Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Washington — Assisted Suicide Law

Washington will soon become (if there’s a God) the second state to have an assisted suicide law. Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act has been in effect since 1997.

The initiative has already gotten more than enough signatures. Assuming enough of these signatures will be valid, the assisted suicide law will be on the Washington ballot this November. It’ll be known as Initiative 1000.

Under this law, if a person is terminally ill (two doctors would have to agree on the diagnosis) and wishes to end his/her suffering, a doctor can prescribe lethal drugs with which the patient can end his/her life.

And the battle is heating up. The State of Washington requires that people be identified when they contribute money to a political campaign. Who could possibly have a problem with that? I’m not in favor of campaign finance regulation (I used to be, but then Freakonomics changed my mind). But if a person or group has the right to make a huge campaign contribution, the public has the right to know about it. The best way to make an informed decision is to follow the money and see who’s financing whom.

But Washington’s election law seems to be a huge problem for Neurotic Busybodies With Too Much Time On Their Hands Human Life of Washington. The name sort of gives them away. Yes, even the liberal Pacific Northwest has a few of these wacky cult groups who think your life is sacred when: A) you haven’t been born yet; and B) you’re terminally ill, wracked with unbearable pain and would like to put an end to your misery.

Here’s the website for Human Life of Washington. Maybe these fetus-worshipping snakehandlers are actually concerned about war, poverty and disease; but if they are they don’t mention anything about it on their website. Mostly they just talk about saving fetuses and fighting the assisted suicide initiative.

Several wealthy opponents of this initiative have donated large amounts of money to Human Life of Washington. Actually, nobody knows yet how many donors there’ve been, who they are or how much they donated. Human Life is trying to make it their little secret. A federal judge has ruled against them; they must disclose this information in compliance with Washington law.

Human Life is claiming that they will suffer “irreparable injury” if they’re forced to disclose their contributors. WTF??? This makes it even more intriguing. Who ARE these mysterious donors? Who WAS that masked Biblethumper?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger Carlos said...

I can maybe understand doctors not being in favor of assisted suicide because of their fear of a societal evolution to a euthanasia-like culture. However, it’s difficult for me to fathom the arrogance and audacity of these fucks. How dare they presume to think they have the right to dictate a human being should die in agony!

I wonder if they’d be so cavalier if one of their close relatives was dying of a painful, debilitating disease. I bet not.

Can’t wait to hear about the donation disclosure!

July 13, 2008 at 4:37 AM  
Blogger American Hill BIlly said...

I just originally left this on Bring it on, but your on the same wavelength so here it is again:
I’ll tell ya’ what I do live in Washington State. That is when in the States. I have Muscular Dystrophy. I fully plan on when I become to incapacitated; in offing myself. I am creative though.

I plan to sell it to what ever site wants it, and I am going to simply bleed myself out like giving blood. The difference is I am thinking about leaving a design. Truly!! Maybe a design that means something, or a political message. Three liters goes along way.

I am extremely glad they are considering the humane nature involved with this!

Peace and Freedom

July 13, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Carlos: True, this could potentially go too far and lead to "convenience" killing. But in this particular law, the patient will be injecting him/herself with the lethal drugs. In Oregon's version of the law, a doctor administers the drugs.

I agree, only a bunch of sickfucks would want to insert themselves into the middle of an agonizing family matter.

AHB: Well, that's a creative plan you've got. But I hope it won't have to come to that.

July 13, 2008 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

You know what's even better? These Jesusistan scum object to a medical professional prescribing the drugs (on the basis of "do no harm,") but they see no problem at all with medical professionals hooking the tubes up to an inmate for a lethal injection.

They make my head hurt after about 5 seconds of their spinning.

July 13, 2008 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger K said...

Thanks for the information on the suicide law, Tom. That's so ethically complicated, I don't know if I have an opinion on it yet.

We recently wrote an article on at Brain Blogger.Did you know that there are more death caused by suicide than death in car accidents in he EU, and car accidents cause 50,000 deaths. With that many deaths, how does this affect the rest of the community; friends, family, and government?

We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.


July 13, 2008 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

Don't count your chickens just yet as the moralists have yet to find a cause they didn't stick their opinions and their twisted morals into.

July 13, 2008 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: Yup, they're pretty selective with "do no harm." But then they're selective with their own slogans too -- "limited government," "states' rights" -- so I guess it isn't surprising.

K: Thanks for stopping by. I'll check out your article.

I agree this is a complicated issue, and that's why I think it should be left up to the people involved. A family or individual is already in an agonizing position without the government telling what they have to do.

