Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Death With Dignity or Food for Polar Bears?

Well, gosh, today's news is boooooring. The main story seems to be that the Supreme Court won't allow the federal government to block Oregon's Death With Dignity Act.

While I understand (sort of) why the idea of physician-assisted suicide rubs some people the wrong way, I guess, actually, no wait, I don't understand. A mere thirty people loosed their mortal bonds through assisted suicide last year; more than twice as many people are executed by the government every year. I think we should look at this more like the not-quite-apocryphal Inuit practice of sending off their old to die on ice floes, or the common practice of some animals to go off and die alone - an individual choice made in the context of society. It's a lonely business: why not let people make their own decisions about it?

Anyway, this seems to be an addition to the funny states' rights issues I was mentioning yesterday. But different. We all want the states to have more control when they're doing things we agree with (in the Republicans' case, restricting abortion rights) and the federal government to take over when they're not (right to die, medical marijuana). And vice versa.


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