Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Death with Dignity

When a person on Oregon's Death Row cannot choose their own death, than you've seriously undermined people's right to die with dignity and the terms of their choosing..

Anybody who is still reading the newspapers, is aware and alarmed that suicides, suicide by cops, and murder-suicides are becoming increasingly commonplace -- because "health care" can keep people alive long past the time when the quality of their lives are no longer tenable and bearable. And as long as there is health care coverage, it is extremely profitable to deliver that premium care long past an individual's choice to be maintained in an irrecoverable condition. This is a huge dilemma for individuals as well as society going forward -- because it threatens to drain all resources for keeping people alive who are dying -- but now that dying can be prolonged for years and decades.

We need to allow those who have determined that their time is up -- to be able to make that choice, when they decide that that is the best choice for themselves and everybody connected and cares about them -- rather than having to be brutalized by their desperate means and actions. When people die, they can die peacefully in their sleep. They don't have to blow their brains out, or hang themselves, or the many other violent ways we associate with death. It can be done humanely, and painlessly if we choose -- because death itself is not pain, but the cessation of pain. We need to understand and be clear about that -- apart from the violence it has been associated with throughout history, when many suffered death prematurely.

But like affluence and obesity now, the problems and challenges are the opposite -- of disease, starvation, and medical care, keeping people alive at any cost -- just because we can. Life is now the denial of death, but death comes to every life -- in the many ways, some doing what they love to do, some through momentary thoughtless acts, but few when they are given it as an humane and intelligent ending -- which really needs to be the model for it in the future. But before then, we try to make the best of our lives, as much as we can -- and live it more fully too so that when the time comes, we can go in peace and comfort. We have made our peace with the world -- and not perpetuated violence and hopelessness, as the only ending that can be possible.


At February 21, 2012 3:30 PM, Blogger Bill Pieper said...

I certainly agree with all your main points, Mike, but please be careful about equating the penal system "Death Row" with death by patient choice in cases of medical futility. Our "right-to-life" (so-called) opponents will turn that around against us to sow doubt and confusion, because doubt and confusion are all they got.

At February 22, 2012 7:27 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Death with dignity doesn't belong to any one group exclusively. It is a universal right -- no matter how self-righteous and entitled a few think they are.

Thanks for reading.


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