Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Right to die?

Life is tough.

Even so I support medical professionals have a strong bias towards offering life support and not aiding in the death of any patients.

The Montana Supreme Court is considering repealing a ban on assisted suicide.

However, I'm not absolute on the matter. For example I can imagine of circumstances where death was imminent but delayed and life was extremely painful or unfulfilling.

What if you couldn't move, if you couldn't taste food, if you couldn't use whichever sense(s) you consider most important whether it was sight, hearing, etc.

What if living caused so much pain, and you detest the use of drugs for maintenance?

I think at this moment I would want to live no matter what.
I hope I continue with this belief.

But surely as a newliberal I can imagine others being sane and have a different conclusion.

That's the key. Being sane.
We need to make a judgement about the sanity of others.

If they are temporarily depressed, or not thinking clearly because of acute pain, we need to help save them and then see what they think.

Surely there are people who once thought they wanted death but then changed their minds.

So my answer is to have a bias towards life.
Make sure there is a meaningful time for contemplation.
Give medicine to alleviate pain including depression.

And then, if we can conclude that a person is in their right mind, and we can see that they are rational, I would agree to withhold medical care.

A doctor or someone else shouldn't adminster drugs that kill.

The question is whether we should force life-saving treatment or not.

So I am not ever for suicide.
I am not ever for assisted suicide by anyone.

I am for compassionate care that in some cases means simple pain management rather than "heroic" measures.

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