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classicman2
10-05-05, 06:54 AM
Fox News

By Jane Roh



Terminally ill Oregonians are the only Americans who may legally ask their physicians to help end their lives.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which opposed Oregon's law both under former Attorney General John Ashcroft and now Alberto Gonzales, has failed twice to have it overturned. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Gonzales v. Oregon, a debate on whether the U.S. attorney general or the voters of Oregon have the final say on physician-assisted suicide.

The Oregon Death With Dignity Act was passed by ballot initiative in 1994, but because of legal conflicts it did not go into effect until 1997. The act made self-administration mandatory, barred lethal injection, forced participatory doctors to report to the state and applied only to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.

More than 200 people have opted for legal assisted suicide, and some terminally ill Oregonians want it kept on the books.

"I know when all my treatment options have been exhausted, having the choice gives me comfort," Charlene Andrews, a Stage IV breast cancer patient from Oregon, said at a press briefing on Tuesday. "It's just knowing there's an option, knowing there's a choice. Oregonians like their choices."

The Justice Department is not telling Andrews she can't end her life. Rather, it is saying that the federal Controlled Substances Act allows the attorney general to decide whether a physician may administer a drug to facilitate suicide, and that federal authorities are authorized by Gonzales to prosecute physicians in Oregon who prescribe lethal doses to their patients.

Court watchers are eager to learn the votes of Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Sandra Day O'Connor, who generally support states' authority but may defer to Gonzales if they find that the power granted him by Congress is legitimate. So the question at hand is not whether the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) trumps Oregon's law, but whether it grants the attorney general the power to trump Oregon's law.

Going by the text of the CSA alone, it might seem that Oregon is fighting a losing battle. The law says Gonzales has the power to deny or revoke the physician's registration if the physician is determined to have acted inconsistently "with the public interest." While drug-induced suicide may be a painless and peaceful way for a patient to end her suffering, arguing that her death serves a public good is trickier.

The Justice Department has also argued that assisted suicide falls outside the "accepted limits of medical practice." This is another difficult position for Oregon to counter, because based on the numbers alone, assisted suicide almost by definition falls outside "accepted limits."

"The question boils down to whether use of controlled substances in suicide is a legitimate medical use. The state says yes you're controlling pain, but the attorney general says no because ending life is not a core medical function," said Shannen Coffin, a partner at Washington's Steptoe & Johnson who was involved in the case as a deputy attorney general from 2002-2004.

Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Death With Dignity National Center, said states have traditionally determined laws governing the medical profession within their borders.

"It overstates the federal government's powers," Sandeen said of the Justice Department's interpretation of the CSA. "This would be just an unprecedented intrusion into the state's power to decide what medicine is."

While Oregon conjures up the government's victory in Gonzales v. Raich, which nullified state medical marijuana laws, it differs in ways that make the outcome unpredictable.

In the medical marijuana case, the justices determined that the federal ban on marijuana clearly outlawed any and all use of the substance in the country. Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion, was careful to emphasize that the ruling was no indictment of medical marijuana users, just a reading of current federal law.

"The counter that will be made is that with marijuana, there is no appropriate medical use recognized by the Drug Enforcement Agency, but with the drugs that we're talking about in Oregon the feds just don't like the use being made," said William Colby, the plaintiff's attorney in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, the first right-to-die case argued before the Supreme Court.

While there is no federal law banning physician-assisted suicide, Ashcroft in 2001 released a directive stating "assisting suicide is not a legitimate medical purpose.” In Gonzales v. Oregon, the justices must decide if the "Ashcroft Directive," as it is known, is legitimate under the CSA.

Lauren Robel, dean of the Indiana University School of Law, said the justices could decide in favor of Oregon even if they agree with the federal government's interpretation of the CSA.

"If the court makes the determination that the statute actually authorizes the Ashcroft Directive, then the court will have to ask a follow-up question: Has Congress the power to intrude into an area typically left up to the states?" Robel said.

Because Congress has not spelled out restrictions on physician-assisted suicide, the majority justices in Raich may find themselves deferring to O'Connor's dissent in that case, which emphasized the role of the states as "laboratories."

"This could be a case that really garners a majority that goes across the line," Robel predicted.

Still, while the arguments in Oregon are mainly technical, it is hard to ignore the case's ethical implications. For that reason, said Vikram Amar of the University of California's Hastings College of Law, some justices' votes may be surprising.

"If we're going to read the attorney general's power narrowly here, it's got to be for some [special] reason, like the right to die context," Amar said. "This is a soft enough area of the law where the court has some discretion about what it wants to do."

Also on Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear Schaffer v. Weast, which asks whether the burden of proof lies with plaintiffs or public schools in disputes involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
_________________

I don't have any real problem with an individual being allowed to ask his physician to help him end his life. I have a great problem with allowing that physician to comply with his/her wishes.

mosquitobite
10-05-05, 07:14 AM
What are the odds on this case?

VinVega
10-05-05, 07:20 AM
I don't have any real problem with an individual being allowed to ask his physician to help him end his life. I have a great problem with allowing that physician to comply with his/her wishes.
So it's better to force a person to die a drawn out death in horrible pain?

(Just trying to get the <s>arguement</s> discussion started up.) :D

classicman2
10-05-05, 07:22 AM
I don't remember saying that.

If a person wants to take a gun and blow their brains out - so be it.

I just don't want another person (especially a medical person) assisting in that.

VinVega
10-05-05, 07:23 AM
I don't remember saying that.

If a person wants to take a gun and blow their brains that - so be it.

I just don't want another person (especially a medical person) assisting in that.
Shouldn't someone be there to make sure they get the job done right? ;)

Duran
10-05-05, 08:08 AM
Reason #8,437 I don't like the Bush Administration.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 09:45 AM
Once again, one of those issues that is a conundrum for conservatives. Are they for state's rights or so-called sanctity of life. I love these cases. ;)

This is the biggest case of the term IMO as it deals with a similar issue as Raich, which was a terrible decision, and it will signal what kind of conservative the new Chief is. Is he is a outcome-oriented political conservative like Rehnquist or a more principled judicial conservative like Thomas. I actually hope Miers confirmation gets delayed. I want O'Connor ruling on this case since she signaled a willingness to rule for the state in this scenario the previous the assisted suicide issue came before the court. Plus she also vote with the state in Raich.

sracer
10-05-05, 10:23 AM
I don't remember saying that.

If a person wants to take a gun and blow their brains out - so be it.

I just don't want another person (especially a medical person) assisting in that.
That pretty much sums up my view on it too. :thumbsup:

Mark_vdH
10-05-05, 11:22 AM
I don't remember saying that.

