You’ve probably heard that Italy has one of the longest life-expectancy rates in the world, something that is often attributed to the country’s diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, nutritious whole grains, and healthy fats.
Indeed, the country famed for its delicious and nutritious food and relaxed culture has the longest life expectancy of all of Europe and the second-longest life expectancy globally, coming in behind Japan.
However, the lifestyle that many Americans look to for inspiration on how to achieve longevity is presenting a country that has faced declining birth rates for decades with a vital, aging population that is disproportionate to the population of working-age adults.
This is a common problem in western nations as some experts have warned countries like Italy could be approaching a “demographic winter,” and it stands in stark contrast to loud warnings from the world’s progressives that the globe is becoming overpopulated.
Yet hundreds of thousands of Italians believe in a solution that would make the Italian fascists of the early 20th Century proud: start willfully killing the elderly.
Breitbart News reports that “Over 750,000 Italians have signed a petition for a public referendum on legalizing euthanasia, guaranteeing its presence in the next national elections.”
“The three-quarters of a million signatures collected so far comfortably surpass the 500,000 needed to force an Italian referendum on the issue, and observers suggest the referendum could be voted on as early as next year,” they add.
Over the last decade, Italy’s population grew older every single year and the percentage of Italians over 65 years of age has swelled to over 23% of the population.
Meanwhile, the younger population has been conversely steadily declining.
The average Italian woman has just 1.21 children, which is far too low to adequately replace the aging population. This means that the number of working-age adults that Italy needs to support the senior population, which is largely retired, is dwindling dangerously.
“According to its estimates, by the year 2050, the share of the population aged between 15 and 64 will drop to just over half of Italy’s entire total population, or 54.2 percent. This 10 percent decline from Italy’s already low levels — over 6 million fewer potential workers — could have with dramatic consequences for productivity and pressure on social security,” Breitbart notes.
And so, the majority-Catholic country could soon be considering legalized euthanasia to ease the burden on younger Italians.
“I signed because today, without a law to regulate it, euthanasia is not a right accessible to all,” journalist and writer Roberto Saviano said of his signage of the petition.
“I signed for the free choice of those who do not have the possibility to go to countries where euthanasia is legal,” he added.
If the legalization of euthanasia is likely being considered in light of a growing aging population that would place a financial burden on working Italians, to what degree can we trust that it would, in practice, truly represent free choice?
Whatever the case may be, euthanasia is fundamentally immoral, both by the laws of Lord of the universe and the teachings of the Vatican, whose catechism clearly states that willfully ending a human life is a sin.
This is not the solution to disparate demographics. Life at every stage is precious and sacred. Pray for the preservation of Italian life, both old and young.
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