Novelist Martin Amis in new row over ‘euthanasia booths’

• Novelist wants euthanasia booths for elderly
• Warning of ‘civil war’ between young and old

Caroline Davies
The Guardian [UK]
24 January 2010

…population, calling for euthanasia “booths” on street corners where they can terminate their lives with “a martini and a medal”.

The author of Time’s Arrow and London Fields said in an interview at the weekend that he believes Britain faces a “civil war” between young and old, as a “silver tsunami” of increasingly ageing people puts pressure on society.

“They’ll be a population of demented very old people, like an invasion of terrible immigrants, stinking out the restaurants and cafes and shops,” he said. “I can imagine a sort of civil war between the old and the young in 10 or 15 years’ time.

“There should be a booth on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal,” he added.

His comments were immediately condemned as “glib” and “offensive” by anti-euthanasia groups and those caring for the elderly and infirm. Supporters of assisted suicide, meanwhile, insisted that a dignified and compassionate end should be on offer to those who are dying.

Alistair Thompson, from the Care Not Killing Alliance, said Amis’s views were “very worrying”. “We are extremely disappointed that people are advocating death booths for the elderly and the disabled. How on earth can we pretend to be a civilised society if people are giving the oxygen of publicity to such proposals?…”

The complete article is at The Guardian.

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