Should we have the right to die on our own terms?
I just saw “you don’t know Jack” which is the televised biography of Dr Jack Kervorkian., sometimes called Dr. Death. It is a difficult movie to watch but the subject matter, the right to die, is very important. Why is it that a family can be allowed to decide to “pull the plug” on a comatose patient/loved one and yet the loved one him/her self cannot decide when it is time to stop the suffering? This is a question that no one can answer. No one has the right to decide if a person should be able to end his/her suffering with dignity.
Do you want to die in diapers, bedridden and unable to speak your mind? Do you want to be such a burden on your family because of your illness that you take all their money to keep you alive? I don’t think anyone does. I am more fearful of the government deciding when we need to die than of a person making his/her own decision. Now, suicide is a crime. We are not allowed to kill ourselves or put a timely end to our pain on our own terms.
Oregon recognizes a person’s right to end his life as he/she chooses; so does Washington. North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming do not have a law criminalizing assisted suicide.
34 states criminalize assisted suicide: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin
Ohio has ruled that assisted suicide is NOT a crime and Virginia has no clear law.
There are 9 states that use the common law to criminalize assisted suicide: Alabama, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia.
Diseases such a Lou Gehrig’s disease steal the patient’s ability to move, eat, drink, talk and then to breathe. The death is terrible. There are many other diseases that are like living deaths. There are diseases that steal the mind like Alzheimer’s. There are diseases that cause terrible pain such as cancer. To inflict this sort of inhumane death on each other is wrong. We should be able to make our choice to die with dignity. No one mandates that we kill ourselves; it is our choice. It is a God given right. Believing that God would wish us to suffer is the choice of many. Believing that it is a crime or a sin is also. But more and more each day, as we live longer lives, we want the right to choose.