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Sunday’s Washington Post, looking at the future,  had commentary on the 1972 movie ‘SOYLENT GREEN’  and its predictions about the future of medical assisted dying.   Extract:

Between the food shortages, staggering inequality, oppressive temperatures and stairwells lined with sleeping homeless people, life in “Soylent Green” isn’t a picnic. Perhaps that’s why authorities in the movie have legalized assisted dying.

One scene shows widows collecting “death benefits,” implying that your family will be rewarded if you opt out. It’s a moment that catches the eye of Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson), who attends a clinic where he’s welcomed by a glamorous assistant. He’s asked to choose his favorite color and soundtrack, takes a mouthful of medicine and is placed in bed while an orderly pushes two buttons on a console.

A wall-sized TV then plays a montage of pacifying imagery (grazing stag, golden dawns, rivers) as the character exchanges a tender “I love you” with Thorn. (Robinson himself would die 12 days after shooting wrapped.)

A controversial subject at the time, assisted dying is legal today in Canada, Colombia, Australia and parts of Europe. In 2018, 142 people traveled from Germany, France and Britain to Switzerland’s Dignitas facility to make use of the country’s physician-assisted suicide policy that does not set a minimum age, diagnosis requirement or qualifying symptoms.  (end extract)

(Also, ten states in the USA have medical assisted dying laws.)

Read the whole article on SOYLENT GREEN at


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