Thursday, January 19, 2006

To Die, Or Not To Die? That Is The Question

Assisted suicide is a true moral dilemma, particularly for those of us who hold life sacred, or at least precious.

Personally, I think we ought to hold innocent life as the highest of our priorities. That means that I am pro-life/anti-abortion (with certain caveats).

I also support the death penalty.

It is no contradiction that I am pro-life and pro-death penalty. Remember, I said “innocent” life. The miscreants who get the death penalty are not innocent. They don’t deserve to live. Unborn babies are innocent; they do deserve to live.

But I digress; the topic is assisted suicide.

The ethical question is whether or not doctors ought to be allowed to help people who are in control of their mental faculties end their life if they choose to do so.

The moral question is whether we ought to make it easy for people to end their life.

If I am in great pain with a terminal illness, I think I’d like to have the option to end it all when I decide it’s time. Whether I’d have the guts to “pull the trigger” or not is another issue.

However, doctors are trained to prolong life. They are trained to diagnose diseases and conditions, and prescribe medicines, procedures and treatments to restore our health. There is a raging controversy both inside and outside the medical community as to whether doctors, as life-savers, should become life-enders.

Your thoughts?


Still Searching... said...

We give our pets that dignity, why not have the right to choose ourselves. Mind, I do understand it would be opening a very LARGE can of worms. Is this person truly terminal? Stuff happens, the little miracles that make people say, "well I'll be darned". But then, what if someone NOT in control of their faculties, who's to say what they would want? Does anyone have the right to decide for them? Oh my...on and on it goes...

Personally, if I was terminal and in great pain, confined to a hospital bed with no hope of recovering ANY quality of life, for whatever is left of my life, then I would want the choice. At least the choice. Whether I would do it or not, I don't know, but the choice itself would be most important to me.

Anonymous said...

If I was incapacated with no hope of recovery of my mental facilities I would want artificial life support removed (ie I dont' want to end up like Terry Shaivo). For me, its all about dying with dignity, not prolonging my body because it didn't get the message from my brain. If however I was mentally fine, but my body was no longer functioning, I would want to live, but have the option to die quick and peacefully if I was terminal and not suffer a long an agonizing death as many people sadly do, such as my great aunt who among other things had severe osteroporosis. We put animals out of their sufferering if we have no other options of saving them. People deserve at least as much respect.

Unknown said...

Bill Maher said it best when he said something along the lines of, "the more people that are dead, the less traffic on the morning comute..."

Marie said...

I think if people want to die, they can shoot themselves, jump off a bridge, take an overdose, whatever. They don't need to involve medical professionals. It is selfish of them to demand to do so.

I do think it is immoral to kill yourself, with the possible exception of if you are dying anyway and are in uncontrollable pain.

James Shott said...

Thanks for your contributions, Stillsearching, thecrankyone and monika.

This is a difficult issue. I appreciate your comments.