed of a lonely old person with the syringe.
Where euthanasia has been liberalized, hospitals have become frightening places for the old. In the Netherlands, old people now feel the need to write letter explicitly that they do not want to be murdered if they enter a Dutch hospital.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see the where euthanasia might take us. Twenty years from now, the huge proportion of Europeans will be over 80. Even with the best case scenario, these people will not be working. In terms of health care and pensions costs, the old will pose a huge fiscal burden.
Therefore, it is perhaps understandable that these legalized suicide bills are having such a difficult time. Parliamentarians across the developed world are out that funny age called early middle age. Fast forward 20 years, and it will be their generation lying in a hospital bed terrified of their medical carers.