Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Right to die, right to live

I was appalled to read the news that Congress had decided to step into the Terry Schiavo case. Not only do I agree with their moralistic quest but I don't think that it is within any scope of Congress' power to intervene on what is a family matter, and at most, a state issue. Come on, isn't Congress there to legislate interstate issues? How does Terry Schiavo, in any way, have to do with other states?

Now, to the issue of whether I think she should be allowed to die. I think that to have someone in a "permanent vegetative state" for more than 15 years is almost cruel. Would anyone want to be in that position? To have a caretaker 24 hours a day, to not be able to enjoy life, not be able to participate in life? I understand that some people may and that others see that life, in all its forms, is too valuable to take away. However, I also believe that for other people, they should be allowed to die with dignity and not be subject to years of living in a "permanent vegetative state."

In the end, it's all about personal volition. If you want to end your life, and are unable to do so, others should be able to help you do so in a humane and dignified way.


Irony's Brother said...

Which is exactly why we have the death penalty. You want the ability to kill someone else, then someone else reserves the ability to kill you too. Ain't life grand?

yenniet said...

What do suicide and the death penalty have to do with one another? One is a choice and another is a punishment. At least stick to the topic.

Irony's Brother said...

It's NOT suicide if some else does it for you, it's murder. Let's get that part out of the way.

They are, awkwardly I admit, linked more than you might realize. If we, as a society, choose to allow people to kill other people, who has the authority to deem one type of killing proper and legal, and another not so.

The state has decided that it reserves the right to kill off memebers of our society. They do this under the general idea that they are "acting for the public's benefit." The problem is allowing certain types of murder, which is defined as one human killing another, is that it is not being done for the best interests of society, but for an individual.

So whose interests are best served when murder is allowed? In Terri Schiavo's case, is it the husband, the parents, Terri, or someone else? You have no idea because she never stated her wishes explicitly. Whose to say in other cases of murder that the murderer wasn't acting, therefore, in the best interest of the victem? Can you imagine the legal bombshell that would be with murderers getting off because their lawyers can convince one person of twelve that the victem may have anctually wanted it to happen? It's a slope that you hardley want some of the most vile members of society able to navigate through our legal system.

While I too am personally unhappy about congress enacting legislation for one woman (and here comes the tie in), they are acting for the public's best interest overall by ensuring that no one in the future who has not stated explicitly that they want to die given specific circumstances is killed. While it took the form of trying to save one specific woman, it will, in reality, save any and all of us in the future.

Anonymous said...

A lot of this depends on how you define murder. Legally, it includes malice aforethought, which basically means wrongful and planned in advance. In all seriousness, it is not simply “one human killing another.” People are killed in matters of self-defense and also accidentally (manslaughter). And these cases are not considered murder.

You say because criminals possibly can get away with murder, letting people like Terri Schiavo die is not for the public good. In a court of law, a criminal can say a lot of things, self-defense, etc. to defend his case. Your example is pretty meaningless. And you use it to get to the conclusion that she should live because it is good for the public. It sounds like you are saying, let her live or murderers will go free. I know that’s not what you meant, but that’s how it’s presented.

The definitive “murder = assisted suicide” is a matter of opinion in this case and therefore holds no water as a premise. If it’s legal, it’s not murder. Capital punishment is legal. You need to present less of your generalized definitions of phrases like “the public benefit” and present more facts and real points in the form of a coherent argument.

Irony's Brother said...

Just to point out the irony of what you said:

murder = premeditated killing.

Assisted suicide is a form of premeditated killing.


Anonymous said...

That doesn't make them equal. I already talked about this. Why are you going over this again, when I gave other examples of why they aren't equal? You argument is already wrong in many other ways and I don't argue with people who are wrong.

You defined murder as "one person killing another." That was a foundation of your argument. Why do I have to explain this again?? Because you are an idiot

Irony's Brother said...

Admittedly, I am going to borrow from my other post a bit, but one of the definitions of murder, at least as defined by the online dictionary source I quoted earlier, is: "unlawful premeditated killing of a human being by a human being."

While this is not terribly elaborate and fails to fill the thousands of law books you reference, it's good enough for Webster's dictionary.

But let's analyze your words: "The definitive “murder = assisted suicide” is a matter of opinion in this case and therefore holds no water as a premise. If it’s legal, it’s not murder."

No, it's not, which is why it is still illegal to assist someone else's suicide. Dr. Kavorkian (I may have spelled that incorrectly) has been to trial numerous times (and lost every time) regarding that very issue. He is currently in jail serving a second degree murder sentence for assisting with a suicide in New York. It’s not just opinion, in my case, it’s also the law.

You also defined murder as "legally, it includes malice aforethought," which is also incorrect. That's why there is a 2nd degree murder charge. This is where that famous "crime of passion" argument comes into play for many defense attorneys.

To conclude: You can call me an idiot for defining assisted suicide as murder. While it weakens your argument, you have every right. The problem is I have congress, legislation, and the entire judiciary agreeing with me on that point, and I have just cited a specific example to prove my point. It *I* am "an idiot" and "wrong," you are making some pretty bold statements about all those who agree...

Anonymous said...

sorry to break it to you, but you're wrong again

You missed the point again, it all depends on how you define murder, I used your definition!
...you defined murder as one human killing another
There is self defense, killing in war, by cops, manslaughter

I am still recovering by the argument you laid out for me in the other post! I see what the problem has been all along! you really don't know what an argument is ! That was too funny sorry,

PREMISE: Humans have the power to save/destroy the environment.

CONCLUSION/ARGUEMENT: No we don't. It's just that we are arrogant enough to believe so.

HAHAHA and you were telling me what the definition of a premise was? Oh my God, now I see where the problem has been all along, you just don't get it...wow, maybe those are two premises, but is it a conclusion, not hardly, oh my god, that is too funny...and you also said ecosystems shouldnt be included in a dicussion of the environment??!?! oh wow, soo we just put frogs into aquariums just to see frogs in aquariums? You mean, it didnt apply to life outside of the aquarium??! wow, okay, it's not that funny, its kinda sad really...there is no way you can argue yourself out your ignorance, sorry pal

Irony's Brother said...

Two points here, I think:

1. It's not my definition, it's quoted directly from the dictionary. I've mentioned this part a few times now. Of course it all depends on how we define it; I am using the most basic, working definition available.

If you want to paraphrase Hawkins (from your first response on this page defining murder), then we can agree to work from that definition, but let's at least start the discussion from the same place.

2. "You also said ecosystems shouldnt [sic] be included in a dicussion [sic] of the environment??!?!"

Please include my original statement if you are going to so grossly misquote or misinterpret what I have said. At no point did I even closely approximate saying that particular sentence or infer that meaning. (I think you already knew that, though)

Anonymous said...

Yeah keep it coming! HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

As I exposed already, your ignorance of basic logic skills and understanding of an argument makes anything you say irrelevant and not worth responding to because it will just fall on confused and ignorant ears and is a waste of time