Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jun/11

6

Helping Out

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on Google+

On the general matter of assisted suicide:

(1) I couldn’t care less what people with ideological or theological fixations think.  They are entitled to their intellectual pleasures, but they have no right to foist their conclusions on citizens of a free society.

(2) The only jurisprudential objection to assisted suicide is that if it is permitted, then it will be easier for ingenious people to commit homicide.

This seems to me to be true. However, I can’t believe it is beyound the wit of our jurists to devise laws that (a) accommodate the sincere, reasonable, non-transient wish to die of  a Daniel James while thwarting the fellow who wants to bump off Granny for his inheritance.

If that is beyond the wit of our jurists, we are paying them too much.

No tags

7 comments

  • wm tanksley · June 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    “I couldn’t care less what people with ideological or theological fixations think.”

    That is an error in your process that you must fix if you wish to think in public. If a person offers a well-founded objection to you, you should consider it based on the foundation they offer, NOT based on what other fixations they may have. (Of course, you are not obligated to provide a firm foundation for their idea if they fail to do so.)

    -Wm

  • Stephen · June 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    “I can’t believe it is beyound the wit of our jurists to devise laws…”

    I thought that was the job of the legislatures. I, personally, can believe that it is beyond the wit of our legislators to devise such laws.

  • NGPM · June 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “I can’t believe it is beyound the wit of our jurists to devise laws that (a) accommodate the sincere, reasonable, non-transient wish to die of a Daniel James while thwarting the fellow who wants to bump off Granny for his inheritance.”

    On the other hand, you can use the same argument to outlaw marriage for elderly couples, since such a marriage will not be productive for society. Yet such a case is so highly rare that it is not worth the trouble to prohibit (unlike the case of same-sex marriages, which if I am not mistaken you oppose). There is a saying that hard cases make for bad laws, and this is arguably one of those incidents.

    There is moreover the issue of the gap between the de jure and the de facto. You can be sure that for every doctor who is willing to euthanize a physically disabled man who meets some hypothetical legal criteria entitling him to request “assisted suicide,” another one will be willing to accept whatever sum of money to “invent” a fictional condition to justify the killing of a suicidal neurotic depressive or bipolar teenager who wants out. Moreover, it seems unlikely that we could prevent such psychiatric conditions from eventually making the list of conditions that exempted from prosecution a doctor who had assisted in the suicide of a patient so afflicted.

    “… our jurists, we are paying them too much.”

    Arguably, their high salaries are going to pay for their Sallie Mae loans. Sallie Mae and law schools–especially with the washed-up faculty they hire–are certainly overpaid. Unfortunately, we have probably reached the point where lower salaries for jurists would even further disincentivize the brilliant from entering law school, and that would be a disaster.

  • Sam Schulman · June 7, 2011 at 4:00 am

    There are so many interested parties when the death of an old or sick person is concerned, beginning with the State itself, hospitals and docs, insurers, family, friends and servants – a wish to die is so easily discovered by any of these ‘stakeholders’ – and medicine is so uncertain about “how much time is left” – that legal protection is meaningless. Take a look at Oregon and the Netherlands, where even weak legal protections are regularly ignored, precisely because it is in virtually everyone’s interest to do so.
    What a horrible way to die for the vast majority, all to protect the newly invented right of a very few.
    Why not offer everyone who expresses the wish to die – in the spirit of C. Aubrey Smith dealing with an officer caught cheating at cards- a loaded gun, a locked room, and 12 hours to think it over. And leave the sick, the poor, and the dying alone. We all will have the rest of our lives to be dead.

  • Clark · June 8, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I think you have too much faith in “jurists” and more particularly the police. I’m sure if the police come and see an old terminal patient who committed suicide they’re not going to look hard for foul play when there are other cases on their docket. To think such homicides couldn’t escape notice seems to suggest an ignorance of the realities of government funding of programs where the main cost is labor and often there’s more work than workers.

  • paine · June 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Marriage is always productive, regardless of inseminational issue.

    There is no better boot camp for people seeking mirrors, but instead finding an other.

    There is no greater lesson in life.

  • The Mark Who Was Here First · June 9, 2011 at 4:54 am

    We already have assisted suicide–it is just half-assed, hit-or-miss, arbitrarily available and generally inept.

<<

>>

Theme Design by devolux.nh2.me