Infant euthanasia....

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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:58 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:

Curiously, those who believe that the government can best decide who is worthy of living and fairly administer health care are most often those same people who hold the government in complete disdain.



[Terry Schiavo] Oh really? [/Terry Schiavo]


Exactly, thank you, you made my point. I personally don't trust the Government with anything that involves my quality of life
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Postby OperaTenor » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:02 pm

Anything I can do to help...

Even though it was your chosen political darlings who were pushing that agenda.

:p

;)
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Postby Shapley » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:03 pm

It should be left up to those involved.


The problem is that there is an infant involved. Who speaks for him? We have advocates to represent minors in court issues because they lack their own voice. Who advocates for them here. The parents are not disinterested parties - nor unbiased ones. There are legal issues involved when a life is terminated. We can't give anyone a blank check to do so.

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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:48 pm

How on earth did "due process" become equal to "politicians and strangers"?

Would not the people most closely concerned, and perhaps the professional caregiver staff, be adequate due process? How did lawyers get into moral, ethical, and personal decisions?

I don't care for the thought of personal moral and ethical and practical considerations being overridden by legalists and politicians who have no personal connection with the sad subject of the individual life in question. Strangers have no place in this. Lawyers and politicians, even less.
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Postby barfle » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:38 pm

Shapley wrote:How do you square that with the Constitutional provision that 'no person shall be deprived of life...without due process?"
That's a limitation on the government, which is what the Constitution defines.

Shapley wrote:We're talking about the termination of life here, not allowing it to naturally expire.
And we're also talking about the termination of suffering that can only happen in conjunction with the termination of life.

Shapley wrote:More often than not this will take place in a government-financed facility - a hospital that accepts government funding.
Which has exactly zero to do with the topic under discussion.

Shapley wrote:Are you saying we have to leave the government out of this process?
Wouldn't that be nice if we could only do that? But my experience with government is that if you want a mess made, get them involved.

Shapley wrote:That somehow we are to designate these children as 'non persons' unworthy of protection?
That depends on whether your definition of "protection" means to prolong their suffering.

Shapley wrote:That we basically are to extend fetushood to some hours, days, or perhaps weeks after birth in cases of children who do not exit the womb in full health?
Not to get too darn picky, but review your Catholic Church's teachings on when it's possible to "sin." But, no, I mean that we realize that an organism that lives its entire life in agony is not being protected by prolonging that agony.

Shapley wrote:I'm shocked!
But are you considering the victim? Really? "Life at all costs" is NOT necessarily "protection." If it were, I certainly would not have euthanized Misty when breathing took all the energy she had because of her lung cancer, I would not have euthanized Shoes when her paralysis prevented her from moving her head, I would not have euthanized George when his liver cancer put him in such pain he could not walk, I would not have euthanized Duck when her kidney failure caused her to hallucinate. I was not happy about losing my friends over the thirty five years I have been a cat possession, but I still believe I was showing them mercy and compassion. Why treat humans with any less respect?

Shapley wrote:I can't see how we can allow a human life to be terminated without some due processs, some governmental oversight.
And at the moment, that process only allows healthy people convicted of heinous crimes to have their lives terminated. There does need to be oversight. Please reread my post from 2:04PM before you put any more words in my mouth.

Shapley wrote:I've never suggested that they have the right to determine who lives or dies, only the right to overrule the decision to kill.
And so far, they have never allowed euthanasia, and my guess is that they never will. I know what the government's position is on human life, and I have a pretty good idea of what yours is, and they aren't far apart. I feel that is, in some cases, unnecessarily cruel.

Shapley wrote:They should never have the right to order the termination of innocent life, but they should certainly have the right to preserve it.
So you're on the side of allowing the government to determine that a person in agony does not have the right to end that agony? That's what it looks like to me.
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Postby barfle » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:43 pm

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:How did lawyers get into moral, ethical, and personal decisions?

I don't care for the thought of personal moral and ethical and practical considerations being overridden by legalists and politicians who have no personal connection with the sad subject of the individual life in question. Strangers have no place in this. Lawyers and politicians, even less.