If a person wants to take a gun and blow their brains out - so be it.

I just don't want another person (especially a medical person) assisting in that.Isn't this stance somewhat discriminatory towards people who are physically unable to hold a gun?

Of course, it would be best if some professionals were specifically trained to do this. However, the very same people that will argue doctors shouldn't be the ones to assist in suicide, usually don't think it's a very good idea. A bit like the Schiavo case for that matter: It's horrible and inhuman to let someone starve to death, but other, swifter solutions are of course no option......

X
10-05-05, 11:36 AM
Isn't this stance somewhat discriminatory towards people who are physically unable to hold a gun?There are many more ways of killing yourself than using a gun.

I also am uneasy with the idea of state-sanctioned doctor assisted suicide. It could be interesting when combined with the latest ruling on eminent domain. ;)

While perhaps hypocritical (and that's the worst thing to be in here, isn't it?), I prefer providing information on methods, perhaps combined with drugs that have a reasonable medical purpose but could be "misused" by the patient, but not for that specific purpose.

joshd2012
10-05-05, 11:44 AM
If they allow doctors to implant basketballs into women's chests, they should allow doctors to do something constructive like ending pain and suffering.

classicman2
10-05-05, 12:04 PM
Doctors don't assist in killing women when they perform breast implants.

I believe you can discern the difference between that and helping a person commit suicide.

There are some issues that transcend states rights - although there are some folks on this forum to seem to believe the states can make any laws - regardless of whether they conflict with federal laws.

Red Dog,

Do you believe a person has a constitutional right to kill themselves?

Red Dog
10-05-05, 12:22 PM
There are some issues that transcend states rights - although there are some folks on this forum to seem to believe the states can make any laws - regardless of whether they conflict with federal laws.



And if the federal law is unconstitutional to begin with (feds in an area (medicine) that they should not be in acc'd to Art I sec 8).....?

It is awfully convenient to be able to pick which issues transcend state's rights. Issues such as abortion, birth control regulation, gay sex, and assisted suicide - none of these transcend state rights even though I firmly believe that the right of such actions should be guaranteed.


Red Dog,

Do you believe a person has a constitutional right to kill themselves?


Under my view, no, not under the US Constitution. States are certainly free to grant that right though.

Based on right to privacy jurisprudence, I'd say yes.

Regardless, that is not the issue here.

joshd2012
10-05-05, 12:31 PM
Doctors don't assist in killing women when they perform breast implants.

I believe you can discern the difference between that and helping a person commit suicide.


Correct. Helping a person commit suicide is an extention of a doctor's role of ending pain and suffering. Implanting unnaturally huge implants into a woman provides no end of pain and suffering (implants are said to end "emotional pain", but you can not convince me that it making a woman's breast "the right size" has less effect than "elephant size").

Its the same arguement that was used with gay marriage. You can not say that gay marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage when you have drive through chappels and a 60% divorse rate. Its hypocrasy. Likewise, you can't say allowing a medical professional to assist during suicide is bad and frankenstein plastic surgury is ok.

joeblow69
10-05-05, 12:37 PM
I don't remember saying that.

If a person wants to take a gun and blow their brains out - so be it.

That's easy to say as long as you're not the one that has to find (or clean up) the bloody mess they left behind. If someone I loved was going to kill themself, then I would hope they'd have the decency to do it in the least messy way possible. So I'm all for an over-the-counter suicide pill.

classicman2
10-05-05, 12:42 PM
I'm not advocating the means by which people choose to kill themselves - gun, knife, pills, poisons, etc.

I'm simply saying they, having made the decision to kill themselves, not to involve other people in this.

Goldblum
10-05-05, 12:42 PM
Seinfeld said it best:

"I don't get it. Are there no tall buildings where these people live?"

joeblow69
10-05-05, 12:48 PM
I'm not advocating the means by which people choose to kill themselves - gun, knife, pills, poisons, etc.

I'm simply saying they, having made the decision to kill themselves, not to involve other people in this.
And I'm just saying, most of the ways to kill yourself that are completely self-reliant, are either very messy or not very reliable (ie overdosing on tylenol takes too long).

classicman2
10-05-05, 12:53 PM
I heard something on the news that I wasn't aware of - one of the talking heads on this issue said that Oregon did not have any uninsured people. Is that true?

Red Dog
10-05-05, 01:12 PM
This is the biggest case of the term IMO as it deals with a similar issue as Raich, which was a terrible decision, and it will signal what kind of conservative the new Chief is. Is he is a outcome-oriented political conservative like Rehnquist or a more principled judicial conservative like Thomas.


And from what I read about how the oral arguments went, Roberts' questions make it sound like he will, as I have guessed, be a political conservative. Sigh.

classicman2
10-05-05, 01:17 PM
Would you mind a judicial conservative on the court who had a different view of the EC than you? :lol:

Ovid
10-05-05, 01:18 PM
That's easy to say as long as you're not the one that has to find (or clean up) the bloody mess they left behind. If someone I loved was going to kill themself, then I would hope they'd have the decency to do it in the least messy way possible. So I'm all for an over-the-counter suicide pill.

Not to mentino the vast majority of suicide attempts are failures and when methods such as these are chosen, the results can be Tales from the Crypt horrific.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 01:43 PM
Would you mind a judicial conservative on the court who had a different view of the EC than you? :lol:

If it brings sanity to federalism and commerce clause jurisprudence, yes, in a heartbeat. Why do you think I'm so fond of Justice Thomas? EC is such a minor issue in the grand scheme; only the godboys and fanatical atheists get their panties in a bunch about it.

classicman2
10-05-05, 01:53 PM
I'll guarantee you - more of American people are concerned about about the intrusion on religion than they are about the commerice clause.

The vast majority of people don't even know, much less care, what the commerce clause is.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 01:59 PM
I'll guarantee you - more of American people are concerned about about the intrusion on religion than they are about the commerice clause.

The vast majority of people don't even know, much less care, what the commerce clause is.


How is the average American's life effected by a EC ruling? For example, the removal of a 10C monument from a courthouse. Their practice of religion isn't being effected at all. Intrusion on religion? :lol:

The only people who are effected are the handful of nuts who sit crying that a slab of stone was removed from a public building.

It doesn't matter whether a carbon blob knows what the commerce clause means. Don't sit there and tell me that the warping of the commerce clause hasn't changed the US more than what you believe is the warping of the EC.

Deftones
10-05-05, 01:59 PM
There are many more ways of killing yourself than using a gun.


However, there are many terminally ill people that don't have the capacity to enact any type of suicide method, and would need assistance to complete the act.

