Friday, October 10, 2008

Something To Think About Beforehand

Dan Savage wrote a touching article about his personal experience watching his mother die and the issues surrounding Washington's Initiative Measure 1000 - The Washington Death With Dignity Act. An excerpt.

"You don't know how you're going to feel at the end of your life," the widow planning to vote for I-1000 says. "I want to have the choices available to me."


Exactly. If I-1000 is approved by Washington State voters, the widow opposed to the initiative will not be compelled to end her life with the assistance of a physician. She can choose pain meds and the love of caregivers and die a "natural" death. (What's so "natural" about pain management anyway?) But if I-1000 is rejected, the widow who plans to vote in favor of it will not have the same choice. She will not be able to choose to end her life, and end her suffering, if the pain becomes too much for her to bear.

That's what the debate about I-1000 is really all about: your body, your death, your choice. The passage of I-1000 doesn't impose anything on terminally ill people who reject physician-assisted suicide for religious reasons. But the rejection of I-1000 imposes the values of others on terminally ill people who would like to make that choice for themselves, who should have a right to make that choice for themselves.

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