To answer your question, political muscle.

Dogma may work on matters of faith. Unfortunately, the world is nowhere near as black or white as the "Thou shalt nots" would have us think. Each situation requires its own decision, and it should not be influenced by dogmatists.
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Postby jamiebk » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:48 pm

Shapley wrote:Barfle,

How do you square that with the Constitutional provision that 'no person shall be deprived of life...without due process?"


So just where is it said that "Due Process" has to involve the government and a bunch of detatched over-zealous lawyers with their own agenda?
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Postby Shapley » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:19 am

All I'm saying is that 'due process' requires that a determination be made by someone with legal stature before a life can be artificially terminated. That's not too much to ask, given what is at stake.

I've already said that I believe that, Constitutionally, that is the States' prerogative, and that the States can further delegate that authority to whatever level is desired. Yes, in my State I would oppose euthanasia, but I oppose making it a Federal issue.

I'm sorry if I'm unable to see how anyone can support the idea that a doctor and an unwed mother, sitting in a hospital room, can be allowed to kill a child and not expect to have to answer questions about that decision somewhere down the line. What if an autopsy shows the diagnosis to be wrong? Or would be prohibit autopsies in order to fulfil the 'no second guessing' requirement? I already asked about perinatal depression, and no one has answered me on that. There has to be some sort of legal stamp on the termination of life, or you'll be into a hornets's nest of problems down the road.

I'm simply bewildered that anyone could support the concept of allowing the termination of life with no judicial oversight - a sort of 'get out of jail free' card for the medical profession.

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Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:20 am

"So just where is it said that "Due Process" has to involve the government and a bunch of detatched over-zealous lawyers with their own agenda?
"


Do you realize that in one sentence you have described the history of jurisprudience in the U.S.?
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Postby Shapley » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:24 am

So just where is it said that "Due Process" has to involve the government and a bunch of detatched over-zealous lawyers with their own agenda?


It doesn't. The States will determine what constitutes 'due process'. It may be a medical review board or it may be private consultation with a judge, or it may be Supreme Court hearing. That is their right.

If a persons' life is artificially terminated, someone will have to answer legal questions about it, either before or after the fact. I think 'before the fact', makes more sense. 'After the fact' is too late to reverse a bad decision.

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Postby barfle » Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:28 pm

Shapley wrote:All I'm saying is that 'due process' requires that a determination be made by someone with legal stature before a life can be artificially terminated.
You aren't defining "legal stature." A physician can have "legal stature," as can next of kin.

Shapley wrote:Yes, in my State I would oppose euthanasia, but I oppose making it a Federal issue.
Why do you (apparently) advocate treating pets with more compassion than humans?

Shapley wrote:I'm sorry if I'm unable to see how anyone can support the idea that a doctor and an unwed mother, sitting in a hospital room, can be allowed to kill a child and not expect to have to answer questions about that decision somewhere down the line.
I was accused of taking OT's universal health coverage to an illogical extreme (which I admitted doing, to illustrate a point), but so far you aren't telling anyone what the issue is in your illustration. What is the medical issue with the infant? That's why I say every situation derves its own decision, and that a dogmatic prohibition is simply cruel to the one suffering.

Shapley wrote:I already asked about perinatal depression, and no one has answered me on that.
What, the infant is depressed? Again, what is the medical issue? I did address it when I said every situation deserves its own decision.

Shapley wrote:I'm simply bewildered that anyone could support the concept of allowing the termination of life with no judicial oversight
Maybe it's because we don't have the faith in political appointees or politicians that you do.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:57 pm

You aren't defining "legal stature." A physician can have "legal stature," as can next of kin.


Correct, but the State needs to define that. A physician, or the next of kin, need to be defined as having that authority before, not after, they make a life-terminating decision.

[qoute]Why do you (apparently) advocate treating pets with more compassion than humans?[/quote] That would be under your definition of compassion, not mine.


That's why I say every situation derves its own decision, and that a dogmatic prohibition is simply cruel to the one suffering.