If you want to end your own life, fine by me. As long as a physician isn't actively involved in taking of someone's life, I have no problem with it. That's where Kevorkian got hung up w/ all of his legal problems.

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:05 PM
Has anyone done research on the Oregon assisted suicide law?

It's actually pretty well written and really takes into account other factors that might come into play.

A person needs to have 3 separate evaluations by a psychologist within a 60 day period, IIRC. They also have to be deemed terminal (with less than 6 months to live) by two separate physicians. Then, and only then can a doctor *legally* prescribe meds to assist the person.

Thing is, I'd much rather prefer this method of evaluation and scrutiny by licensed physicians and psychologists than a guy who gets a gun and blows his brain out in his own home.

That coupled with the fact that these deaths are much more peaceful for both the person and their families than the more traditional methods of suicide goes along way.

X
10-05-05, 02:07 PM
However, there are many terminally ill people that don't have the capacity to enact any type of suicide method, and would need assistance to complete the act. I would like to get a count of those people who really want to end their lives and have no ability to do so. Perhaps then we could speak more intelligently as to the extent of the problem and what the best solution would be.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 02:10 PM
I would like to get a count of those people who really want to end their lives and have no ability to do so. Perhaps then we could speak more intelligently as to the extent of the problem and what the best solution would be.


Is there some magic number that it needs to be before we can then speak more intelligently about the extent of the problem?

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:11 PM
I would like to get a count of those people who really want to end their lives and have no ability to do so. Perhaps then we could speak more intelligently as to the extent of the problem and what the best solution would be.

From my knowledge, there have been no studies done. I am in a master's level class that deals with this topic right now, and we haven't come across that type of data. However, if you don't think there are people confined to bed because cancer or other diseases have ravaged their bodies you are kidding yourself.

The problem is these people are dying in pain, and they feel their only recourse is ending their own life. What solutions are there? Let them live, in pain for the few remaining months or allow them some dignity to die on their own volition.

X
10-05-05, 02:12 PM
Is there some magic number that it needs to be before we can then speak more intelligently about the extent of the problem?I think so.

Provide the number and I'll tell you whether I think it's a very rare problem or a fairly common one.

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:13 PM
This really is a fascinating area for debate and discussion. We could even get into the grey area that is witholding or withdrawing medical treatment and how that is an acceptable societal practice, but euthenasia isn't despite being literally the same methods and practices. I won't hijack this thread for that, but there is alot of grey area in this field right now.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 02:14 PM
I think so.

Provide the number and I'll tell you whether I think it's a very rare problem or a fairly common one.


Why should that matter?

If something is a very rare problem, it shouldn't be addressed? :hscratch:

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:15 PM
I think so.

Provide the number and I'll tell you whether I think it's a very rare problem or a fairly common one.

It's not quantifible right now, but don't be surprised if that changes in the next five years or so.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 02:15 PM
This really is a fascinating area for debate and discussion. We could even get into the grey area that is witholding or withdrawing medical treatment and how that is an acceptable societal practice, but euthenasia isn't despite being literally the same practice. I won't hijack this thread for that, but there is alot of grey area in this field right now.


Which is what makes the states much better situated to deal with the issue.

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:16 PM
Which is what makes the states much better situated to deal with the issue.

Absolutely.

classicman2
10-05-05, 02:22 PM
Is there some magic number that it needs to be before we can then speak more intelligently about the extent of the problem?

Since you brought up 'how many people are affected' - how many people are affected by assisted suicide?

BTW: Whether the states are better suited to handle something - is that the criteria you want to use?

Red Dog
10-05-05, 02:30 PM
Since you brought up 'how many people are affected' - how many people are affected by assisted suicide?

BTW: Whether the states are better suited to handle something - is that the criteria you want to use?


It is not the only criteria. It was a policy point (which I assume is okay to debate in this thread as well - you certainly have).

I've already stated the legal and constitutional criteria for the states handling it.


So you want to divide all federalism/CC questions into subsets to seemingly dilute their importance?

I also notice you didn't comment on my comment on which clause has effected more Americans.

classicman2
10-05-05, 02:34 PM
It's a rather simple proposition for me - I don't want folks killing other folks even if those folks want them to kill them. I especially don't want members of the medical community involved in that.

Apparently - that doesn't bother you.

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:41 PM
But nobody is killing anyone else. They may be providing the means, but it isn't as though the doctor is stuffing the pills down the throat of the said person and making them swallow them.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 02:41 PM
It's a rather simple proposition for me - I don't want folks killing other folks even if those folks want them to kill them. I especially don't want members of the medical community involved in that.

Apparently - that doesn't bother you.


Yeah, but I'm apparently an uncaring cad.

What I would prefer doesn't matter, at least legally speaking - I believe the individual states should have the right to allow or outlaw euthanasia. That's even simpler.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 02:43 PM
But nobody is killing anyone else.


Don't waste your breath - it is like the abortion argument - all revolves around what is 'life.' Unless you have the shared understanding of the most basic point in the discussion, the debate is pointless.

classicman2
10-05-05, 02:46 PM
[QUOTE]But nobody is killing anyone else. They may be providing the means, but it isn't as though the doctor is stuffing the pills down the throat of the said person and making them swallow them.[/QUOTE ]

The armed robber may not have actually pulled the trigger, but he is guilty of felony murder just as the one actually pulled the trigger.

Ranger
10-05-05, 02:46 PM
It's a rather simple proposition for me - I don't want folks killing other folks even if those folks want them to kill them. I especially don't want members of the medical community involved in that.
I agree.

Deftones
10-05-05, 02:47 PM
The armed robber may not have actually pulled the trigger, but he is guilty of felony murder just as the one actually pulled the trigger.

That's funny. I don't usally equate armed robbers and doctors that are helping providing quality of life issues. You have a funny way of correlating the two things.

classicman2
10-05-05, 03:00 PM
I'm simply showing you that the fact that you participate in the act makes you a participant in the act. Therefore, if the person wants to kill himself, and a doctor assists him in that endeavor, the doctor is a participant in that act of killing.

I've never said it was murder. I said it was killing - just as the state kills people when they execute them.

classicman2
10-05-05, 03:05 PM
Don't waste your breath - it is like the abortion argument - all revolves around what is 'life.' Unless you have the shared understanding of the most basic point in the discussion, the debate is pointless.

I will admit that that the principal argumentI have against abortion is founded in my religious belief.

My argument against the death penalty is not as a result of my religious belief - but a belief that it'snot a wise thing that our society should be doing. My religion doesn't forbid the imposition of the death penalty.

My argument against assisted-sucide is the same as my argument against the death penalty. It's not based on my relgious beliefs. It's based on what I consider to be the best course that our society ought to pursue.

