Thanatality Blindness

“Thanatality blindness” refers to the fact that parents, and all those who acclaim procreation, generally pay regard only to the beginning of a new human being’s life, not to that entirety of this life which must inevitably be sealed by death. When looking at a baby suckling at a mother’s breast the dominant thought tends to be: How wonderful that people acted in such a way that such a being came to be. But in the face of a person dying from a mortal illness or an extremely old person wasting away in a care home it is seldom, if ever, that we hear the thought expressed: What moral irresponsibility was shown by the people who begot you in order for you to die this way. To the enthusiasm associated with the beginning of life there corresponds only an awkward silence in the face of life’s usual end, whereas the most justified reaction would surely be: Who caused this horror through the act of causing you to be?

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