Skip to comments.Old and Worn Out? Why Not Suicide?
Posted on 01/02/2013 9:13:46 AM PST by Kaslin
This week, blogger Wesley J. Smith directed his readers' attention to an article on Salon.com written by Lillian B. Rubin. Eighty-eight years old and in failing health, Rubin speculates about our society's fear of death, the taboo surrounding elder suicide, and her own struggles with "ambivalence" about taking her own life. She challenges the notion that suicide is the coward's way out, insisting that on the contrary to accept the fact of one's "diminishing existence" and to take decisive action to end one's suffering is an act of immense courage.
It would be disingenuous to accuse Rubin of discussing this issue cavalierly. She recognizes the complexity of the issue, and acknowledges the difference between merely contemplating suicide and actually mustering the nerve to do it. Nonetheless, it is clear that her position derives from a worldview in which human life has no inherent value. It is quality that counts. Since this life is all we have, our mental, physical, and emotional capacity for enjoying existence is paramount. When the humiliating descent into senility and incontinence begins, life is no longer worth living.
Rubin's arguments may appear reasonable, and they certainly appeal to the American tradition of self-determination, but the embrace of such logic represents a grave danger to society nonetheless.
The Declaration of Independence is the document that establishes the principles of equality that inform American government and guide our culture. In it is the implicit recognition that human beings are special because we are created in God's image. This concept of the imago dei is what gives rise to the notion of human exceptionalism, and is what inspired America's founders to accord special protections and freedoms to individuals. We are not viewed as mere machines which can be discarded when our useful life is over. That was the attitude of Old World kings and aristocrats who thought nothing of the lives of those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. The rather recent political concept of equal protection under the law is premised on the idea that we are creatures made in God's image and of infinite worth, value and dignity. Accordingly, suicide has traditionally been discouraged in public policy because it is a form of self murder. It defaces the divine image within each of us and degrades our species. It is an affront to humanity and an affront to God himself.
Embracing suicide for the elderly would represent a radical departure from our founding values and a tragic step backward in the political progress for which so many have sacrificed their lives. A cultural shift from a "sanctity of life" to a "quality of life" ethic would not only impact the elderly, it would establish a sliding scale of human worth and dignity that would impact the feeble, the handicapped, and anyone else whose "quality of life" is deemed sub-par and their societal utility compromised. Furthermore, it is inevitable that the embrace of self-directed suicide would naturally flow to an embrace of assisted suicide, and from there, murder under the guise of "palliative care." This is already happening in places like the United Kingdom, where the elderly as well as newborn babies deemed unworthy of hospital resources are being sentenced to death by dehydration.
To be sure, Ms. Rubin believes that she is advancing an argument for human dignity with her push for a cultural embrace of suicide. But the frustration and suffering that often comes at the end of life must be weighed against the implications of undercutting the principle of mankind's exceptional value in the eyes of God. For once we have shifted from a sanctity of life ethic to a utilitarian view, there's little to keep society from embracing the notion that the elderly and unwanted have a duty to die and get out of the way and pursuing public policies that will hasten their demise.
I disagree with everything you’ve posted.
Jebbie talked big about wanting to save her, but FEARED Big Media’s backlash, which Big Media knew, because they kept threatening him and the public with all that would happen if he even TRIED to take custody.
And his big brother could have saved her, too.
copingstrategiescd.com is why not!....
When you face certain questions, you need a solid foundation in ethics that doesn't change with the times (we used to call those morals) and you need a strong education that allows you to argue properly from that foundation.
If you don't have those, you don't know how to argue against killing Terry Schiavo or sending Elian Gonzales back to his father. You're left with platitudes (fathers are good for children, if you can't talk you might as well be dead) because you can't form arguments.
That's why public education is designed to make people compliant, not to make them smart. Smart would be the opposite of compliant.
“Since when do presidents stick their noses in state family law? It wasnt really any if Jebs business either, but the business of the courts.”
LOL — remember what the Great Clinton taught us in 2000 about sticking a president’s, ahem, nose, in family affairs... re Elian Gonzalez.
Jeb was willing to make statements about what he thought about the case, but was unwilling and AFRAID to back them up.
Big Media posted articles in 2005 talking about what the armed guards would do if anyone tried to re-insert the feeding tube or try to take custody of her. They wanted Bush to try.
