Choose Life Over Death
To the Editor:
A couple of questions we should consider about assisted suicide:
Suicide: Let’s call the law what it is – assisted suicide. A good rule of thumb - if the name of a law has to conceal its real purpose – beware! So how do we explain to teenagers that suicide is bad when it suddenly is ok for “dignity’s” sake? Will this increase or decrease teenage suicides?
Dignity: When does needing help mean one does not have dignity? When someone needs help bathing, going to the bathroom, eating, dressing – does that mean they have lost their dignity?
Suffering: Do we want the state to determine what suffering is? Is it being dependent upon others? Is it a certain level of pain? How is mental pain, depression and anguish no less real than physical pain? Isn’t it likely that someone could legally argue that the loss of a child, or a disfiguring injury causes unbearable suffering and merits assisted suicide?
Palliative care: If the real issue is helping those in pain to not suffer, why are we not promoting legislation that provides first class palliative care and/or hospice?
Rule of Law: A great deal is made about the protections to be written into this proposed legislation, however, ultimately this depends on our elected leaders following the rule of law. We have recently seen our elected leaders go around existing laws by exercising executive orders and “prosecutorial discretion.” We have also seen bureaucrats and regulators going far beyond the written law and implementing rules and procedures that would never have been approved in the original legislation. Do we really think that this law would be different from any other?
Pride: Are we so vain to think we have discovered something new and better here in Connecticut because of new technology and a heightened sensitivity for others? Suffering has been around for a long time. The ability to quickly end suffering by crushing another’s skull while sleeping has been a viable technique since prehistoric times, however, mankind as a civil society has consistently deemed this practice abhorrent. Why are we suddenly more enlightened than the rest of the world and our ancestors?
Principles: What is the principle behind this legislation? Convenience, personal choice? Do these trump the value and sanctity of human life? Isn’t protecting the most vulnerable a higher principle than conveniently discarding something difficult to deal with? Shouldn’t we as a society protect those who need help, those who are weak, those who are suffering, and those who are dealing with depression? Our government has already decided that the unborn are not worthy of protecting. Do we really want to expand this practice to another group of vulnerable people?
We have all seen in this town the signs that say “Choose Life.” We need to be a community that chooses life, however, difficult it may be. It’s not just a bumper sticker slogan. We truly need to choose life over death.
Scott and Barrett Anders
15 Grand Place, Newtown April 1, 2015