Wednesday, October 05, 2005

To be or not to be: that is the question.

Today's topic for post; state assisted suicide. Flowing from the previous topics, the Supreme Court is now considering this question. I have soooo much to say about this subject, as it touches on so many issues.
First off, let me say that I am undecided on the issue itself. Whether one should take their own life under the circumstances provided for by the Oregon law permitting it, I'm not sure. I know if I were in those circumstances, I would not, as I would fight for my life 'till my dying breath. However, if someone is of sound mind and does not want to suffer the last few months of their life, I do believe that is THEIR choice.
I find it hilarious that conservatives support smaller government until it comes to forcing their beliefs on others (there are exceptions, a few out there do support all forms of smaller government, but not the current administration). Basically what I think this boils down to is the Christian ideology the current administration is trying to force on us all. They believe that suicide, in any form, is wrong, and, according to most Christian denominations (among other religions), those who commit suicide will go to some form of hell. I can think of several situations where I might commit suicide, and it be the morally right thing to do (involving sacrifice for family, etc). So under my belief, not all suicide is wrong. That's my belief, and I'm not going to impose it on you. I may discuss it, debate it, or what have you, but no one, including myself, is morally right in imposing it. That is a decision anyone in their right mind (not depressed, insane, etc) has the right to make for themselves.
Now John Ashcroft says he is pursuing this, not for moral reasons, but for legal reasons having to do with the Controlled Substances Act. That's a big load of crap. If you read the CSA itself, here, or for a legal summary of it in the most recent court ruling on it, here, you will see that the CSA does not provide legal grounds for his actions. In fact, the only way it could (his legal argument) is if you took one part of the act, by itself, that says medical prescriptions must serve a legitimate medical purpose, and took that to mean that prescriptions for assisted suicide don't meet that criteria. That is a personal moral judgment cloaked in legal reasoning. Not to mention that other portions of the act specifically outline that it can't supersede any state determinations for legitimate medical purposes (thus that legal argument fails anyway). If inclined, you can read the court ruling for more details on that. I am sure that since the Supreme Court will be ruling on the legal standing of the case, not assisted suicide itself, they will come to a similar ruling as the 9th circuit court of appeals.
There are many more points I could make on this, but as this blog gets longer, and my day shorter, they'll have to wait until later.
I welcome comments and views on this, as I love hearing points of view, especially those that manage to change mine.
For more information on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, go here.
Bumper sticker of the day: The gene pool could use a little chlorine.


Shaown said...

SPAM is coming. U have to disable the anonymous comments.

Hans said...

I turned on word verification, thanks for pointing it out. :P

Steve Miller said...

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As for the subject at hand:
Of course you should have the right to die at any point in your life. I could put a gun to my temple and pull the trigger right now if I am not happy with life. Why should my ability to off myself be determined by the gov't when I am old and dieing of whatever horrible disease I am bound to get and begin dieing of?
Should there be intervention/counseling if I choose to die clinically? Of course. Should anyone in my family be able to make that decision? Probably not but they sort-of already do in the form of signing a D.N.R. as laws are now...
Anyway, if I am terminally ill and I am destined for the remaining days, weeks, or months to be nothing but an agonizing ordeal for both myself and my family, I would do what I think is right and ask the hospital for that little red button hooked to that special lethal dose.
Now, so there is no confusion, I do not support death in the home in such a situation. If I am well enough to spend time at home, even if it is to die, chances are that my pain and will to die is not great enough to off myself. A person qualifying for institutionalized death should not die in the home.
My opinion only, of course...