Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Euthanasia redux: It's Not Just About My Body, My Choice

When it comes to people wanting to kill themselves, I cannot argue my body, my choice. I will definitely try to dissuade people from killing themselves, but I don't want suicide attempts criminalized in the least.

However, the issue isn't only that people want to kill themselves. It's that we want to give the medical system the power to kill people.

It amazes me that people who would oppose the death penalty based on the possibility that the innocent are convicted place this amazing trust in the health care system to never make a mistake.

We know that these so-called safeguards are bogus. People are euthanized without their explicit consent. And we know how easy it would be to obtain the consent of a terminally ill patient, tired of living, who feels like a burden on his family and the system.

Even if prisoners were to go to their executions voluntarily-- as it has been known to happen-- that doesn't make the death penalty correct. It's the same concept with giving the medical system the right to kill. Just because you all agree to an action doesn't mean it should take place. There's more to this than what takes place between you and the doctor. There are wider social implications than just my body, my choice. This is not only about what one wants for oneself. This is about what one demands from society and what effect that demand has on others.

I think this needs to be made explicit: making policy changes based solely on I want this for myself, I think it's good for me, is very narrow and excludes the possible effects on society.

But nobody thinks about that. What euthanasia supporters are often thinking is: how will I be alleviate my suffering when the time comes: I don't want to be forced to suffer.

Unfortunately, sometimes people blind themselves to how their policy choices forces others to suffer.