Friday, January 20, 2006

Can I Be Of Assistance?

From Say Anything:

A recent supreme court decision upheld the Oregon assisted suicide law. This supreme court ruling effectively makes assisted suicide legal in all of the states whereas in most states it is currently illegal...Is the legalization of assisted suicide the first step down the slippery slope to the legalization of euthanasia?

What kills me about this article (no pun intended), and about the sudden rise of discussion about assisted suicide, is the way it illustrates a particular peeve of mine.

It seems to me that many of the people criticizing this decision are the same people arguing for a State's right to ban gay marriage. The same people who argue that people shouldn't be forced to accept a blanket Supreme Court ruling on an issue, because it tampers with Federalism.

The Justices who dissented on this opinion (Scalia, Roberts, Thomas) are, in fact, the same Justices that continually argue for less judicial oversight. I haven't read the opinion, and I'm sure there's solid legal reasoning behind the dissent - but still.

You can't have it both ways. If you want to favor the legal authority of the state in matters like these, you have to favor them across the board, no? If you're a proponent of limited government, then you should be in favor of allowing people to make their own decisions as regards their own lives, yes?

But I sort of see this guy's point, too. When terminally-ill patients have doctors giving them medical advice, you're going to get scenarios where that doctor would encourage assisted-suicide, and that thought is deeply creepy to me.

(courtesy of


At 10:26 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

I say we kill everyone once they hit 35. CAROUSEL!!!

At 10:43 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Run, Logan!

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

In all seriousness, the whole state's rights thing for me kind of works like this. It makes sense for anything involving doctors or marriage to be on a state decision level since those things are licensed by individual states. Those things don't involve state to state interaction although it gets tricky with marriage. If you move to another state are they obligated to recognize your marriage.

Personally, I'm pro the ability for someone to commit suicide. I mean it doesn't make much sense for suicide to be "illegal". But for a doctor to get involved in the process, it would seem that that would violate that oath thingy they take.


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