What is a “Life” to Society?
Whether you consider the topic of abortion, capital punishment, suicide, murder or euthenasia, eventually you have to consider this question, don’t you?
How autonomous is your life and death decision? When do you have final say over your body and what happens to it? When does your family and culture/faith? When does your service provider? And when does the govt?
When is the decision about money? Limited resources? How many dollars do we give to just one person when we have to support the whole system for everyone?
And when is it about quality of life?
Is that lack of quality about a disease, an injury, depression, lack of support and caring? Is it about loss of hope and love? Is it about feeling lonely? Is it about feeling broken hearted today, because you just broke up with someone?
If someone wants to die, do we stop them? If someone wants to take a life, do we stop them? Are we responsible if they take their life? Or are they?
There are advocates who would argue that life is paramount and under all circumstances to be protected. And there are those who fully have situational ethics. There is no one-size fits all solution. Yet every day we have this discussion, don’t we?
How we were raised, how we were trained to caretake, and our moral ground all play into what decision we make when we’re offered the opportunity to be part of this decision making process.
And to some abortion is easy. Mom has to survive.
To some euthenasia is easy. We don’t kill ill people, we comfort them.
Is that illness easy when it’s curable eventually, but the treatment is beyond what the person is willing to endure? Or the mgmt and it’s side effects are untenable to the patient?
Is that decision easy still when the illness is mental and can harm others? That is when the criminal factor creeps in. Because in my country, we don’t have capital punishment. Yet in many they do. But how do we know for sure that the person being executed isn’t suffering from mental health issues we just haven’t diagnosed yet? And what crime do they have to commit for you to say enough is enough? All crime is some form of theft or violence. Many criminals are addicts and/or have a lower IQ than average. It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? Even sociopaths and malignant narcissists have brain anomylies.
This is the type of decisions that whole countries and religions have struggled with for some time. And it isn’t simple. So how do we teach advocates and govt workers to think about this, when we cannot come to a united ground ourselves?
At this moment Canada is weighing this very decision again when it come to euthenasia. We support abortion and the woman’s right to chose. We are against capital punishment. So where will our line in the sand be for the patient’s right to die?
Time willl tell.
I don’t expect answers, but I do want civility if you chose to engage and put your view forward. I get that it is fraught with concern.