Monday, October 10, 2005

News from Oregon...

If you check the 2nd line under the About Me section of this blog, you'll see I'm from Eugene Oregon. Well lately there have been 2 major national issues from Oregon which I would like to discuss. Dr. assisted suicide, and the alleged molestation of family members by longtime leader of the Oregon Family Coalition Louis Brees. Lets start with the wonky policy issue 1st.

On Dr. assisted suicide. I find is very interesting that those who are so vehemently opposed to this state law are the same ones who so publicly wail and gnash their teeth on the issue of states rights. Yet it is the "conservative" side of this argument who insists that federal drug laws do not allow for the use of a the drugs necessary to allow a dignified death in this way. Let us be clear here. To assert that Doctors who wish to see terminally ill patients are given this alternative are breaking the laws intended to govern the use of narcotics, is to argue that idealology ought to take the place of medical service. The federal drug laws are intended to stop the recreational use and/or for profit sale, and to insure Doctors prescribing the drugs do so safely. If the federal government were to wish to outlaw assisted suicide, Congress ought to pass a law banning the practice. I doubt they would however, because most people who aren't religiously motivated to be "pro life" understand that this issue is one they wish, if they could, to have reserved for their own judgment.

I also believe if a person is certain to die you reach a gray area where it may not even be considered suicide in the classic sense of the word. If for example you were trapped in a burning structure and had vainly attempted every recourse for escape, would you actually be committing suicide by throwing yourself out the window to your death? Are there those amongst us who believe the people who faced this awful choice in the twin towers on 09/11 and jumped are guilty of suicide as the term is applied in society? To say they were suicidal as commonly understood is a cold and heartless examination of the facts as they are presented at the time. I suppose using the arguments of the fundamentalist, a miracle may have saved those victims. By making that choice they did not grasp to the last straw of life and allow every avenue of salvation from their doom to come to fruition. Yet again the fact remains that most clear thinking people see the stark choice given these victims of 09/11, and would not gainsay their decision. Say a Doctor had been present at that moment. Would they have been guilty of assisting the suicide if they had thrown a chair through the window to allow the victim to jump? What then is the difference between that awful choice, and the choice of the cancer victim, wracked by excuciating pain and unable to control their body in the final days? The length of time of the suffering of the victim? It actually seems a worser case to have your death extended in the case of the cancer victim than to be consumed in the flames until your death, which would be but several minutes of excruciating pain compared to the days of pain of the cancer victim. So let the states have this right and stop being so hypocritical about this states rights business unless it doesn't fit your religious principles.

Onto the case of Mr. Louis Brees. It seems there are 3 cases under investigation in which Mr. Brees is accused of molesting family members. 2 of these cases are so old that they have passed the statute of limitations for the offense. The 3rd however may fall within the statute guidelines. This case involves the molestation of a family member while she was in elementary school. The story can be read here.

My belief is that there is a particularly awful spot waiting in hell for those who publicly proclaim their righteousness, and insist that all those about them must believe as they do or be condemned as sinners, and then turn out to have this type of conduct in their private lives. In the interest of fairness however, until an indictment is actually handed down on this fellow I will forego the characteristic chest pounding that is currently the rage with other blogs of my persuasion. I do think however... they probably have a point.

Hi from Canada.
Your Blog is very interesting! Keep on going!
I will talk about it to my friends.

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Assisted suicide, non-assisted, assist/goal suicide, however, whenever a person wants to die, that should be their choice...

Idealistic religious zealots should not have the final word in what choice I decide for is inhumane to let a person whither away in physical/psychological pain...hell, we put our animals down, aren't we as good as them...

As for Mr. Louis Brees...who knows...there might be something to it...or it is just another slander against someone with different ideas...
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