Red Dog
10-05-05, 03:06 PM
Right and if I kill someone while defending a 3rd party, all individual states have determined that I should be allowed to do so even though I am a participant in the killing. I don't understand why this should be treated any differently than a doctor-as-a-participant in a assisted suicide. Should not the states decide this issue?

Are you going to hang your hat on federal control simply because the doctor drugs the patient (violating the CSA) instead of shooting him in the head with a gun?

Deftones
10-05-05, 03:11 PM
Awfully ironic that your "religion" would allow for the imposition of the death penalty, but not for people to have the ability to end their own pain and suffering with dignity by taking their own life.

So why is it better for society to not allow doctors to be able to assist in this. What are your reasons for that? Provide legitimate arguments as to why this a detriment to our society, and your argument will have more validity.

classicman2
10-05-05, 03:15 PM
I never mentioned religion as the reason for my opposition to assisted-sucide. In fact, I said it was not the reason I oppose it.

Deftones
10-05-05, 03:17 PM
I never mentioned religion as the reason for my opposition to assisted-sucide. In fact, I said it was not the reason I oppose it.

Of course you'd say that. I almost posted a pre-rebuttal to that argument in my post, but took it out.

So, then, the question is, you are ok with euthenasia, just as long as your physician does not assist. Your religion is OK with that?

movielib
10-05-05, 05:58 PM
It's a rather simple proposition for me - I don't want folks killing other folks even if those folks want them to kill them. I especially don't want members of the medical community involved in that.

Apparently - that doesn't bother you.
Apparently it doesn't bother you that all involved are willing participants acting voluntarily.

BTW, I've never understood what is so sacrosanct about doctors (as opposed to anyone else) that they, especially, must not take part in this. I've heard that from both Rush Limbaugh and you.

classicman2
10-05-05, 06:10 PM
I was somewhat bothered by Jonestown. Most of the paticipants were willing.

What's the difference between you & doctors - they take an oath, a very old one. You don't.

mikehunt
10-05-05, 06:14 PM
as long as the doctor feels the person is competent to make the decision, maybe have a rule that they must get a psych eval from a second doctor, I have no problem with oregon's law
better they go out in a painless way and do it right than try on their own and fuck up

movielib
10-05-05, 06:31 PM
I was somewhat bothered by Jonestown. Most of the paticipants were willing.
Many (quite likely most, from the evidence) weren't. But if even one was coerced, it was wrong.

What's the difference between you & doctors - they take an oath, a very old one. You don't.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Geneva

Here is the "modern version" of the Hippocratic Oath:

The Declaration of Geneva was adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association at Geneva in 1948 and amended by the 22d World Medical Assembly at Sydney in 1968. It is a declaration of physicians' dedication to the humanitarian goals of medicine, a declaration that was especially important in view of the medical crimes which had just been committed in Nazi Germany. The Declaration of Geneva was intended to update the Oath of Hippocrates, which was no longer suited to modern conditions.

The Declaration of Geneva reads "AT THE TIME OF BEING ADMITTED AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION:

* I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
* I WILL GIVE to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;
* I WILL PRACTICE my profession with conscience and dignity;
* THE HEALTH OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
* I WILL RESPECT the secrets which are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
* I WILL MAINTAIN by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
* MY COLLEAGUES will be my sisters and brothers;
* I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient;
* I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life from its beginning even under threat and I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity;
* I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honor."
I am not at all certain that many doctors actually take this oath, much less that anyone takes the ancient version.

In any event I see nothing in there that would prohibit a doctor from assisting a person who desires to die. I also see nothing that would compel a doctor to do so. I recognize that there could be different interpretations of several of the passages in this Oath.

Here is the ancient version:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_classical.html

Hippocratic Oath -- Classical Version

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.
Note that the bolded part is not included in the modern version.

DodgingCars
10-05-05, 07:25 PM
Apparently it doesn't bother you that all involved are willing participants acting voluntarily.



I don't know how I feel about it, really. On one hand, I take the libertarian approach and say -- consenting adults should have the right to commit suicide, even with a willing assistant.

On the other hand, I see classicman's point -- It's a scary proposition to give someone the legal power to kill another person. I see a great potential for abuse.

DodgingCars
10-05-05, 07:29 PM
Awfully ironic that your "religion" would allow for the imposition of the death penalty, but not for people to have the ability to end their own pain and suffering with dignity by taking their own life.

So why is it better for society to not allow doctors to be able to assist in this. What are your reasons for that? Provide legitimate arguments as to why this a detriment to our society, and your argument will have more validity.

I don't believe classicman's objection is religious in nature. And neither would mine (though I'm not completely opposed to it, legally). And by the way, classicman and I share the same religion, but I don't support the death penalty, so don't be so quick to stereotype.

I actually think it's more ironic you take such a hard-line libertarian stance on this issue, but yet your views on drug laws are completely different. *shrug*

DVD Polizei
10-05-05, 08:32 PM
The Hippocratic Oath doesn't mention HMO's either, but we have them. If you break the Oath in one part, it's all breached. So, there's no point in debating it. Since the corporatization of medicine, it makes doctors look rather Hypocritic. Interesting how that word plays.

I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life from its beginning even under threat and I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity;

Let's break this statement down and ask the doctors here about it...

1) The statement says "from its beginning. It does not say to the end. So, while I can see the abortion argument, because it's the "beginning", dying is the "end" and there is no reference whatsoever to this part of a person's life.

2) What exactly are the "Laws of Humanity".

Deftones
10-05-05, 09:16 PM
I actually think it's more ironic you take such a hard-line libertarian stance on this issue, but yet your views on drug laws are completely different. *shrug*


How does that even parallel?

DodgingCars
10-05-05, 09:28 PM
How does that even parallel?

Willing adults doing what they want with their bodies/lives. Do you really see no parallels?

Deftones
10-05-05, 09:43 PM
Willing adults doing what they want with their bodies/lives. Do you really see no parallels?

Maybe. However, drug users are a boon on society by creating crime and costing taxpayers money for treatment programs and public safety. The last time I checked, a terminal cancer patient confined to their bed weren't doing that.

DodgingCars
10-05-05, 09:47 PM
Maybe. However, drug users are a boon on society by creating crime and costing taxpayers money for treatment programs and public safety. The last time I checked, a terminal cancer patient confined to their bed weren't doing that.

Well I won't drag the thread any further off topic, but I certainly see your point (however, I think that there is also concern about innocent people being affected by this).

movielib
10-05-05, 10:08 PM
I don't know how I feel about it, really. On one hand, I take the libertarian approach and say -- consenting adults should have the right to commit suicide, even with a willing assistant.