I'm not trying to define the situation, I'm merely pointing out that, when it comes time to fill out the death certificate, a statement of medical necessity for the termination will be required, whether by the hospital board, the state board of health, the courts, or the next of kin. The hospital risks legal action if the termination cannot be medically justified.

What, the infant is depressed? Again, what is the medical issue?
Perinatal depression is a medical condition in which a woman suffers depression during or immediately after her pregnancy. If the woman agreeing to termination is found to have been suffering from perinatal depression, her judgement can be called into question at the time of the decision. She may regret the termination and challenge the doctor or the hospital on the determination of medical necessity.

Maybe it's because we don't have the faith in political appointees or politicians that you do.


I don't particularly have faith in them. I am simply asking that the authority granted to end life be codified, and that that codification be designed to meet the Constitutional test for due process. "Let the physician and the patient decide" does not.
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Postby barfle » Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:55 pm

Shapley wrote:Correct, but the State needs to define that.
Again, I see deference to governmental authority when the decision is highly personal.

Shapley wrote:That would be under your definition of compassion, not mine.
So is it correct to say that under your definition of compassion, it is kind to have an animal suffer until it dies naturally?

Shapley wrote:I'm not trying to define the situation
What it looks like from here is that you are trying to dogmatize it - a "one size fits all" solution, which it clearly does not.

Shapley wrote:The hospital risks legal action if the termination cannot be medically justified.
I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that there are justifications for terminating life. Each situation deserves its own decision.

Shapley wrote:Perinatal depression is a medical condition in which a woman suffers depression during or immediately after her pregnancy.
I know what perinatal depression (in the mother) is. But we weren't discussing terminating HER life. So again, with more detail, what is the medical condition of the infant that would cause consederation of euthanasia? That's the question that counts.

Shapley wrote:I am simply asking that the authority granted to end life be codified, and that that codification be designed to meet the Constitutional test for due process.
The Fifth Amendment, which clearly puts limitations on what the federal government can do, is where the phrase "due process of law" appears. But exactly what "due process of law" means is not covered. Which means it can be legislated to mean just about anything.

I'm not advocating infant euthanasia without significant review. It will almost never be an easy decision. What I am saying is that you've made what seems to you to be an easy decision that you would apply to others without exception, even though you cannot know the details of the case. That is what we disagree about.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:34 pm

Again, I see deference to governmental authority when the decision is highly personal.


I think the decision to terminate another human beings' life is a bit more than a 'personal matter'.

So is it correct to say that under your definition of compassion, it is kind to have an animal suffer until it dies naturally?


Under my definition, killing an animal is not a capital offense, and therefore one should not risk legal consequences for doing so. The animal cannot tell you if it would rather die or not, but the consequences of being wrong are nil, so it eases our conscience to pretend that 'it's what they would want'. The reality is that we no more know wha they want than the man in the moon. Why does a sick dog whine for its' supper? If it would rather be dead why doesn't it just die? It clings to life just as most humans do. Many accept that ending its' life is humane, so we accept that euthanasia for animals is okay. We aren't likely to burn in Hell if we're wrong.

Around here, we euthanize animals by putting a bullet through their brain. I can guarantee you that doing so with a human, terminally ill or not, will land you in a heap of trouble. We treat humans differently than animals primarily out of the risk of consequences for failing to do so.

I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that there are justifications for terminating life. Each situation deserves its own decision.


But, if part of the justification for doing so is to ease the burden on the family, then shouldn't the burden of legal action be a part of the consideration? By allowing 'due process' to run its' course before the termination occurs, the threat of burdensome legal action is greatly reduced. Also, the consequences in the event that the decision runs counter to termination are lessened - a handicapped child is remanded to State custody vs. a physician and a family are tried for murder. Why is there such a hurry to end the life that a legal review of the situation cannot be held beforehand?

The Fifth Amendment, which clearly puts limitations on what the federal government can do, is where the phrase "due process of law" appears.


