Oregon’s Death with Dignity

Posted on October 9, 2014. Filed under: Society | Tags: , |

Life.

The one thing that every human has in common.

Some people want to live life to the fullest, enjoying everything life has to offer.

Some want to travel and see the world.

Some want to live as long as they possibly can.

Some see life as a burden.

And some see life as hopelessness, suffering and pain.

When it comes to life, the political views held by both sides tend to be filled with contradictions and hypocrisy.

For example, those with religious views consider themselves “pro-life”, believing that every life is precious, and abortion and suicide are abominations. However, many of these same people support the death penalty, and the killing and bombing of their/our enemies.

Those to the left, who support “pro-choice” positions generally have no issues with murdering unborn babies, but are against capital punishment and going to war, but they support “Death with Dignity”.

My point is that even though both sides support a given position in one arena, they hold the opposite view in another arena.

I used to be a pro-choice person, until I started to see and meet more and more young women who used abortion as a form of birth control. While I understand that it is their body and ultimately their choice, I view it as completely wrong and abhorrent that they choose to abort a “clump of tissue” because they did something dumb.( I hold this view because the mother is given the choice, but the innocent child has none. On the other hand, someone who has made a conscious choice to commit murder is not innocent like an unborn child)

These same people who espouse “choice” are the same ones who tell me that I should not be able to drink 128 ounces of Coke a day if I choose to do so, or eat the supersized Big Mac meal at McDonald’s. Instead, I need to be informed as to how many calories that Big Mac has. If it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not she carries a baby to term, then it should be my right to choose what I put in my body, be it junk food, fast food, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, THC or whatever.  By the same stretch, I should not be required to wear a seat belt if I don’t want to, nor wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. But society acts as if I should not be able to do such things, because they aren’t good for me.

The right likes to rail against the “nanny state” that tells us what we should and shouldn’t do.

Then they turn around and speak out in favor of their version of the “nanny state”.

There is a meme floating around Facebook, that came from a 29 year old who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had an essay published on CNN, and it has sparked a bit of controversy. For example, blogger Matt Walsh has said There is Nothing Brave About Suicide. First off, I have no idea who Matt Walsh is. Of course, he probably has no idea who Tony Shields is, either.

Mr. Walsh sees himself as a professional truthsayer (his words). Truth and fact are funny things. In most cases, they depend upon the point of view of the speaker, and often change over time. Recall that at one time, the earth was the center of the universe. That was a fact, but it was not the truth. To some in the Islamic community, the earth is flat. That is their fact, but it is not the truth. Truth never changes, even if we do not realize that our truth is fallacy.

But Walsh’s response is not necessarily to the essay, but to comments made on Facebook when people had said that she was very brave.

The mistake that Walsh is making is that people are not necessarily saying she’s brave for dying under the care of a doctor, but that she is being brave in the calm with which she is dealing with her circumstances.

It’s time to use Mr. Walsh’s own words:

…You might find that rather rude of me, but I find it thoughtless, reckless, and disturbing that so many people are running around calling her ‘brave’ and ‘dignified’ for choosing to poison herself.

I want her to live longer, whereas the rest of society seems to agree that her life has no meaning and there would be no purpose in her living it. Worse still, when we call it ‘dignified’ and ‘courageous’ to kill yourself because of a cancer diagnosis, we are directly attacking people who get cancer and don’t kill themselves.

You think I’m exaggerating? Well what other possible conclusion can be drawn? If it is ‘dying with dignity’ to take a pill and slip away rather than to fight the cancer until it kills you, then, by extension, it must be undignified to forgo the pill and fight the cancer until it kills you. Are we really prepared to see things in that way?

There are so many problems with our cultural suicide worship. So many problems with euthanasia and the way the practice perverts the medical establishment and confuses the public conscience. So many, many problems. This doesn’t even scratch the surface, but it’s the best I can do. 

What Walsh is saying is that she would be braver to stick it out and fight the losing battle in pain and agony, suffering every last moment of her life until her death.

When our pets get terminally ill or injured, we often put them down so they will not have to suffer, and we will not have to suffer along with them.

Why should we, as adults, not have the same choice for ourselves? This woman does not want to suffer until she dies. She does not want her family to suffer any more than they have to.

Suddenly, that’s suicide worship?

As an aside, I do agree with Walsh that I am mystified as to why she felt the need to go public about her situation and decision. I imagine that some Death with Dignity group heard about her decision and decided to approach her, and possibly pay her to make all of this public.

Let’s assume for a second that she didn’t have terminal cancer, and that she chose to commit suicide. Maybe she would have felt her circumstances were hopeless, far beyond hope. Should that mean that she, or anyone else, should not be allowed to end their lives. I’m not advocating that people should be allowed to launch themselves off of bridges onto cars passing below.

In the end, I am the master of my own destiny. If that destiny includes me ending my life early, that’s my choice to make. Not anyone else’s.

Since when is it our place to judge another’s choices?

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