Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Civil Liberties Crown/Duncehat of the Week
The Crown this week is awarded to the State Of Oregon for their attempt to protect the rights of their citizens and the right of the State to make decisions regarding medical practices.
The right of a patient to take their own life in a dignified manner is exactly that, a right. It is a decision to be made by the patient and their family, not legislatures in Washington. No matter how much you may disagree with someone's decision in the end it is not you body and therefore not you choice.
Their decision to end, or not end, their life does not effect anyone else in any way and therefore is a personal decision and is protected under the Constitution. The same way as a women as the right to choose so does a terminally ill patient. I know that there will be those who try to use the argument that if that is the case should we not try to stop anyone who attempts to commit suicide.
That is an absurd argument simply because you are dealing with two separate issues here. In the case of someone who is depressed or for some reason feeling as if they have no reason to live and they feel the need to take their own life society has a responsibility to get that person the help they need to cope with their issues, and this is what we do, we don't arrest them we simply help them cope and get them past their urge to kill themselves. In this case the person is mentally unstable, even if just for the moment, and is not making a sound decision.
In the case of a terminally ill patient the person knows that they are going to die in a short period anyway and most likely are going to have to endure a slow, painful death. If they feel that they would like the death to be in a painless, dignified manner and would like to keep their families from having to endure seeing them slowly die and mounting medical bills then they have the right to do so. In order for someone to take part in the "right to die" they must be of sound mind and make the decision on their own. They cannot simply say one day, screw it I don't want to live. There must be evidence that they are terminally ill and of sound mind.
The Duncehat this week goes to good old President George W. "let's deceive the American people one more time" Bush. Yet again he has attempted to shove lies down our throat with his staged conversation with American soldiers in Iraq.
This is actually not as bad as many of the things that he has done and he gets the prize not only for this but for his long litany of deceit. Lets recap what he has done:
-Post 9/11 he declares that he will do whatever is necessary to capture those who are responsible and then simply lets Osama bin Ladin slip off the radar after having him surrounded at Torah Bora.
-Using 9/11 as a reason Bush signs into law the Patriot Act which strips Americans of rights provided in the U.S. Constitution including Amendments 1, 4, and 6.
-Bush declared war on Saddam Hussein using a wide array of reasons none of which have proven to be true, the most popular and most used of which was the notorious WMD's that have yet to be found.
-In his rush to war Bush not only lied to the American people about the reason for the war but he destroyed our relationship with many allies who he turned his back on when he attacked Iraq against U.N. wishes and without any solid reason for war.
-He continues to push for a Constitutional Amendment against Gay marriage.
-He continues to push for a Constitutional Amendment against Abortion.
-He continues to attempt to blur the line between religion and government.
-He continues to attempt to weaken the judicial branch of the Unites States of America
I could go on all night but I think I will keep it at that. Bush is a disgrace to the Office of the President of the United States. Local talk show host Pamela Furr has challenged my respect for the Office on more than one occasion, the simple truth is I respect the office, but I cannot respect the man holding the office.