Comes now Roger Kusch — lawyer, doctor and right-wing German politician who has a solution to the problem of old Europeans living too long off government pensions.
Roger’s solution: a do-it-yourself painless suicide.
In September 2007, Roger shocked his native land when, as head of the newly formed Homeland Hamburg party, he demonstrated a suicide machine in a nursing home.
Now your ordinary, run-of-the-mill politician would court the elder vote. Such a politician would promise them better living conditions, especially in Germany where a recent government report indicated that one in three nursing home residents did not receive enough food and drink, and 42% suffered from inadequate care and bedsores.
But not Roger.
Roger’s idea was to provide every nursing home resident with a machine that produces deadly injections when you push a small green button. He actually went around demonstrating the machine in nursing homes. Of course, his hands would never touch the button. He has to steer clear of any liability in a country where assisting suicide is illegal.
Needless to say, Roger lost the election.
However, he has not given up on his quest to eliminate old people.
Bettina Schardt, age 79, knew about Roger’s idea of keeping Germany free of what Adolf Hitler used to call “useless eaters.” Bettina was getting too old to live alone, and had no family or friends to help her. She was depressed and lonely, although not sick or terminally ill. She believed she was too intelligent to go into a nursing home with dumb old people.
Did Roger help Bettina find a nursing home with intelligent elderly people in it? No. Did he contact social workers or churches to deal with her loneliness? No. As a doctor, Roger could have prescribed anti-depressants to Bettina. Did he do that? No. Did he refer Bettina to a psychiatrist to treat her depression? No.
What Roger did do this week was help Bettina commit suicide by providing information on which drugs to use. He claims he did not give Bettina actual drugs. That’s hard to believe, but then Roger is smart enough to have destroyed all forensic evidence. He also made a snuff film of Bettina’s death to further protect himself legally.
Roger Kusch would have you believe that what he did was an act of compassion. He particularly is upset that suicidal Germans have to travel to Switzerland for services.
He says suicide is a matter of free choice: “My offer is to allow people to die in their own beds. That’s the wish of most people.”
“To those who criticize me, I say it is none of your business,” Roger says. “There are people suffering and who can’t deal with the pain anymore, and I want to help those people.”
Bettina Schardt was not in any physical pain, but she was suffering. A. Alverez called depression “the savage god.” Others called it the darkness visible, the memory of madness, the inability to construct a future. The funny thing is that recent studies have shown that the elderly are not usually depressed. In fact, they tend to be the happiest among us. It is the people under 24 years of age who have some of the highest suicide rates, higher than the rest of us. They are the ones who are most likely to face down the black dogs of night with pills and firearms.
Now — because of Roger Kusch and others with his views– these young people grow up in a world that says it’s okay to commit suicide. It’s okay to end your life if you’re lonely and depressed because, frankly, no one gives a damn. That world — Roger’s world — is a world without love or hope.
Roger believes he has the gift of prophecy, and that he understands mysteries and all knowledge. Yet his way, the way of death, will always be the God that fails. He speaks articulately and yet his voice is sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. Such a man offers neither faith nor hope nor charity.