Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oregon's Death With Dignity Act

As you probably know, the Bush Supreme Court will be deciding whether the federal government can abolish Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act.

What is it about Far Right extremists that they just have to steamroll their way into people’s most private painful decisions? They get themselves elected and re-elected with constant slogans about “individual freedom” and “limited government.”

And yet this same Taliban behavior pattern keeps repeating itself. A woman is agonizing over whether to terminate a pregnancy. A family is bitterly divided over whether to withdraw life support from a loved one who’s spent years in a vegetative state. A terminally ill cancer patient decides that life is no longer worth living because of the agony and disability.

In each of these cases, armies of bookburners and snakehandlers will come charging into a family’s most agonizing moments. What these assholes really need is a time machine so they can travel back to the Salem Witch Trials.

Our new Chief Justice John Roberts has shown some incredible ignorance about how our government is supposed to work. He asked “if one state can say it's legal for doctors to prescribe morphine to make people feel better, or to prescribe steroids for bodybuilding, doesn't that undermine the uniformity of the federal law and make enforcement impossible?”

John, John, John. Our new vocabulary word for the day — Federalism:

"A system of government in which power is constitutionally divided between a central authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). The two levels of government are interdependent, and share sovereignty."

George Will has gotten all poetic about “fifty individual experiments in democracy.”

Conservatives spend half their time yelping about “states’ rights” and the other half saying “oops, there’s a state doing something I don’t like. Oh no you don’t.” CRUNCH.

Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act (aka the Assisted Suicide Law) was passed overwhelmingly by the state’s voters. A Duke University law professor and former Supreme Court clerk said “It is a wrenching issue. It’s one of the most difficult decisions any family needs to make. There’s a lot of discomfort with having the government at any level get involved.”

A cancer patient from Salem, OR said “There is a real human need” for control over one’s life. “We are terminal and we know when we have a few weeks left. We know when we’re unconscious. We know when we’re at the end.”

This is totally unscientific, but in our local Sunday paper, the weekly question was whether the family or the government should decide the question of physician-assisted suicide. All eight respondents said it should be up to the individual (and his/her family members), and not the government.

This is clearly a consensus issue which cuts across all political lines. Just in case that matters.

filed under Rightwing Nutcases; Spanish Inquisition

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