Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dying Isn't Dead . . .

. . . it is an aspect of living, just as there are other aspects of living - unbearable grief, serious disability, chronic illness, loneliness, morbidity in old age, etc. - that people may find intolerable. Thus, if a court rules that an intolerable aspect of living gives rise to a right to facilitated suicide, I don't understand how that liberty can be limited logically to just people who are terminally ill. Indeed, if there is a fundamental right to lethal prescriptions as medical treatment with which the state cannot interfere, how in the world can the state prevent other suffering people from exercising the same right - particularly since non terminal suffering is often far more extended in duration and in the amount of pain caused? This is why Switzerland declared a constitutional right to assisted suicide for the mentally ill: Once the initial premise is accepted, there is no logical way of preventing the entire steak from being consumed.

So we can see that the dying patient is just the point person, the category of suffering persons that many will be willing to accept for the right to suicide, when in reality, these patients are being used to front the broader agenda that can, in time, only lead to a right to be made dead for anyone with a sustained desire to die.

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