Hello again, everyone.
With SB 475 signed, and the ensuing [no pun intended] lawsuit to challenge it most-likely in the works by the ITLA, I thought I would lay low for a while. I've been keeping up on the subject of tort reform via the "Keep Doctors In Illinois" website for the most part.
Today, however, I saw a story on Reuters (see story
) that has rekindled my desire to jump on my soapbox. It has to do with the US Supreme Court hearing arguments on physician-assisted suicide.
Physician-assisted suicide was legalized by the state of Oregon in 1994, and since then hundreds have chosen to end their lives in this way. The argument made at the time was that many people with terminal illnesses didn't want to suffer or experience great pain, and that this was a "more-pleasant" way to go. Others have said it was "a way they could control their own destiny." (I paraphrase what I remember; sorry I don't have any original articles to back this up. If anyone remembers anything new/different, please post and let me know.)
Since the law was passed, there has been a new directive in medicine to control pain. Hospice programs have been utilized more efficiently, and the "too much pain" defense therefore has no weight when people argue for PAS. The control issue is more of a psychological argument, one which I really don't quite understand.
What I mean is this: we all are going to die. No one can control when, or how, or why. We have ways to reduce our risks, but regardless, we are all going to die. So, if pain can be controlled, and we've done all we can do to maintain health all our lives (if we indeed have done this) then why the need to "take control of when?"
I don't know about you, but this a weak argument for PAS.
The danger here is that if we as a nation accept PAS as "okay," then what's next? Allowing those with chronic depression to end their life if they want? Allowing the euthanizing of old people in nursing homes because they "don't have any quality of life?" Or euthanizing the mentally handicapped because they are like-wise afflicted? Or maybe euthanizing the developmentally disabled, those who have had strokes, alzheimer's patients, or anyone else who is "not contributing to society?"
Sound familiar? It should. If anyone has ever seen a documentary on Nazi Germany and the Third Reich, they would instantly recognize how Hitler implemented his "final solution" on these groups, as well as whole races whom he felt were inferior. It all started with the terminally ill, aged, and mentally handicapped.
A person choosing to end their life earlier than what is natural when they are not emminently dying is murder, in my opinion. When the state sanctifies this act as legal or a "right," then we are taking that first step down the slipper slope towards the evils of our world's past.
Who said, "If we do not learn from our mistakes in the past, we are doomed to repeat them?"
Please comment. I would be interested to see what Decatur Illinois thinks of this issue.