You keep dragging the Federal government into this, when I've clearly stated that the Constitution, as I read it, places this authority in the States' jurisdiction. The Constitution does limit the Federal governments' powers, but it also reserves those powers not vested in the Federal Government to the States, and to the People, respectively. Since the Constitution prohibits depriving a person of 'life, liberty, or property without due process of law', that puts the onus on the States, since 'process of law' is not an individual station.


Which means it can be legislated to mean just about anything.


I've already said I agree to this, several times. I've just said that the legislation has to originate at the State level.


What I am saying is that you've made what seems to you to be an easy decision that you would apply to others without exception, even though you cannot know the details of the case.


All I've said is that I would lobby to keep it illegal in my State. I've not proposed that I should have dictatorial powers to make it so, nor have I suggested that I would not live under the decision should my position be voted down by the legislature. You seem to oppose my opposition to your position. I'm one man, with one position, and one vote. I've no more or less authority to lobby my legislature than you have to lobby yours. Yet you seem to be troubled that I'm willing to do so for a position I believe in. Why?

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Postby barfle » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:29 pm

Shapley wrote:I think the decision to terminate another human beings' life is a bit more than a 'personal matter'.
It is an intensely personal matter, and one that I would certainly prefer NOT to be influenced by politicians and lawyers.

Shapley wrote:Under my definition, killing an animal is not a capital offense, and therefore one should not risk legal consequences for doing so.
That wasn't the question, so I'll ask it again. Is it correct to say that under your definition of compassion, it is kind to have an animal suffer until it dies naturally?

Shapley wrote:The animal cannot tell you if it would rather die or not, but the consequences of being wrong are nil, so it eases our conscience to pretend that 'it's what they would want'.
Again, you're avoiding the answer to the question. But it's clear that most animals have very little concept of their own death. But in the cases of the animals I have had euthanized, it was also clear that they were in great distress, and would not recover.

Shapley wrote:We treat humans differently than animals primarily out of the risk of consequences for failing to do so.
I'm not suggesting we treat humans the same as animals. We don't have humans in pens, we don't have humans in carriage harnesses, we don't butcher humans. But we treat animals in terminal distress far more humanely than we do people. And I don't really understand why my cat deserves to die with more dignity than I do.

Shapley wrote:But, if part of the justification for doing so is to ease the burden on the family, then shouldn't the burden of legal action be a part of the consideration?
The primary justification is the easing of the pain of the victim. Financial consequences aren't really part of the equation, especially with the government aid situation the way it is now.

Shapley wrote:By allowing 'due process' to run its' course before the termination occurs, the threat of burdensome legal action is greatly reduced.
You put a lot of faith in a process you admit is undefined.

Shapley wrote:Why is there such a hurry to end the life that a legal review of the situation cannot be held beforehand?
Where in "each situation deserves its own decision" did you extract that from?

Shapley wrote:You keep dragging the Federal government into this, when I've clearly stated that the Constitution, as I read it, places this authority in the States' jurisdiction.
You keep dragging the Constitutional provision for due process into this. That's where the concept exists.

Shapley wrote:You seem to oppose my opposition to your position.
Indeed, I do. I'm trying to show you how your "one size fits all" position is unnecessarily cruel to those who are suffering from conditions that are both terminal and very painful.

Shapley wrote:Yet you seem to be troubled that I'm willing to do so for a position I believe in. Why?
I'm troubled by your position, not your activism. I would be troubled if you were willing to lobby to institute slavery. I would be troubled if you were willing to lobby to prevent consenting adults from declaring themselves to be a family. I would be troubled if you were willing to lobby for a 5MPH state-wide unposted speed limit.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:47 pm

I'm not avoiding the question, I just think you don't like the answer. The truth is we're not more compassionate with animals than with humans. We can kill animals if they're in torment, but we can also kill them if they're not. We can kill animals because we think we have too many of them, or because they don't hunt, or because we're just tired of them. How is that bing more compassionate? We can cut their cajones off without their consent because we don't want them to breed. We can cut their tails and clip their ears and put them on chains, as you pointed out, in our front yards. We can make get them hooked on drugs so they'll help us find them. If you choose the kill your animal to ease what you perceive to be its' suffering, that is your choice, but keep in mind you could do the same even if it wasn't suffering.

