Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The liberal, humanist case against assisted suicide...

...I agree.

Interesting how a libertarian source like Spiked can run so often against the conventional mores.


Anonymous said...

Several points:

A. I hope you realize that many, many people have their deaths assisted by doctors in this country. Nutrition and medical assistance are commonly withheld from individuals often hastening death by days, weeks, months or even years. This, for some reason, isn't considered assisted suicide; yet, it directly causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people each year.

B. In Oregon, the headlines read: "Oregon Assisted Suicide Deaths Hit Record High in 2012;" yet, the numbers are tiny. The total number assisted suicide deaths in Oregon were: 77 in 2012, 71 in 2011, 65 in 2010 and 59 in 2009. So, very few people choose this end when it is available. There has been no rush to death.

C. In the article you cite, the primary argument supporting a continued ban on assisted suicide is that we somehow owe it to everyone else to live as long as possible whatever the personal cost. So its up to society to stand at my bedside and determine the time and manner of my death. I somehow owe that to everyone else.

D. The headline of the piece was "Why Brittany Maynard made the wrong decision." I would like to live in a world where I get to make this decision, and so does everyone else. The opposite side wants to make this decision for me. I reject that.

Peter Bradley said...

1. You point A is describing something that is usually called "medical neglect" or "murder."

The fact that it isn't prosecuted is not a feature.

2. 300 to 400 people, factoring in the deaths for 2012, 2013 and 2014, the majority of whom were not in pain and not near death, but who had conditions that could have been given palliative, is something you think is minor?

Strange, most people would view that as a mass disaster if that number of people had been killed in a flood.

Of course, life is cheap for some people.

3. Read the article.

Your strawman was not the argument.

4. And I prefer to live in a world where people are not indifferent to other people to the extent of taking the position of "Hey, if you want to kill yourself, I'll buy you the bullets."

And I definitely don't want to live in a world where it is considered acceptable for other people to shout "jump" to someone standing on a ledge.

Anonymous said...

1. It is a feature. If we prosecuted doctors for withholding care from terminally ill individuals the medical system would collapse from lack of doctors and the massive cost incurred. I'd say that qualifies as a feature.

2. Only a few hundred people in Oregon indicates that most people do not make the choice of assisted suicide. It remains an option selected by a relatively small number of people, not a plague sweeping the state.

3. No straw man.

4. The indifferent world you want to live in is one in which the government chooses the time and manner of death of the terminally ill. I didn't expect progressive, nanny-state control ideas from you.

I disagree with your characterization of "a world where it is considered acceptable for other people to shout "jump" to someone standing on a ledge."

People would like to have the choice of how their life ends. No one is shouting "jump." They are saying they don't want the government to make for them one of the most profound decisions they will ever make.

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