Sunday, March 20, 2005

Right to Die

Do human beings have a right to die?

Obviously, as a result of the free will we have been given, we have the ability to take our own life. But this doesn't answer the question.

Do human beings have an inherent right to die when their suffering is deemed too great?

This question is thornier, but it seems to still be rather clear cut to me. If the human in question is fully conscious and aware, then they have the free will to make the decision to take their own life. Whether or not society should condone this action is an argument for another day. At the most basic level, the fact that free will has given us the ultimate control over our own body seems to justify the fact that one does have the "right" to take one's own life, especially when there are mitigating circumstances, such as a chronic, debilitating, and ultimately fatal disease.

But what about when the person who's life is being taken is unable to make that decision for themselves?

This answer must be an emphatic no. No moral society can possibly justify the murder of an inncent citizen. That's what is being done to Terri Shiavo. Not an "assisted suicide;" she isn't going through a "dying process;" she is not just simply being disconnected from a ventilator and allowed to die a natural death. She is being murdered through dehydration. If we as a society are to avoid turning into a "Brave New World," we must resist efforts to determine who among us is fit to live and who is useless enough to be sentenced to death. Today it is those who require a feeding tube, next it is those of us who require being spoon-fed. After that it will be those that require too many nutrients for the output they are able to produce. Where does it stop?

In other "Brave New World" news, check out this story from the Netherlands about a "Wrongful-life" lawsuit. This is where we are headed.

Absolutely sickening.