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 doubt anyone would feel anything upon death, let alone relief.  Death is the end of experience. Also very messy.

  I'm not specifically saying that no one should be granted a reprieve from suffering through death, just that human suffering detaches a person from the ability to make a rational, ergo informed, decision.  

The teen suicide example is more of an anecdotal reference to cases where someone wishes for death, but would likely recover from the temporary 'suffering'.  Used to anchor the sliding scale of grey morality of euthanasia. 

As far as the victims of suicide, there are none but the survivors.

An end to suffering is a relief, even if the end of experience.  If your left foot causes you horrible pain and suffering, then cutting it off will end that suffering and thus provide relief.  It is the same with your life, which is YOUR life.

So, by your standards, only those who are not suffering should be allowed to declare that they don't want to suffer.  Let us all, then, sign a declaration that we don't want to suffer - case closed.

Being homosexual in today's society is not temporary suffering - case closed.

There are no victims of suicide - only survivors - case closed.

yup its a no brainer you should be able to call it for yourself.  Its no surprise tho plenty would rail against it, i mean look at mother theresa and her dogma about suffering puts you closer to god and jesus bullshit.  if i have to go out like that, i wanna get nice and stoned, eat a bunch of junk food, pass out and die in my sleep.  hell yah. 

Thanks for telling the truth about the religious ideologue known as mother theresa.

Only Catholic ideologues would consider that sadist a saint.

Yes, and I am outraged that people in that position are made out to be, as you described it, "whiny children". I find it disgusting that people feel they know enough to determine whether or not someone else has a right to die.

OK, I am so sick to people referring to dying as a right. It's not a right, everyone dies. It's an obligation that most put off. 

Next thing is this...how is it that an animal is put above people in this respect? If a dog or cat is suffering and there is no way to save them, we don't put them on tubes and plug them in. No, we kill them. This is what we call "kinder". But to do the same for humans? That is wrong? So we must be mean to our fellow man and torture them with life, but kill man's best friend because getting rid of the tumor doesn't mean they will live another 5 years. 

I have yet to see any sense here. But back to my first point. Death is an obligation, we all will die whether we like it or not. And if a person lives in agony and wish to die, who are we to force them to procrastinate? 

Well obviously the "right to die" doesn't refer to dying any old time.  You rightfully note that dying (eventually) is something we all will do.  (One of my stock comments is that I do not have to do anything except die and listen to tinnitus.)

Rather, the "right to die" refers to the right to choose to die earlier, or conversely the right not to be forced to continue to live when you no longer want to.  It's admittedly not the best term for this.  I suppose it be more accurate to call it "the right not to be forced to go on living" but that doesn't roll trippingly off the tongue.

Steve, I'm listening to tinnitus now. Have been for years. I'm putting off the dying.

I think the real question is how dare any person or agency has a right to inject itself into a person's desire or attempt to die.

As for rights, I always say that, absent a deity, all rights are either legislated or imaginary. It's not a question of rights except if a legislature gives one a right.

Americans have a legislated "Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," each of which would seem to imply that the ONLY role of government in terms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is in terms of protecting those rights. That would seem to mean that the government has a duty to protect one's right to kill oneself.

"Americans have a legislated "Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...."

Unseen, throughout much of English history, when members of Parliament's House of Commons wanted new rights, they claimed "ancient and undoubted rights" and then fought their monarchs for those rights.

The Declaration's "endowed by their Creator" was the founders' "ancient and undoubted". You will look long and hard and not find a legislative act conferring those rights.

I agree, imaginary rights became legislated rights. It's magic!

Imagined rights became fought-for rights.

Combat, in which people died, was not magic!


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