Writing on euthanasia, a subject apparently unconnected to accreditation, Theodore Dalrymple gets to the heart of the issue. And many others.
“As is often the way, the passion with which an issue is debated conceals something deeper at stake. In the absence of religious belief, of any assurance that life has a transcendent meaning beyond itself, man feels the need to be in control of everything. Control and power become the meaning of life. That is one of the reasons that paranoia—the feeling that everything that happens must be somebody’s fault, the search for someone to blame—does not decline with the supposed advance of reason. We want to feel that everything, good or bad, depends on us.
“That is why the existential limit of life—death—seems an affront to him and must be brought under not merely technical, but bureaucratic control. The very procedure of euthanasia—the forms to fill in, the legal safeguards—gives us the comforting illusion that death is voluntary and that we are, or can be, infinitely Promethean. If I am right about the permanent possibility of ending our own lives by refusal to drink, then the demand for the right to assisted suicide is not so much about the reduction of suffering as the exercise of control, albeit illusory in the larger sense.”
This is a key reason why the command and control bureaucracy that accreditation brings is so widely accepted.