Right to Die

Assisted Suicide of Healthy 79-Year-Old Renews German Debate on Right to Die
By MARK LANDLER, NY Times, July 3, 2008

But many here do not want Germany to follow the example of Switzerland, where liberal laws on euthanasia have led to a bustling trade in assisted suicide. In the last decade, nearly 500 Germans have crossed the border to end their lives with the help of a Swiss group that facilitates suicides.

“My offer, since last Saturday, is to allow people to die in their own beds,” he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “That is the wish of most people, and now it is possible in Germany.”

Not only should assisted-suicide be legal, it should be a free government service available to any adult for any reason. Why, oh why, is life so important? You might think to yourself, “that’s obvious!”, but is it? If you think life is precious and should be preserved, even against one’s will, please tell me why?

Also, I STRONGLY recommend Peter Singer’s book, Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics.

5 Comment

  1. I agree!! Of course a country like ours would never think of allowing such a thing, what with all the “value of life” that people feel here.

    Why shouldn’t we be able to end our own suffering in that way. We can help our pets when they can no longer live a happy pain-free life.

    Someday maybe this country will come around.

  2. @Dan B – Thank you for your comment and for stopping by The Rhetoric once again.

    Someday maybe this country will come around.

    There’s always hope. :)

  3. I feel very strongly that people should have the right to die the way they wish, whenever possible. If we truly believe in quality of life, and freedom, and the right to make choices and decisions about our own lives, it follows that euthanasia should be a right for everyone. I think that the hypocrisy of politicians (now there’s a surprise…) on this matter is the reason that the Jack Kevorkians of this world are imprisoned. Personally I have the greatest respect for doctors who take the risk of going to jail for their compassionate — and illegal — actions towards patients who are exercising their freedom to choose when to call it a day.

  4. @Kerry – Hi. I’m just glad to know we agree about something. :) Life and death ethics is a subject with which I am immensely fascinated (and passionate). It seems like everybody has an opinion but few people have ever thought about the whys or considered the (much more) complex gray areas.

  5. How Many of You Expect do Die?
    By Jane Gross
    NY Times, July 8, 2008

    These are the elderly who for years on end must depend on the care of loved ones, usually adult daughters, or the kindness of strangers, the aides who care for them at home or in nursing facilities. This was my mother’s fate, and she articulated it with mordant humor: The reward for living past age 85 and avoiding all the killer diseases, she said, is that you get to rot to death instead.

    Every person, young or old, should have the option of euthanasia. The right to die should be a basic civil right.

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