Now we get to the case of humans. We have laws (the Constitution being one of them) that place safeguards on human life. These laws prohibit us from terminating human life without a legal determination that there is justification for doing so. Legal justification, like it or not, requires codified law that defines the precepts under which we make that determination. And, like it or not, lawyers and politicians will barter and debate and argue to create those precepts. That may not be the best method, but it is the method our nation was founded on. Without codified laws we are not a nation. Without a process to determine, legally, that specific conditions are met before we terminate a human life, we have reduced people to being no better than animals, to be kept or disposed of based on our own selfish desires.

You call my approach 'one size fits all', yet I have proposed fifty sizes, one for each State, to be determined as the voters of those States believe that the situation should be handled. Furthermore, within those States, there may fifty, or a hundred-fifty, or thousands of sizes, depending on how those States determine that 'due process' be defined. I don't see how anyone can expect any more from our Republican form of government.

"Let your conscience be your guide" is lousy policy. I simply do not understand how your position can be squared with the law, or with the basic moral requirements to protect human life. You offer no safeguards for the child who has no voice of his own. You seem to believe that only those doomed to suffer will be killed, and that no doctor, no parent, no guardian would terminate a healthy life while hiding under the protections of no-questions-asked euthanasia. You've not defined who or how the determination would be made. I, at least, have offered a mechanism for making that decision.

I'm not putting faith that my method of 'due process' will always make the right call, but it offers a safeguard, an appeals process, if you will, to the innocent life that is threatened by the knife.

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Postby barfle » Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:20 am

Shapley wrote:I'm not avoiding the question, I just think you don't like the answer.
I haven't seen the answer, so how can I tell if I like it or not?

Shapley wrote:We can kill animals because we think we have too many of them, or because they don't hunt, or because we're just tired of them. How is that bing more compassionate?
This is all strawman building. We have laws against cruelty to animals, against causing them unnecessary pain. This is not addressing the question at all.

Shapley wrote:If you choose the kill your animal to ease what you perceive to be its' suffering, that is your choice, but keep in mind you could do the same even if it wasn't suffering.
I'm not sure what I can do to make you see the point, because you're all around it, but still blind to it.

Shapley wrote:Without codified laws we are not a nation.
I'm not denying that, but there are many, many, many of those "codified laws" that are clearly unnecessary, clearly not in the best interests of liberty (which is REALLY why we rebelled), clearly intrusive into places the government has no business being.

Shapley wrote:Without a process to determine, legally, that specific conditions are met before we terminate a human life, we have reduced people to being no better than animals, to be kept or disposed of based on our own selfish desires.
It's clear to me we're worse off than our animals in the case of agonizing terminal illness.

Shapley wrote:You call my approach 'one size fits all', yet I have proposed fifty sizes, one for each State, to be determined as the voters of those States believe that the situation should be handled.
What you have proposed for your state is total abolition - no decision necessary, or even allowed.

Shapley wrote:I simply do not understand how your position can be squared with the law, or with the basic moral requirements to protect human life.
Oh, please. There are no "basic moral requirements to protect human life." If there were, we wouldn't have wars, we wouldn't have executions. Our government and its agents make life and death decisions all the time.

Shapley wrote:You offer no safeguards for the child who has no voice of his own. You seem to believe that only those doomed to suffer will be killed, and that no doctor, no parent, no guardian would terminate a healthy life while hiding under the protections of no-questions-asked euthanasia.
For at least the second time, where do you get this from "each situation deserves its own decision?" You're just building strawmen. And it's getting old.

Shapley wrote:You've not defined who or how the determination would be made.
Neither have you, beyond a vague "due process." I've noted who should be making the decision, and that examination of the facts of the case needs to be part of the decision making process.

Shapley wrote:I, at least, have offered a mechanism for making that decision.
No, you've made the decision, at least how you feel it should be for your state, and individual situations be damned.

