Alzheimer’s disease rages on. Tons of money will be needed for the care, at home and in nursing homes, for those afflicted with it. But this is not all that poses a problem.
So many people in America, Europe and elsewhere have borne so few children that when they come down with Alzheimer’s or some other dementia, or suffer a debilitating stroke, they will enter a nursing home without a relative’s solicitude. (This has been written about by William Voegeli.) The spouses of these people will be dead or at least cripplingly ill, and siblings will be sparse. No family members will be checking up on these patients, no intercessions will be made. If there is nursing-home abuse or neglect, no communication about it will ever be forthcoming; the patient himself cannot protest it. We must determine what is to be done about this—and about the necessary funding for care—or else . . .
Euthanasia? Yes. There will be far more of it in both Europe and America. And, to get even further down to brass tacks, mass suicides might occur once aging people realize that dementia is starting to affect them. They’ll be terrified of the future.
Past centuries faced their nightmares. This will be our nightmare. What, really, would dissuade people from seeing suicide as the solution?