Hi TA,

I came across the following article

Do any of us, however ill, have the right to die?

It is about a paralyzed man who wishes to die. Now this is a sensitive issue, but what I'm just disgusted by is the author, who belittles a man so defenseless in such a low and crass manner. She suggest he should wait until an infection kills him, or starve himself to death - comparing him to a whiny child.

I'm fully for everyones right to end their own lives. And I'm not going to be as arrogant and even suggest that I could understand what this man must feel, or say something stupid like "oh he's just giving up!". So because of that I was truly shocked by how misguided this person is. How low will some of these zealous people sink? Whether or not you agree with his wish is your opinion (which should not affect him), but to ridicule the only wish of such a man as if you're somehow morally superior?

What is Think Atheist's opinion?

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I would counsel against bridge launching.... leaves alot of mess for other people to clean up. Medically supervised euthanasia impacts the rest of the world a whole lot less. I hope it is fully legalised by the time any of us need to consider it.

My opinion is, how can anyone honestly say that they think we do not have the right to die at a time and in a manner of our choosing?

Although they don't often say it openly, the answer is: they believe your life does not belong to you, fundamentally. It belongs to God. Or, for some more secular people, it may belong to the state, to the community. Either way it is not yours to end alone. Of course I vehemently disagree with that-your life is your own, and no one else's. 

We put down our pets in order to spare them undo suffering yet our own species must be made to beg for death, outrageous

I have to agree. Richard Dawkins puts it well in The God Delusion, "When I'm dying, I should like my life to be taken out under a general anaesthetic, exactly as if it were a diseased appendix. But I shall not be allowed that privilege, because I have the ill-luck to be born a member of Homo sapiens rather than, for example, Canis familiarisor Felis catus."


I didn't find the article too offensive, but I think her she paints her position with too broad of a brush.  Her opinion seems to be, "if you let one person choose to die, then everyone is going to be killed."  Which appears to be how the Christian folks seem to paint all positions -- with an 'all or nothing' view.  Such as, "all gays are amoral raging queens" or " if a woman gets an abortion, she will start using that process as birth control".  Rush Limbaugh is the king of this landslide type thinking.  They don't seem to think that each person, each case, each process can be treated individually.  Rational thinking countries like the Ducth seem to use that rational for their credo, and what do you know?... they are actually a more thoughtful, happy, civilized society that most of the world.  Although, did you see Rick Santorum this week, who lied about the Dutch and their position on euthenasia? Frightfully embarassing.


What's embarassing is this, she's a hypocrite.

Wow.  thanks for sharing that kOrsan.  She plays fast and loose with her rationale.


I read the article and, while I personally side with Tony Nicklinson, the guy who would like to end his life, I don't think the article was out of line.  The debate is whether to allow the high court to override a law for the sake of this one man.  A public debate is healthy in such a case.  A democratic society needs this kind of debate in order to advance.

The author may seem indifferent to the plight of this one person, but when trying to craft rules that apply towards everyone indifference will be built into the system.

What say you to the following?

Where the people are sovereign, they have rights no one may justly deny.

1. The universe is indifferent to our concerns.

2. Any justice that exists is a human creation.

3. No one asked me if I wanted to start my life; I demand the justice of deciding when to end it.

4. American law is not based on religious morality, no one may justly rely on religious morality to interpret the law.

5. Switzerland allows people to end their lives. So does Oregon in the US of A. Perhaps other nations do.

All of which leads to this: lawmakers and judges who base their decision on their religious views interfere with my right to end my life with dignity when I choose.

I think you have right to die, if you suffer under an incurable illness.

Views against euthanasia generally stem from Judeo-Christian morality, where the doctrine of the church can be summarized to say :'' the intentional killing of innocent people is always wrong.'' This, however, seems an absurd doctrine to push in cases in which extreme pain and/or hopelessness are present. 

It seems a great contradiction to me that no church supports euthanasia: Almost all religions assert some sort of benevolence in their god-why, then, would he subject anyone to suffering? Perhaps they assign their god benevolence in words, but do not sincerely believe him/her to be so. Similarly befuddling is the idea that a church would hasten one's arrival in a post-death 'heavenly' kingdom in the face of pain. Personally, I believe it to be a sign of lingering doubt (even if only subconscious) in any sort of afterlife. 

One ought to have complete sovereignty over their own body and mind, and ought to be able to do as they please within their own body and mind so long is it does not impede upon the sovereignty of another. As stated in by John Stuart Mill in 'On Liberty'(1859): " The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community , against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.'' As such, one has the right to euthanasia so long has he is within a sane, lucid state- this is assuredly a decision one meditates deeply upon before coming to any sort of final decision, and ought to be respected.

Additionally- this author has no right to comment on this paralyzed man's position unless she has lived through EXACTLY the same circumstances as he, felt the same emotions as he, and been born with exactly the same mind as he.  She is absolutely disgusting and clearly demonstrates the lack of empathy at the root of many of our world's greatest problems to-date.


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