On the other hand, I see classicman's point -- It's a scary proposition to give someone the legal power to kill another person. I see a great potential for abuse.
I see the potential for abuse. That is why, within my libertarian stance on the issue, I also support extremely stringent structures, safeguards and contracts to ensure that such abuses cannot occur. I don't think many (if any) libertarians would disagree with me on that.

movielib
10-05-05, 10:27 PM
Maybe. However, drug users are a boon on society by creating crime and costing taxpayers money for treatment programs and public safety. The last time I checked, a terminal cancer patient confined to their bed weren't doing that.
I don't think "boon" is the word you are looking for.

Main Entry: 1 boon
Pronunciation: 'bün
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse bOn petition; akin to Old English bEn prayer, bannan to summon -- more at BAN
1 : BENEFIT, FAVOR; especially : one that is given in answer to a request
2 : a timely benefit : BLESSING
Of course, the way I see it, the drug laws are responsible for far more of the harm than the drugs or their use themselves.

Deftones
10-05-05, 10:30 PM
Damn it. What is that 'b' word that sounds like that, that means great detriment to society?

movielib
10-05-05, 10:36 PM
Damn it. What is that 'b' word that sounds like that, that means great detriment to society?
I think you wanted "bane."

Main Entry: 1 bane
Pronunciation: 'bAn
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English bana; akin to Old High German bano death
1 a obsolete : KILLER, SLAYER b : POISON c : DEATH, DESTRUCTION <stop the way of those that seek my bane -- Philip Sidney> d : WOE
2 : a source of harm or ruin : CURSE <national frontiers have been more of a bane than a boon for mankind -- D. C. Thomson>

Red Dog
10-06-05, 09:05 AM
I am not at all certain that many doctors actually take this oath, much less that anyone takes the ancient version.

In any event I see nothing in there that would prohibit a doctor from assisting a person who desires to die. I also see nothing that would compel a doctor to do so. I recognize that there could be different interpretations of several of the passages in this Oath.



Neither do I. Excellent citation.

Obviously, I with you on having stringent safeguards. Oregon's approach seems to fit the bill.

classicman2
10-06-05, 09:18 AM
Stringent safeguards have a habit of eroding.

Red Dog
10-06-05, 09:24 AM
Stringent safeguards have a habit of eroding.

Certainly a concern, but that's no reason to doom such a policy from the start. Is there any evidence of erosion in the Oregon scheme?

classicman2
10-06-05, 09:39 AM
Certainly a concern, but that's no reason to doom such a policy from the start. Is there any evidence of erosion in the Oregon scheme?

When there's no pressing need for that scheme - I'll argue that a policy that devalues human life should be doomed.

Deftones
10-06-05, 10:31 AM
I think you wanted "bane."

Ah! Thank you master, wordsmith! :)

Red Dog
10-06-05, 10:31 AM
SCOTUSBlog analysis:

Analysis: My Thoughts On The Assisted Suicide Argument
Posted by Tom Goldstein at 12:53 AM

I thought I would follow up on Lyle's excellent summary of the assisted suicide argument with my own sense of how things went.

It seems clear to me that Oregon will win when the Justices vote on Friday, but there is a reasonable chance the case will have to be reargued after Justice O'Connor leaves and is replaced (which is very likely to occur before the case is decided). All the usual caveats apply. The Justices will meet and talk about the case, and one may persuade another. But in high-profile cases like this one (particular one argued after the long summer recess has given them lots of time to think), they have considered the case a great deal by the time they come to argument and tend to show their hands there.

The State had four solid votes at the argument -- Justices O'Connor, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer. Based on his previous writings, it seems clear to me that Justice Stevens will vote with them as well.

The federal government had two solid votes at the argument -- the Chief Justice and Justice Scalia.

That leaves in play Justices Kennedy and Thomas. AMK said relatively little. In questioning Paul Clement, he described it as a "hard" case, including particularly because it is hard to describe these facts as involving the drug "abuse" contemplated by the statute. (Because this is going to be the principal theory of the putative majority, I bet [without great confidence] that that AMK will vote to affirm.) AMK seemed attentive to the government's concern that there would be a slippery slope towards permitting other exemptions from federal drug regulation. He also suggested that an international convention referring to the judgment of the medical community cut against the federal government's position. In questioning the State's lawyer, AMK said that it seemed that this activity fell "precisely" within the authority to regulate the "dispensing" of drugs.

Justice Thomas said nothing, as is his practice. There is some chance that he will concur alone in the judgment affirming on the ground that the application of the Controlled Substances Act in this context violates the Commerce Clause. But I expect he will vote to reverse.

Here are the principal questions by some of the Justices:

The Chief asked one question of Paul Clement and five of the State. (Note to self, if JGR asks you a bunch of questions, you probably don't have his vote.) He asked Clement whether there were other instances in which the Attorney General is able to displace medical judgments; Clement tried to give three examples, the upshot of which was that there aren't. JGR pointed out to the State that Congress had heavily regulated drugs and that things "have changed" a great deal since Gibbons v. Ogden. (Note to Rick Garnett and other states-rights conservatives: told you so; the federalism "revolution" was actually more of a "petty insurrection" and George Bush has now officially put it down with the change from WHR to JGR. Sorry.) JGR expressed great surprise -- as did everyone else in the room -- at the State's answer that a doctor could prescribe morphine (a Schedule 2 controlled substance) to make his patients feel happier without regard to the CSA. JGR wondered how it would be possible to maintain a "uniform" scheme of regulation if that were the rule. (This may be the argument that has the best chance of bringing AMK over.) JGR asked a detailed question about a regulation issued in 1971 that showed an impressive level of preparation by him in the circumstances.

O'Connor was all over Paul Clement (always a depressing experience for the advocate in a case like this). She said nothing for about half of Clement's time (getting his hopes up, as S'Oc often asks the first question of the side she doubts) then asked a series of pointed questions, the upshot of which was that medicine is traditional state function and that Congress had given no indication of an intention to override state judgments.

Some commentary has suggested that Justice Breyer was conflicted. I disagree. It seemed to me that he was solidly on the State's side, and when SGB asked questions of the State that seemed difficult he was actually giving a roadmap of points that might worry other Justices. This is how the morphine exchange started, but it went south quickly because the State refused to draw a line. So SGB was reduced to repeatedly asking - "If I disagree with you on the morphine example, do you lose?"; the State's lawyer kept basically saying "yes" and SGB would ask again in the hope that the lawyer would clue in that the correct answer was actually "no." (JGR and AS probably couldn't believe the gift they were being handed by the State; I'm sure SGB could have throttled the lawyer.) In general, SGB seemed to agree clearly with the sense of SO'c that Congress wasn't intending to address this issue in the CSA.

