While euthanasia cases skyrocketed in Belgium mercy killing skyrocketed in USA where
euthanasia is illegal
This issue is fraught, albeit not for the reasons which WRM’s faith causes to be put forth. I don’t, as yet, have an opinion, but it does appear to me that TF is attempting to eat it’s cake and have it too. Under what circumstances does a “child” have the right to make major life decisions. If (as I happen to think) there are some which a “child” is not equipped to make (abortion springs to mind in addition to euthanasia, circumcision, drinking, drugs, driving, school, etc.), surely the parents retain the right to do so. Thus it appears to me that if a child in a country which permits euthanasia is able to convince its parents that it wishes to be euthanized, it should be the parents’ decision to make. The real problem with this law, I think, is that if children are empowered to terminate their own lives, then surely they can do anything else they wish. As I wrote above, I’m conflicted, and look forward to (reasoned, rather than faith-based) responses.
Faith-based and reasoned are not antonyms.
Let’s just agree to disagree. I believe that such issues should be argued on their merits, not on the basis of some higher authority. Specifically, in this case, what should be the limits of in loco parentis?
The question is one of ethics and morals, not utility. Ethical arguments based on utility are simply ethics avoidance. Your suggestion as to argument on the merits merely substitutes a different question for the one at issue, and the substitute question will be subject to the same kind of metaphysics that you have decided in advance has no place in consideration of the original question. Faith-based is not a synonym for religious sectarian zealotry or mysticism. People (and I am not saying you are one of them) who haughtily pronounce themselves to be interested only in “evidence-based” policy are practising a faith every bit as much as any Catholic.
Of course the discussion of social issues is based on morals and ethics. Are you arguing that the only source of them is religion?
No, or possibly yes. Meaning–I am not certain. That is, I am not certain that there is any true moral or ethical precept that does not have its origin somewhere in some religion. At least, we would have to agree on a definition of “religion.” Christian thought has embraced Plato, for example, from the beginning, so is reference to Plato reference to a religious source or not? I understand you to mean that if someone simply recites a passage from the New Testament as their authority for a moral position, you will reject that out of hand. But if the same precept is found elsewhere? Is it then cleansed of its association with Scripture? And what about the Old Testament or the Mishna? These are not “religious” sources in the same way as is, say, the Gospel of Luke. So is the entirety of Jewish thought off limits as well? I guess what I am suggesting is that when you strip away all religion indiscriminately, all you are left with as a method of ethics is utilitarianism, which I personally see as having nothing whatever to do with ethics.
There is another possible explanation, namely that religions codify what experience teaches are successful social strategies (Thou shalt not . . ., etc.). The trouble is that religion is static and society is not. In the present case, for example, the issue would not have arisen 2000, or even 200 years ago (the patient would have died). Similarly, there was a very good reason not to eat pork.
In sum, we have not yet come to terms with the issues raised by dramatically increased longevity and medical advances, and need to. The Golden Rule seems a good enough place as any to start.
It’s easy to sound off on this but I think we have to look at the cases one by one.
Medical advances that can keep people alive indefinitely crashes into the funding limits for such flights of compassion. It’s a moral dilemma. I can’t criticize them for wanting to do for humans what we do for animals. These are not easy decisions, really. Glibness and an appreciation of irony is not going to see one thru the public policy process on this issue. It would be different if people were just killing children because they were inconvenient . . . oh, wait, we call that abortion, even when it’s infanticide.
As a disabled person (since age 7), I kind of resent the “your life is worthless” attitude implied by these laws. I think that’s a cultural attitude that should not be reinforced by government.
I also think that assisted suicide isn’t about giving people the *ability* to die, but rather *permission* to die. They want some authority figure to say, in effect, “you’ve tried hard enough, so now you can give up without shame.”
My attitude is that if you hate your life that much, you can kill yourself in any number of ways. People object that there’s pain or even that it’s “too messy”! If the pain and embarrassment of suicide is worse than the pain of continuing your life, then your life can’t be too bad, can it?
So keep it illegal. That will prevent people from being talked into assisted suicide when they are just depressed. And anyone who really has a horrible life with no chance of improvement can still just kill themselves and end it all.
The only exceptions will be “locked in” or completely paralyzed people who simply cannot end their own lives. That’s a very small number and I don’t think we should create assisted suicide just for those cases.
This reminds me that I need to modify my will with a clause that the person giving permission to pull my plug is excluded from my estate.
Of course they did, those kids don’t vote.
They are all Albert Shanker’s:
“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of children.”
I think the key phrase here is “terminally ill.” Professor, they are already dead. No?
Next up, the homeless!