Larry: True, this election won't be over until it's over. This initiative is slightly ahead in the polls right now, but you never know what tricks these wingnuts can pull out of their hats at the last minute.

July 13, 2008 at 8:04 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

A law against suicide is futile. I mean, what can be done to the lawbreaker?

What can be done to discourage assisted suicide is to penalize anyone who assists. That puts the onus on medical professionals, in addition to their training and ethic of only preserving life.

I think what society needs to be assured of is that someone seeking help to end their life isn't doing it because of mental illness or emotional disturbance not related to being terminally ill. Money considerations would also be an unacceptable motive.

We saw in the Terry Schiavo debacle how fanatical, unreasoning and truth-defying diehard opponents of letting someone have a merciful official death can be. (Schiavo had actually been gone a long time.) We also saw how willing lowlifes in high places are to exploit that fanaticism in a bid to score political points.

Another dynamic of this issue that bears mentioning is what a good business move — or maybe "racket" is a better term — forming a group to militate against something like assisted suicide can be.

Just think about it. One day you could be an out-of-work ad man, say. And the next, you could have a nice office with your name on the door, carpet on the floor and an executive assistant. Just put a sign up and start tapping the fanatics for donations. Hey, it's worked well for Wayne LaPierre and others at the NRA.

That element might have something to do with why Human Life of Washington and its donors are so opposed to public disclosure. Just imagine if it turned out the executive director has put up the startup money, and that his wife or sister is No. 2 in the organization. People might begin to think the whole thing is just a racket to provide the management and staff with good, steady jobs and substantial incomes.

July 14, 2008 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Visit http://www.itsmydecision.org to make a donation and support the Washington death with dignity campaign.

July 14, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Good question about how they'd punish somebody for committing suicide. What are they gonna do, bring him back to life and put him in jail?

This Washington initiative seems to have a lot of safeguards against getting an old-and-in-the-way relative out of the way. The person has to be determined to be of sound mind, 2 doctors have to agree on the diagnosis of terminally ill, and I'm pretty sure the patient has to inject the drugs him/herself; the doctor won't be doing it.

That whole Terry Schiavo syndrome will probably be unleashed as the election gets closer. For that matter, John Ashcroft tried three different times to have Oregon's assisted suicide law overturned by the courts. He failed each time, but it sure brought him into a collision with his own rightwing slogans about "states' rights" and "activist judges."

Undoubtedly it's a gold mine to tap into any group of fanatics and hit them up (repeatedly) for donations. That's true for both sides. I'm too much of a tightwad to contribute money, but my inbox is always flooded with urgent donation requests from various liberal and environmental groups. I think every time you sign an online petition or click to send a mass e-mail, you're guaranteed to get at least ten urgent money requests from that group.

I'll be curious to see who these mysterious donors are. It would be funny if it's the CEO of Blackwater or the founder of Domino's Pizza (they're both born-again Christians). It might take away from that grassroots image that this group is trying to convey.

July 14, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anne: Thanks for the link. I'm glad to know about this website.

July 14, 2008 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"Undoubtedly it's a gold mine to tap into any group of fanatics and hit them up (repeatedly) for donations."

The NRA doesn't even have to send out donation requests. Publicizing any off-the-wall statement by any anti-gun pol or government official, past or present, is all it takes for the money tree to start shaking.

July 14, 2008 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: True. This works not only for raising money but for winning elections too.

If there's a ballot initiative relating to guns in any way, the entire election tilts to the right because every gun fanatic will get to the polls on election day, come hell or high water. Proposed gun laws are even better than gay marriage for getting millions of wingnuts to crawl out from under their rocks and go and vote.

July 14, 2008 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Nice Job making it onto Bring it On Tom. You are high rolling now. What can one say or do about these....cults? I know, laugh at them.

It's a very sticky issue with this one. I can understand how someone would want the right to die with dignity but I can see doctors wanting to put the brakes on it too. They are trained and trained again to save lives so this kind of works against the grain. Still, if someone really sick wants to go out on their own terms, who are we to tell them what to do? It's an impossible and gut wrenching situation that we can't fully understand unless we are there and let's face it, none of us want to be.

July 14, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ricardo: True, it's easy to laugh at some of those cult groups. But unfortunately some of them weild too much power.

This is definitely a touchy situation for everybody -- doctors, patients, family members. I certainly hope never to be involved in anything like that. But that's all the more reason that religious or cult groups have no business trying to horn in on people who are facing these agonizing choices.

July 14, 2008 at 7:43 PM  

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