A couple of notes about the lawyering. Paul Clement was very, very good. I now think that he may be the best in the S. Ct. bar. The SG's office may have the top three in Clement, Michael Dreeben, and Ed Kneedler. The State's lawyer was very good in most respects; bad in just one, but one that could matter greatly. He was very principled, had an excellent demeanor, and knew the case backwards and forwards. But as I've suggested, he was totally unwilling or unable to draw a line in his case separating the use of controlled substances for assisted suicide from a slippery slope of prescribing innumerable drugs in violation of the CSA. The Justices, however, tend to save lawyers from themselves in this context; they will draw the line for him.

In the end, a precise prediction on the vote isn't possible. The worst case for the State is reargument after SO'c leaves the Court. More likely, however, is that the decision is 5-3 with either AMK joining the majority or CT concurring separately on Commerce Clause grounds. I bet that JGR will decide to write himself and that this will be his first big dissent.

Mammal
10-06-05, 10:45 AM
So, Classic, people should use a shotgun and make a mess for ther family to clean up? Isn't suicide the ultimate expression of individual responsibility?

classicman2
10-06-05, 11:02 AM
The key word is individual.

Don't involve other folks.

movielib
10-06-05, 11:10 AM
Stringent safeguards have a habit of eroding.
If this incredibly weak argument is now the best you have, that says a lot.

When there's no pressing need for that scheme - I'll argue that a policy that devalues human life should be doomed.
To the contrary, I think allowing suicide and allowing a third party to assist if he or she is willing does not devalue human life in the least. It acknowledges that the individual, not the state or your beloved majority, is the owner of his or her own life. I don't know how that value of human life principle could be upheld any better.

The key word is individual.

Don't involve other folks.
Why? Are "other folks" not also individuals?

We are not involving other folks. They are involving (or not involving) themselves.

Red Dog
10-06-05, 11:13 AM
It acknowledges that the individual, not the state or your beloved majority, is the owner of his or her own life. I don't know how that value of human life principle could be upheld any better.


Apparently, the beloved majority at the state level means jackshit though.

classicman2
10-06-05, 11:15 AM
Incredibly weak argument - are you serious?

Have you read anything about the Netherlands?

classicman2
10-06-05, 11:26 AM
Red Dog talking about majority rule

rotfl

rotfl

movielib
10-06-05, 11:33 AM
Incredibly weak argument - are you serious?
Weak because it doesn't address the core moral issue. Note that I said "If this incredibly weak argument is now the best you have..."

Have you read anything about the Netherlands?
So you're saying safeguards can't be implemented and held to? Yes, that seems incredibly weak to me.

Red Dog
10-06-05, 11:39 AM
Red Dog talking about majority rule

rotfl

rotfl


You're the one who trumpets it all the time. You're the one being blatently inconsistent.

It just shows your hypocrisy - if it isn't your way and the majority disagrees, fuck 'em.

I've already stated that even though I am in favor of assisted suicide, I have no problem if a state, like Washington, outlaws it.

Red Dog
10-06-05, 03:34 PM
BTW - is there an exception in the Controlled Substances Act that allows the states to use whatever the substance they use in death penalty lethal injections (I assume it has to be a controlled substance)? Has anyone on death row ever considered challenging the legality of a state lethal injection under the CSA?

RoboDad
10-06-05, 04:57 PM
So you're saying safeguards can't be implemented and held to?
I can't speak for classicman, but it has been my observation that safeguards are almost always implemented, but almost never held to. Oregon's so-called "death with dignity" act is already a textbook example of this.

Duran
10-06-05, 05:22 PM
I fundamentally believe a person should have the right to end their own life, and as a libertarian believe is people wish to engage the services of others to do so (given the proper safeguards), it should be okay as well.

That said, I don't think engaging the services of others is guaranteed in the Constitution, which means I don't think the Feds should lose because there is some "right" to have doctor-assisted suicide. The Feds should lose because they should have no jurisdiction in this area. If the people of Oregon have approved this (multiple times, no less), then it should be legal in Oregon. I sincerely hope that Clarence Thomas affirms on Commerce Clause grounds.

movielib
10-06-05, 05:49 PM
I can't speak for classicman, but it has been my observation that safeguards are almost always implemented, but almost never held to. Oregon's so-called "death with dignity" act is already a textbook example of this.
How so?

These links certainly seem to say otherwise:

http://www.deathwithdignity.org/law/chronology.asp

http://www.cfpa.org/issues/issue.cfm/issue/DeathWithDignity.xml

Now I understand those are from a site that supports the law but I'd like to see if you have anything that says otherwise.

Here is an article by someone who opposes the law on moral grounds but nevertheless admits that it has not been abused and that it is unlikely to be abused in the future because of the safeguards:

http://www.deathwithdignity.org/fss/news/hastings.01.03.asp

Physician-Assisted Suicide
A Conservative Critique of Intervention

by Daniel E. Lee, The Hastings Center Report, 1/1/2003

In the course of the years, my views with respect to the morality of physician-assisted suicide have not wavered one bit. I'm opposed to it. Strongly opposed to it. I agree with Karl Barth that "it is for God and God alone to make an end of human life" and that God gives life to us "as an inalienable loan." (1) I believe that meaning and hope are possible in all of life's situations, even in the midst of suffering. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of physicians, who are trained to preserve life, dispensing lethal drugs to be used to end life.

In recent years, however, as Oregon has legalized physician-assisted suicide and other states have considered doing so, I have found myself wrestling with a very difficult question. Do those of us with deep moral reservations about the morality of physician-assisted suicide have any business using the coercive power of government to try to prevent those who disagree with us from doing what they believe is right? Are there any compelling arguments to justify placing legal roadblocks in the way of terminally ill individuals who wish to end their suffering by ending their lives, provided such decisions are made only after thoughtful, careful deliberation in an environment devoid of social pressure?

When what some might do poses a significant risk to the health and well being of others, a strong case can be made for intervention. But does a rationale based on protection of those who might be harmed work in the case of physician-assisted suicide? Protecting vulnerable individuals from threats posed by others is one matter. But what if the consequences of the act are born primarily by the perpetrator of the act?

One of the most frequent arguments made by those opposed to legalization--an argument with strong overtones of paternalism--holds that we always ought to intervene to prevent self-destructive behavior. But do we have either the right or the wisdom to decide what is best for other people in situations in which they are perfectly capable of making their own decisions? In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill cautions, "A person should be free to do as he likes in his own concerns, but he ought not be free to do as he likes in acting for another, under the pretext that the affairs of the other are his own affairs." (2)

A distinction is often made between hard (or strong) paternalism, which would permit intervening because of a belief that those doing the intervening know what is best for others, and soft (or weak) paternalism, which would permit intervening to secure an outcome consistent with the values held by those who are being coerced. Because of deficiencies in our decision making processes or failures of the will, we sometimes act in ways at odds with our own deeply held values and desires, or fail to do things mandated by these values. In such cases, coercive intervention can have the salutary effect of forcing us to do what in fact we really want to do.

