The Ultimate Civil Liberty

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Thursday 27 August 2009 6:29 pm

ultimatecivilWhen I was growing up, when people still wrote checks at the market, my mother had all of her checks printed by a now defunct organization called the Hemlock Society.

The organization promoted euthanasia and assisted suicide for those who were terminally ill or grossly incapacitated by disease or other severely disabling afflictions. Mom was a staunch supporter of the Hemlock Society and I have been raised on the notion of assisted suicide being acceptable.

However, the vast majority of society disagrees with the idea, especially when religious ideals come into the argument. Beyond the notion that “god” gives us life and we are required to take it regardless of how miserable it can make some people, the larger legal argument might be that no sane person would want to give up their life, making the entire discussion finished before it started.

The question then becomes for me, is it possible for a rational thinking person to be so uncomfortable or full of pain or disease that the choice to die is reasonable. Because I was raised by this idea, it is east to say “yes.”

As a Libertarian, I believe the answer is still ”yes.” It is this “yes” that allow for civil liberties in general. It is the “yes” that gives individuals the ability to drive a car, play football, become stuntmen, to eat that sushi made from blowfish, skateboard, visit countries where people can get malaria, have unprotected sex, have abortions, eat unhealthy food, smoke cigarettes, or live in poverty — although this last one is not by choice. Maybe there should be a law outlawing poverty? But not a law that prevents people from doing what they want with their own bodies.

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