If the Bushes had been about letting her die, Big Media would have been on her side. All because the Bushes call themselves Republicans.
It was Lord Dawson, not Lord Moyne who was the King George V physician. Injections of morphine and cocaine were given. January 1936 was the date. Last words of the old King were and certainly not given out to the public.
"God Damn You"
Daddy's holding a loaded gun to Junior's head and his hand is on the trigger. He tells you he needs to kill Junior before Junior turns into a flesh-eating zombie.
But you can't intervene because he's next of kin?????
If I find out I have Alzheimer’s...I’m checking out. I don’t even have health insurance. I’ll end up in some state run hell hole in a diaper not even knowing who I am.
Gonzales was a matter of immigration law, too, which is within federal purview. Not that it had to involve the president himself, nor Janet Reno. I still don’t see why they didn’t handle it however they routinely handle such matters, which certainly isn’t to send stormtroopers into closets.
Anyway, two wrongs don’t make a right.
I often have thoughts like that also but please don’t. Most of my problems in life are due to imagining bad things that never happened.
That was my point, which I don't seem to have made as clearly as I might have. Two men or two women or some other conglomeration can have a wedding now, in some churches, or hold a ceremony of their own choice. What they can't do, in most states, is force other people to recognize them as "married" or to recognize their relationship as the moral and social equivalent of traditional marriage.
It is, as you say, the opposite of a pro-liberty position.
Don’t play stupid. Shooting your son in the head is murder. Taking patients off life support isn’t so considered by the law, even if it should be. Neither the governor nor the president have the power or responsibility to change that by fiat.
What do you imagine Bush II could do? Because I really have no idea. Reverse the court by executive fiat? As for Jen, I’ve heard people say he could put her under protective custody, but on what grounds? And why? I mean, as opposed to any of the countless others that will br consigned to death by their relatives? Why is she so special? Because the MSM says so? There’s a reason we’re a nation of laws and not whatever feels good in the moment.
It scares me when fellow conservatives are willing to call in emergency extra-special government when it’s for something they happen to believe in. Especially government at the highest level.
I’m done playing.
Talking down to those who disagree with you and who provide examples to support their positions is what most “liberals” do.
And also I don’t think you’re as knowledgeable about the Schiavo and Gonzalez cases as you think you are — but that’s just me responding to your rudeness.
You play stupid when you suggest all laws written are legitimate. In the Schiavo case she was denied food and water -in essence she was starved to death -executed by the state via a law you regard as legal and a due process she was not a party to.
Those who were and are in office like either Bush have sworn to uphold the Constitution which enumerates unequivocally the inalienable right to life that all have been endowed by the Creator.
The fact that you play stupid as far as basic principles may not be your fault -you may just be another one of the useful idiots the left is counting on.
Why do you think the governor or the president should have broken the law to save the woman from dehydration? I can understanding wanting to save her life, but is the law just a triviality that we can ignore when it suits us? The fact is that corrupt Florida courts killed her and there's not a damn thing anyone could have done to prevent that.
Okay, so a law is illegitimate. Then why are you looking for further illegitimate actions to solve them? Two wrongs don’t make a right, and neither a governor nor the president have the power to shoo away law in the name of one unfortunate individual. It’s the courts’ job to redress unjust laws, once they’ve gotten to that point.
What you’re asking is for the Brothers Bush to become revolutionaries in office. Which makes sense in some cases, as when juries refuse to convict despite the law, or states nullify unconstitutional federal law, or judges invoke judicial review. But I’m not aware of any executive equivalent. You could simply ignore other branches like Lincoln did SCOTUS. Since when, though, did governors or presidents interfere in particular cases willy-nilly to stand athwart other branches doing their job, albeit against natural law?
Of course the law was legal! duh. The due process was a charade, a corrupt judge made a bad decision that should have been overturned by either higher court but was upheld by both. Part ignorance, part liberalism, part corruption, but that's the Florida court system.
I don’t think I was talking down to anyone. I was careful to say playing stupid rather outright calling someone stupid. Because that’s what I meant: juxtaposing a father with a gun to his son’s head with a husband allowing doctors to kill his wife is a stupid, stupid argument.
Why not just create a Logans Run society?
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