In a thoughtful little book published three decades ago, Joel Feinberg, commenting on John Stuart Mill's strong defense of individual liberty, observes, "Nevertheless, there are some actions that create a powerful presumption that an actor in his right mind would not choose them." The stronger the presumption, "the more elaborate and fastidious should be the legal paraphernalia required, and the stricter the standards of evidence," if that presumption is to be overridden. And what of suicide? Feinberg comments, "The desire to commit suicide must always be presumed to be both nonvoluntary and harmful to others until shown otherwise. (Of course, in some cases it can be shown otherwise.)" (3)

There is a good deal of wisdom in Feinberg's approach. Suicide and attempted suicide often are acts of desperation by individuals who, as a result of mental illness or other distorting factors, are not in full command of their senses. In such cases, an ethic that values life and affirms the dignity of each person mandates intervention to prevent self-destruction.

But as Feinberg allows, it is also possible that in some cases suicide really is a freely chosen course of action by individuals in full command of their senses. In advocating "elaborate and fastidious" legal procedures to assess situations such as these, he emphasizes that "the point of the procedure would not be to evaluate the wisdom or worthiness of a person's choice, but rather to determine whether the choice really is his."

Oregon's Experience

The Oregon Death with Dignity Act specifies an elaborate procedure consistent with the most rigorous standards of voluntariness. Requirements include two oral requests for lethal medication separated by at least fifteen days, a written request witnessed by two people followed by a fifteen-day waiting period, a determination that the patient is capable of making health care decisions, and the opportunity to rescind the request at any time. Before prescribing lethal medications, the prescribing physician must inform the terminally ill individual of alternatives to suicide and explicitly give the terminally ill individual an opportunity to rescind the request at the end of the fifteen-day waiting period.

Some fear that allowing physician-assisted suicide could result in social pressures compelling the aged and the infirm to exercise this option. In an article that appeared in Christianity Today shortly after Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide, Peter J. Bernardi warned that "the right to die may become the duty to die." He argued, "Radical autonomy is a deadly deception. Proponents of mercy killing argue for the right of mentally competent, terminally ill adults to receive a physician's assistance to commit suicide. The reality is that such autonomous requests will be subtly or not so subtly influenced by others." (4)

But is this necessarily the case? Various provisions of the Oregon law are intended to make it very clear to those contemplating ending their lives that they are under no pressure to do so. For example, the requirement that physicians, prior to prescribing lethal medications, must inform terminally ill individuals requesting such medications about hospice care and other alternatives is a way of saying, "Look, you don't have to do this. There are other options." And the requirement that there be multiple opportunities to rescind the request, including an explicitly stated opportunity at the end of the fifteen-day waiting period, is a way of saying, "Are you sure you really want to do this?" In short, if physician-assisted suicide is presented as an option that no one need exercise, it remains a matter of individual choice, rather than a decision forced or helped along by social pressure.

Also commonplace is the "slippery slope" argument, which warns that allowing voluntary physician-assisted suicide invites abuses, such as physicians taking it upon themselves to end the lives of terminally ill patients. Daniel Callahan has reported that in the Netherlands, where physician-assisted suicide has been practiced for a number of years, "there are a substantial number of cases of nonvoluntary euthanasia, that is, euthanasia undertaken without the explicit permission of the person being killed." (5)

Like many others, I find nonvoluntary euthanasia morally reprehensible. But does physician-assisted suicide inevitably lead in this direction? Supporters of legalizing physician-assisted suicide frequently contend that rigorous safeguards, such as those incorporated in the Oregon law, can prevent nonvoluntary euthanasia by ensuring that euthanasia occurs only at the request of the suffering individual. Their arguments have considerable merit.

There is another firewall--one that is also built into the Oregon law--that might be even more significant. This is the requirement that lethal drugs be self-administered, rather than administered by the prescribing physician or anyone else. If physicians, family members, and others are prohibited from administering lethal drugs to terminally ill patients, and that restriction is rigorously enforced, nonvoluntary euthanasia is precluded.

As for the Dutch experience, it should be noted that until the Dutch Parliament legalized physician-assisted suicide in April 2001, all forms of active euthanasia were technically illegal in the Netherlands, even though legal authorities often looked the other way when physicians prescribed lethal medications for terminally ill patients. A widespread practice that functions outside of the law is by its very nature difficult to regulate and inevitably invites abuse. In short, legalizing physician-assisted suicide and carefully regulating its practice might be a more effective way of preventing a slide down a slippery slope leading to nonvoluntary active euthanasia than continuing the legal prohibition on physician-assisted suicide.

Finally, it is significant that the Oregon experience to date in no way suggests that a slide down a slippery slope is imminent. The option allowed by Oregon's Death with Dignity Act has been used very sparingly. In 2001 (the most recent year for which statistics are available as this article goes to press), twenty-one Oregonians chose to end their lives by ingesting a lethal dose of medication prescribed by a physician, accounting for 0.33 percent of the 6,365 Oregon deaths from similar diseases. During 2000, the number was twenty-seven (0.38 percent) of the 6,964 deaths from similar diseases. The number of Oregonians opting for physician-assisted suicide has remained fairly stable, ranging from sixteen in 1998, the first year the law was in effect, to twenty-seven in both 1999 and 2000. (6) Clearly, there is no landslide in the making.

When all things are considered, the arguments in favor of continued prohibition of physician-assisted suicide are not particularly compelling. This is not to suggest that those of us with deep moral reservations about physician-assisted suicide should swallow our scruples and spearhead legalization campaigns. But it does suggest that we should not stand in the way of thoughtful individuals such as Timothy Quill and Marcia Angell who favor legalization. (7)

Those of us opposed to physician-assisted suicide would do well to focus our efforts on helping others discover the meaning and hope that are possible in life, even in the midst of suffering. We can accomplish far more by reaching out in a loving, caring manner to those experiencing great suffering, instead of sitting around moralizing about what they should or should not do and threatening physicians with legal penalties if they act in ways at odds with values we hold clear. If we were to do a better job of responding to suffering individuals in a loving, caring manner, physician-assisted suicide would in all likelihood be an option rarely, if ever, chosen.

