Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Paradox of Deciding Who Dies and How

I just saw this article about an Ohio inmate who
was executed via lethal injection

I am writing about it because it occurred
to me that it seemed rather paradoxical
that we live in a culture that would think
that OK, while being against a person's
right to choose to die (such in the case
of someone who is terminally ill).

I realize that inherent in the choices is
likely to be a judgment of what a life worth
living is. However, I have to wonder how a
life in pain is judged to be worth living,
IF the person living it is suffering so much
that he or she wants to make the choice to die.

I realize it - like many things - is a
complex set of issues and facts, however,
the problem, to some degree for me, is how
those who aren't in the situation get to
dictate what is allowable for someone who is.

In my opinion, when there is a true respect
for a life and an individual, there is an
awareness of a perspective that may vary
greatly from one's own. In some cases it
may be wise and helpful to watch out for
another, but when does watching out become
unnecessary - unwanted - control?

I'd like to think that most people have the
best of intentions when it comes to others.
However, these intentions can be troubling
to the intended recipient.

We may not always understand another's
perspective, but if we are truly to help
another, I think we must allow for varying
personal experiences, even when we disagree.

I also think it worthy to consider that
the choices we may inflict on another may
have more to do with us, than with them.

I am not saying that I know "THE" answer,
because I don't know that there is ONE.

However, what I do know is that throughout
life most people I know desire to be heard,
and paid attention to, and to have their
perspectives respected. Given that death
is a part of life, I would suspect that the
same would hold true even as someone
terminally ill knows more about the
impending end than others might.

What are your thoughts on
this very difficult topic?

(Want some perspective on assisted suicide?
visit http://www.assistedsuicide.org/)

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