Conservatives against a person's right to die

Conservatives are against a person's right to die (euthanasia/death with dignity/Hemlock Society) . They take this anti-liberty position due to their religious belief that states "only God can take life".

For those unfamiliar, what a "right to die" refers to is a persons right to control his or her life, or death, in the case of a terminal illness. For example, a person may have Lou Gehrig's disease and not want to endure the final stages of this crippling, painful disease. So he elects to have a physician come to his home and use IV drugs to peacefully end his life. He would probably have his family and children in attendance to say their goodbyes at the end and die quietly without pain or suffering.

Naturally, there must logical and reasonable precautions when it comes to euthanasia. The person must be diagnosed as terminally ill by his attending physician. He must also have a sign off by a psychologist to ensure he is lucid and understands what he is requesting. And of course an attorney must be involved to be sure there is no foul play afoot, such as relative looking for an inheritance.

There are only three states that have such a pro-freedom law and those are the liberal states of Oregon and Washington and most recently Montana. Unfortunately for the rest of the country, religious conservatives have successfully blocked legislation that would make this option legal to other terminally ill patients.

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    Dear Jeff,

    You really need to do some research before you write an article like this. For starters, there are *two* states that have legalized assisted suicide - Washington State did so a few years ago.

    Second, conservatives aren't the only source of opposition to assisted suicide. Disability rights group - like Not Dead Yet, which I work for - have worked against legalization of assisted suicide for many years in this country. Recently, Massachusetts voters rejected a bid to legalize assisted suicide due in no small part to the disability rights coalition "Second Thoughts." The fact that Ted Kennedy's widow and the Boston Globe came out against the bill probably helped too.

    Finally, assisted suicide isn't just about the "terminally ill." An organization of fanatic assisted suicide vigilantes belonging to the Final Exit Network were profiled on Frontline last month. The organization doesn't limit its "help" to terminally ill people, but virtually anyone who is old, ill or disabled. Lest you write the Final Exit Network off as some fringe group, they'll be the host of the 2014 World Federation of Right to Die Societies Conference.

    As one progressive to another, I ask you to ponder for a moment why it's "progressive" to view most suicides as tragedies while applauding the suicides of old, ill and disabled people as acts of courage and self-determination. That's never seemed progressive to me, but something a whole lot uglier.

  • Thanks for your thoughtful comment Stephen. Actually, assisted suicide is now legal in three states; Oregon, Washington and Montana. I applaud the liberal, progressive folks of these states for their forward thinking.

    Additionally, the two groups you point out (Not Dead Yet and Second Thoughts) are both conservative, anti-liberty groups from what I can tell. They do not believe that a terminally ill person in their right mind should be allowed to make a determination regarding his or her fate. I obviously disagree with this situation.

    I am 100% pro-liberty and freedom. Therefore, I feel very adamantly that any person who has a disease and no chance of long term survival as determined by a physician should be able to take his life with the help of a physician. As long as he is of deemed of sound mind there should be no denial of his wish.

    The only people I have seen oppose this are highly conservative, very religious people who seek to impose their views onto others via laws that restrict such behavior.

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    You're wrong again. Assisted suicide is not legal in Montana. The Montana Supreme Court ruled that doctors could prescribe lethal medication without it being defined as homicide, but that safeguards were needed. The legislature has not drafted or passed a law legalizing the practice and it's still considered illegal - or at least enough outside the law that physicians aren't "assisting."

    From "what I can tell," you didn't do much research on Not Dead Yet or on Second Thoughts. Or maybe the fact that NDY supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act was your evidence that we're conservative - if you'd read our site, you'd also see we'd much rather see a single-payer system - that *really* brands us as radical conservatives. I guess the fact that Second Thoughts backed the referendum to legalize medical marijuana also led you to the conclusion that *they* were conservative, I guess you'd also brand the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, National Center for Independent Living and other disabillity rights and advocacy organizations that also oppose assisted suicide as "anti-liberty and conservative."

    Or maybe something Michael Miner wrote in one of his HotType article involving NDY led you to believe we're conservatives.

    It's probably none of the above, though. From what I can see, your *opinion* is that no one who opposes assisted suicide can be progressive and did no research at all about disability organizations that oppose legalization.

    You're entitled to your opinion, no matter how slanted or deliberately ill-informed. But if you pass a harmful mischaracterization off as "fact," you teeter toward libel territory.

  • Stephen....my goodness, you are certainly opinionated! That's ok as I appreciate your candor. Certainly, you are more educated about this issue than I am. That's all fine and good. Thank you for the information. The comment about libel however is a bit absurd though. No one voicing their opinion about politics gets brought up on libel charges these days. If they did, Limbaugh, Hannity, Boortz, Coulter et al would all be in jail. Anyway, feel free to call yourself a progressive if you'd like. However, your position on this issue is clearly conservative, not liberal. Conservatives are adamantly against self determination and this position is usually based on their religious beliefs. Surely you know this. Further, if you seek to deny a person this right to self determination then you are obviously against that persons personal liberty. I don't care what you want to call it but if you want to stick your nose in somebody else's personal business you are infringing on their freedom. Again, call it what you want. That is your right. At the same time, I have the right to call it the way I see it ... anti-liberty, anti-freedom and very conservative.

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    Jeff Clauser

    Born in Charlotte NC, raised in Atlanta Ga and attended college at Auburn University in Alabama where I earned a bachelors degree in political science and public administration. I had planned to attend law school after graduation but after four years of undergrad work the thought of getting right back into a classroom held little interest for me. Instead I spent several years in a variety of positions in customer service, retail and the financial industry. Eventually I ended up in aviation, specifically as a pilot, earning the ratings of instructor, commercial and Airline Transport Pilot. With that came jobs flying single engine trainers, light multi-engine aircraft, turbo-props, regional jets and my current job at the helm of an MD-83. Besides the aforementioned cities I have also resided in Houston, Dallas, Boston, Miami/Ft Lauderdale, Orlando, Cincinnati and now the City of Chicago. I've traveled extensively, having been in every major American city at least a dozen times and also many international destinations. While I enjoy flying jet airplanes I've realized over the years that my true love is government. I read voraciously every day, various newspapers, periodicals and non-fiction publications. Some of my favorite authors are great thinkers like Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Friedman, Deepak Chopra, Fareed Zakaria, Dr Sanjay Gupta, Christopher Hitchens, Steven Levitt and of course the geniuses Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. I have a great admiration for intelligence, educational achievement and a thorough knowledge of the world and its peoples. Finally, I must also admit spending a significant amount of time listening to talk radio and TV, both liberal and conservative. Unfortunately most of it is juvenile and misrepresents reality but listening to it keeps me informed of what the average Joe on the street is thinking. In summary, I love studying and debating politics. My education, both formal and informal, combined with extensive travel and exposure to various cultures and people, gives me significant knowledge and experience on which to base my opinions and arguments. My goal with this blog is to engage with other rationale and reasonable thinkers who love our country and wish to see it move forward via logical public policy initiatives.

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