Friday, June 03, 2011
Dr. Death meets his ironic demise
Michigan pathologist and assisted-suicide pioneer Jack Kevorkian died yesterday from complications from pneumonia and kidney problems. He died ironically without assistance.
The media treats the idea of assisted suicide as ghoulish, barbaric, and macabre, but is it? Why shouldn't a person who is at the end of life and in pain be allowed to pass, on his/her own terms? Why are we compelled to heroically fight a guaranteed losing battle, at great cost to, and pain for, our loved ones? What's so bad about saying your goodbyes and going out peacefully?
Doctors' attitudes are that simply possessing the technology to prolong your suffering justifies using it, and of course charging you for it. It doesn't.
As a libertarian I'm generally in favor of assisted suicide. The only question for me is where do you draw the line between who can choose to end life and who cannot? Obviously a cancer victim who has hours or days to live and is in great pain should be able to choose assisted suicide, but how about a distraught 17 year old girl whose boyfriend just dumped her? Probably not. So clearly there have to be regulations, but as free, lucid adults, why is it so bad to make that choice when we are at the end of life anyway?