If a Dutch group has its way, people older than 70 who “consider their lives complete” will be able to opt for assisted suicide.
The group behind the campaign is collecting signatures to force the Dutch parliament to consider the proposal. It has well above the 40,000 needed to bring the proposal before parliament. This move is troubling, but not surprising, because the Netherlands was one of the the first countries to legalize euthanasia for the terminally ill.
Still, no one has the right to decide when his or her life is “complete.” That’s up to God. At times, everyone — whether they’re 20, 50 or 80 — feels they aren’t making headway. Yet, people can do amazing things at any age.
Let’s look at a couple of recent cases of people well past 70 who’ve made impressive contributions lately.
When Grace Groner died at age 100 in January, few people could have guessed that the one-time secretary living in a tiny house was a millionaire. Yet, as the Chicago Tribune reported March 5, she left $7 million to her alma mater, Lake Forest College. The fortune, it turns out, was from a stock purchase she made in 1935. Imagine how much less she would have left behind — and, more importantly, how many fewer lives she would have touched — if she “considered her life complete” 30 years ago.
Another centenarian who recently passed away, Doris “Granny D” Haddock, made headlines at age 89 when she walked 3,200 miles to push for campaign reform.
And let’s not forget retired Archbishop Philip Hannan, 96, of New Orleans, who not only cheered on the Saints in the Super Bowl, but is now penning his autobiography, detailing a life that’s still very much in progress.