Notes

(1.) K. Barth, Church Dogmatics, Vol. III: The Doctrine of Creation, Part 4, ed. B.W. Bromily and T.F. Torrance, tr. A.T. Mackay et al. (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1961), 404, 425.

(2.) J.S. Mill, On Liberty, ed. C.V. Shields (Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1956), 127.

(3.) J. Feinberg, Social Philosophy, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973), 49-51.

(4.) P.J. Bernardi, "Is Death a Right?" Christianity Today 40 (20 May 1996): 29-30.

(5.) D. Callahan, "When Self-Determination Runs Amok," Hastings Center Report 22, no. 2 (1992): 52-55. There is some data to back up Callahan's claim. The Remmelink Report, an official Dutch government study of the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands, indicates that in 1990, doctors actively killed 1,040 patients without their knowledge or consent; www.euthanasia.com/hollchart.html (accessed 25 March 2002).

(6.) Oregon's Death with Dignity Act Annual Report 2001, www.ohd.hr.state.or.us/chs/pas/ar.htm (accessed 25 March 2002).

(7.) See T.E. Quill, "Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making," NEJM 324 (1991): 691-94; EG. Miller et al., "Regulating Physician-Assisted Suicide," NEJM 331 (1994): 11923; and M. Angell, "No Choice but to Die Alone," Washington Post, 24 February 2002.

Daniel E. Lee, "Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Conservative Critique of Intervention," Hastings Center Report 33, no. 1 (2003): 17-19.

- Daniel E. Lee teaches ethics at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. He is the author of Navigating Right and Wrong: Ethical Decision Making in a Pluralistic Age (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002).

Furthermore, this (http://egov.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/ar-index.shtml) page links to all the annual reports required to be filed by the Oregon Department of Human Services through 2005. While I haven't read through them all I haven't found any mention of abuses having taken place or of rules being loosened. There has been a general but modest upward trend in utilization that reversed in 2005.

Supermallet
10-06-05, 06:22 PM
As long as the doctor can opt out and say, "I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable assisting your suicide," then the decision is between two consenting adults and should be allowed.

RoboDad
10-06-05, 06:23 PM
Sorry about that. I should have clarified my earlier comments. Where the "slippery slope" has already taken effect in Oregon isn't in the process of carrying out the suicide, but rather the process of funding it.

When the measure was originally put before the people, one of the arguments from those who believe the practice to be wrong was that they should not be forced to pay for it. We were given "absolute" assurance that no tax dollars would ever be used to fund a suicide. Unfortunately, that only lasted about a year (or was it two?). Then it was decreed that patients under the state funded health insurance plan should have the right to participate in this sickening act, so guess what? My tax dollars can be used to pay for it.

Thanks to this, and the numerous other demonstrations of rampant stupidity prevalent in Oregon, I am now in the process of moving to another state. Even my mother, a lifelong registered democrat, now finds this state too extreme for her liking, and is moving away.

movielib
10-06-05, 06:35 PM
Sorry about that. I should have clarified my earlier comments. Where the "slippery slope" has already taken effect in Oregon isn't in the process of carrying out the suicide, but rather the process of funding it.

When the measure was originally put before the people, one of the arguments from those who believe the practice to be wrong was that they should not be forced to pay for it. We were given "absolute" assurance that no tax dollars would ever be used to fund a suicide. Unfortunately, that only lasted about a year (or was it two?). Then it was decreed that patients under the state funded health insurance plan should have the right to participate in this sickening act, so guess what? My tax dollars can be used to pay for it.
...

Needless to say, as a libertarian, I am entirely opposed to taxpayer funding. I am also entirely opposed to taxpayer funding for abortions. The fact that I find neither of these acts in the least sickening does not mean I should be able to force those who oppose the practices to pay for them.

Nevertheless, I am in favor of a woman's right to abortion (up to the 24th week of gestation) and of the right to assisted suicide.

The unfortunate fact that the taxpayer funding wall has been breached does not negate the right to assisted suicide nor the fact that the Oregon law appears to be one of the best written laws of its type ever and that it is virtually impervious (no law is absolutely impervious) to abuse.

I would fight forcing taxpayers to fund the practice but not the practice itself.

RoboDad
10-06-05, 06:47 PM
The unfortunate fact that the taxpayer funding wall has been breached does not negate the right to assisted suicide nor the fact that the Oregon law appears to be one of the best written laws of its type ever and that it is virtually impervious (no law is absolutely impervious) to abuse.

I would fight forcing taxpayers to fund the practice but not the practice itself.
Unfortunately, no law is impervious to legislative revision, and I am confident that this law will be further revised at some point to make the process "more accessible," which in my mind only means that actions currently defined as "abuses" will one day be defined as "rights."

And fighting against taxpayer funding for this type of procedure is a frustrating and painful waste of time in Oregon, much akin to :brickwl2:.

movielib
10-06-05, 07:04 PM
Unfortunately, no law is impervious to legislative revision, and I am confident that this law will be further revised at some point to make the process "more accessible," which in my mind only means that actions currently defined as "abuses" will one day be defined as "rights."
All I can say is that you may be right or you may be wrong. I don't think you are right but I may be right and I may be wrong.

But what, do you oppose all laws protecting individual rights because every dang one of them has the potential for abuse or is it better to grant and protect individual rights while safeguarding against their abuse as well as humanly possible? I choose the latter.

And fighting against taxpayer funding for this type of procedure is a frustrating and painful waste of time in Oregon, much akin to :brickwl2:.
I hear you. Wisconsin isn't all that different. http://www.countingcows.de/oooch.gif

Supermallet
10-06-05, 07:08 PM
All I can say is that you may be right or you may be wrong. I don't think you are right but I may be right and I may be wrong.

Let's hope that's the closest we get to quoting Billy Joel in this thread. ;)

movielib
10-06-05, 07:11 PM
Let's hope that's the closest we get to quoting Billy Joel in this thread. ;)
That may be crazy. :)

JasonF
10-06-05, 10:15 PM
All I can say is that you may be right or you may be wrong. I don't think you are right but I may be right and I may be wrong.

And who was wrong?
And who was right?
It didn't matter in the thick of the fight.

movielib
10-06-05, 10:33 PM
And who was wrong?
And who was right?
It didn't matter in the thick of the fight.
Looks like I created a monster.

But...

I am an innocent man.
Oh yes I am
An innocent man.

It's a matter of trust.

Supermallet
10-06-05, 11:36 PM
It's a matter of trust.

It's a question of lust
It's a question of trust
It's a question of not letting all we've built up
Crumble to dust

DVD Polizei
10-07-05, 01:34 AM
Welcome sin
Come on in

dave-o
10-07-05, 02:11 PM
She's an uptown girl....


I suck at this game :(


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