“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Assisted suicide......a right, or just plain wrong?

In Switzerland, assisted suicide is legal, but should it be televised?

The harrowing moment a retired university professor dies in an 'assisted suicide' will be shown on television tonight.

Craig Ewert, 59, is filmed turning off his ventilator and taking a lethal dose of drugs washed down with apple juice.

Just minutes before his death, Mary, his wife of 37 years asks him: 'Can I give you a big kiss?' She adds: 'I love you sweetheart so much. Have a safe journey and see you some time.'

Without getting into the whole pointless abortion debate, I value life as much as anybody. That said, dying is every bit as natural as living. With that in mind, shouldn't each of us have the right to die on our own terms without being subjected to the phony heroics of doctors who just want to be heroic?

Hear me. Sixteen year-olds who get dumped by their boyfriends shouldn't be taking their lives but, I believe that people dying of horrible, debilitating diseases from which there is no hope of recovery or of living anything but a painful, tortured existence, should be able, while still lucid, to say goodbye to their loved ones and arrange to go out with some dignity and in control. One look at Terri Shaivo in her decades-long, persistent vegetative state will tell you, that's no way to exist.

As my sister dryly observed during that time, "There's nothing dignified about a persistent vegetative state."

Nobody I know wants to be in that position. Hopelessly ill and completely out of control of their life. What's so wrong with going out on your own terms and sparing your family years of pain and suffering, watching you waste away...I mean if that's what you choose? Televising it? Probably not.

As an objectivist and defender of the concept of the individual, I can't reach any other conclusion but that if you are burdoned with terminal illness and it's your time to go, do it on your own terms.

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