Shapley wrote:it offers a safeguard, an appeals process, if you will, to the innocent life that is threatened by the knife.
Again, you seem to feel that I'm advocating offing infants just because someone feels like they don't want to be bothered. And that's simply not true. I feel the decision should be made by those involved, though, not by uninvited outsiders.
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Postby Shapley » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:07 am

I agree with one thing, this is getting old. Apparently we're arguing two entirely different things here.

I'll wrap this up with one recap of my position, and then I'm done:

1) I think that, legally, any child that exits the mothers' womb is a person, and as such has Constitutional protection. (I'll not argue the point of a child that has not exited the womb, as my view there is well knownn and has no bearing on this discussion.) As I interpret the Constitution, it requires due process of law before that person can be deprived of life. Also as I read the Constitution, the determination of what that due process is is a States' issue.

2) Each of the States then have the authority to establish a criteria for determining what shall constitute 'due process of law'. Each of our States is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution to be a republican form of government, so each of us has the right to lobby and petition for an establishment of 'due process' consistent with our beliefs. I've stated mine, so I'll not rehash it.

3) If the State decrees it, the decision to terminate life can be made on an individual basis by those directly involved. I think, however, that such a system provides no safeguard to ensure that the best interests of the child are considered against other considerations such as the financial and emotional burden on the family or other entity that will be responsible for the child. This is why I say we need a codified standard that determines specifically what criteria must be met if such a proceedure is to be carried out, and that we need a legally-charged entity, whether a person or a review board or a court of law, that will determine whether or not that standard is met. This has to be done before the fact, as there is no bringing the child back once it has been terminated.

That's as clear as I can make it. I am arguing this from a legal standpoint, as that is how I think it has to be argued. I'm not going to say what child should be terminated, if one should be, nor can I say who gets to make that decision. I look at the Terry Schiavo case, which has been brought up here on this thread. The family was willling to provide her care, but her husband had the authority under the law to make the decision. The issue was clearly not about suffering - since the argument was that starving her would not be cruel because she was beyond suffering. Logically, it would seem less cruel to have put a bullet in her hed than to starved her, but such is the law we live by.

The issue went to the State court, and it was decided that the husbands' decision should stand. I've said in several posts that it should have ended there, regardless of whether or not I agreed with the decision. The President and the Congress intervened and the decision was moved one step higher than it should have, to the Federal court, which upheld the States' decision, as it should. Not on the basis of the morality of the issue, but on the basis of the law, which is how it ruled. The Supreme Court was unwilling to do what the Congress had hoped it would do. Good for them. Terry Schiavo was starved to death, and God and history will be the judge of the rightness or wrongness of the decision. Due process was carried out.

If the issue ever makes it to the States, then we can debate the measures as they are presented to the legislature. At this point it is meaningless, since a general prohibition of euthanasia exists nationwide. My reading of the Constitution says there is no authority for such a prohibition to exist at that level.

If that doesn't make my position clear, there is nothing I can add that will help. I guess I'm a hopeless obfuscator. :)

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Postby barfle » Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:02 pm

Where I believe we agree: Killing a human being without a good reason is murder.

Where I believe we disagree: All human life is worth living for as long as one can sustain it. A government (pick one, I don't care) has an obligation to determine what lives are worth living, and decide for those who have the most invested in the decision.

I can only hope that, if I ever end up in a situation where my life is not worth living, that it's not a risk to a loved one or caregiver to take action to end it, instead of having to die of thirst because that's the only legal way to end my suffering.

I've watched people die in agony. I really don't want that to happen to me. I've said before that death, as such, doesn't scare me. But the pain that often comes with it certainly does.

Eschew obfuscation. :lol:

And with that, I'm done, too.
--I know what I like--
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Postby Shapley » Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:24 pm

I lied, I'll offer an extension of my clarification: :D

A government (pick one, I don't care) has an obligation to determine what lives are worth living, and decide for those who have the most invested in the decision.


I didn't say the government makes that determination, but that the government makes the determination as to who makes that determination. If the government chooses to retain that power, so be it. If they choose to pass it on to a lower (or higher) authority, so be it, as well.

V/R
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