Free to choose?

There is a story here, It is a human story and it has been told in many voices. Including mine. Please add your voice so that it will be heard before the South African courts. We want to change the laws surrounding end of life choice. You can help.

much love as always



3 thoughts on “Free to choose?

  1. Dying with ‘dignity’? Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit.
    My eye is drawn to two key phrases in this definition. ‘Intentional killing’ is the first and ‘alleged benefit’ is the second. The act of euthanasia is preceded by some cognitive process where value judgments are made and the ‘alleged benefits’ are rationalized as support for the intentional killing of a person. Said just a little differently, a person or a group of people decide to kill someone, convincing themselves that the killing is for that person’s own good. It feels different when you say it that way, doesn’t it?

    Some food for thought?
    That very mindset, that the value of life is subject to quantitative and qualitative assessment and can end with a decision made by another, has caused unimaginable pain, horror and calamity throughout human history. The Holocaust and the Cultural Revolution in Communist China were both justified in this manner, as have countless wars, abortion and chattel slavery.
    These gross crimes against humanity all have that rational process in common with euthanasia and that rational process can establish some hierarchy of value of human life. That rational process has been used and manipulated by monsters and madmen over the centuries and it now comes to us wrapped in the beautiful paper of ‘mercy’ and ‘benefit’. That compassionate presentation is intentional obfuscation.
    The larger goals of euthanasia are not based in delivering value or virtue; euthanasia is a mechanism of control and, ultimately, political expediency. ‘Mercy killing’ is a slippery slope, indeed the genie in the bottle. It has been released from the bottle a number of times in the past and it has always evolved into other forms of rationalization, allowing the ‘intentional killing’ for some other ‘alleged benefit’.

    Euthanasia diminishes the value of life by subjecting it to some form of calculus and the darkest side of human nature will embrace that diminution and eventually use it in the most unspeakable and evil ways.
    History tells us this is so. Beware when death is presented to you all dressed up in a nice suit and wearing the cologne of compassion. What will you do to stop it? If you don’t stop it now, if you wait for the value of your own life to be ‘assessed’, it will be too late.

    • nicoletheron says:

      This is NOT about Euthanasia – this IS about END OF LIFE CHOICE. The difference although subtle, is remarkably powerful. The law change we are seeking is for an option to exist for, (and i quote): “those afflicted with terminal illness should be allowed the option to end HIS or HER OWN life. Dignity SA supports the right of the individual to SELF AUTONOMY in end of life decisions.”

      The decision to end the life can NOT be made by the family, the insurer, the doctor, or the government. The decision to die at a particular time, under very particular circumstances, belongs to the person for whom there is nothing more to be done but wait – agonizingly in the case of those afflicted with cancer, and degenerative brain conditions – for an inevitable and imminent death. This is not about the value of a life (as you put it) but the quality of that life as assessed by the person living it. This idea comforts me as much as it horrifies you.

      Perhaps you would gain another perspective from reading some of the stories posted by the people who have signed the petition.

      • At the moment, doctors can legally practice ‘passive’ euthanasia – that is, taking away or withholding treatment even if the person will die. However, doctors cannot directly help the person to die, for example, by giving a lethal injection. We argue that, in situations where a competent, terminally ill patient is asking for help to die, passive euthanasia has exactly the same moral and practical result as giving a lethal injection at the patient’s request.
        A right is a moral claim. We do not have a claim on death; rather, death has a claim on us! Some see the “right to die” as parallel to the “right to life.” In fact, however, they are opposite. The “right to life” is based on the fact that life is a gift that we do not possess as a piece of property (which we can purchase or sell or give away or destroy at will), but rather is an inviolable right. It cannot be taken away by another or by the person him/herself. The “right to die” is based, rather, on the idea of life as a “thing we possess” and may discard when it no longer meets our satisfaction. The “Right to die” philosophy says there is such a thing as a “life not worth living.” For a Christian, however, life is worthy in and of itself, and not because it meets certain criteria that others or we might set.
        “Euthanasia,” from the Greek words meaning “good death,” is something we do or fail to do which causes, or is intended to cause, death, in order to remove a person from suffering. This is sometimes called “mercy killing.”
        ”Assisted suicide” refers to an act by which one assists another in taking his or her own life. A physician, for example, who engages in “assisted suicide” would, upon the patient’s request, provide the deadly drugs for the person to use.
        Our duties toward others and ourselves certainly require reasonable efforts to alleviate suffering. At the same time, it is impossible to live without suffering, and therefore it makes no sense to talk about a “right” to be completely free of it. The pro-euthanasia movement maintains that our rights include determining the time and manner of our own death. First of all, given the fact that people die unexpectedly every day of both natural and accidental causes, this philosophy is patently absurd. If, however, one simply considers the so-called right to choose death when suffering is too great, then we have to ask the question of what kind of suffering qualifies.
        A person’s inability to function does not make their lives less valuable. People do not become “vegetables.” Children of God never lose the Divine image in which they were made.

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