Skip to comments.HAWAII SUICIDE BILL TO BE VOTED ON WITHIN THE HOUR
Posted on 05/02/2002 1:41:26 PM PDT by jobim
Just a quick note and request for prayers. The Hawaii senate will be voting on an assisted suicide bill that could become law today if they get 13 of 25 votes. Please pray that the measure is defeated. I will post an update when I know results.
Your characterization is rather sloppy: No one is "making them killers". Those doctors who assist in suicides are doing so voluntarily. And any doctor who opposes assisted suicide can simply choose not to participate, thereby avoiding "corruption". While I haven't read this particular bill, I would be extremely surprised if it forced anyone to do anything.
From a practical point of view, this will lead, as it already has in Holland, to "non-voluntary assisted suicides" (euthanasia), in which the doctor claims that someone in a coma purportedly asked beforehand that "If I'm ever in a coma...", etc. The doctor could bump the guy off, and he would never do time, since it's legal, and no one will be able to prove he didn't say it. Gradually, you get to the point where doctors must be viewed with some suspicion, and old people start shunning medical treatment--as in the Netherlands.
And again, what's stopping people from just doing it themselves (not that they should)? Because anyone can commit suicide now, the only point of assisted suicide laws is to lend some social, moral respectability to suicide. Why would any libertarian support a law like that, essentially nothing more than legislation of morality?
I'm not a doctor, so I'll leave that for doctors to rationalize. I did a quick Google search, and I gather that there is a lot of controversy over the actual translation from the Greek of the Hippocratic Oath, and that there are many different versions being administered to young doctors. Hence your question may be relevant for some doctors and irrelevant for others.
From a practical point of view, this will lead, as it already has in Holland, to "non-voluntary assisted suicides" (euthanasia)...
"Slippery slope" arguments tend to be suspect, and need to be scrutinized very carefully before being considered valid justifications for supporting or opposing laws. Certainly I (and I believe most people) can see a rather distinct difference between "voluntary" and "non-voluntary" assisted suicides. Nor does the example of Holland carry much weight, whatever may actually be happening there. There is obviously a vast cultural gulf between the United States and Europe, as exemplified most recently by Euro-appeasement in the War on Terrorism and in the upsurge in Euro-anti-semitism. Things that happen over there provide extremely weak evidence (if any at all) to support a slippery slope argument for this country.
Because anyone can commit suicide now, the only point of assisted suicide laws is to lend some social, moral respectability to suicide.
Please. I doubt that "social or moral respectability" is the foremost consideration (or even in the top ten) for most people contemplating suicide. "Anyone can commit suicide now" only if he or she is physically able to do so (which is often not the case for the terminally ill), and if practical means are available (terminally ill patients are frequently unable to jump off bridges or gain access to guns or obtain lethal drugs on their own). The main "point" of assisted suicide laws is to allow a patient to voluntarily die in a relatively painless manner, not to seek societal respectability.
Sometimes it is, for patients on intravenous life-support. Other times it isn't, if you can get the right pills.
So I'll agree with you to this extent: Those patients who are still physically capable of committing suicide on their own, and who have access to the means whereby they may painlessly do so, should have to commit suicide without assistance.
I just read on KITV-4's Web site that the bill was killed. Good news indeed, especially since I live in the Aloha State! :-)
HONOLULU- The state Senate on Thursday rejected a House-passed bill to have Hawaii join Oregon as the only states allowing physician-assisted suicides.
The "death with dignity" measure supported by Gov. Ben Cayetano was modeled after the Oregon law approved in 1997.
The measure would have allowed competent, terminally ill adults to obtain a lethal dose of prescription drugs from a doctor to end their lives. The bill was approved April 7 by the House. The Senate voted 11-14 to kill it.
Oregon's law approved by voters in 1994 and 1997 allows the terminally ill to request a lethal dose of drugs if two doctors confirm they have less than six months to live and the patients are mentally competent to make the request. The patients must take the fatal dose by themselves.
For a big-time news outfit, you'd be surprised at what a skeleton crew they have up there, here in Honolulu. Or at least, if the 2 guys that I drink beers with from upstairs are any reflection on the rest of 'em! :-)
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