As long as the boy loves his mother!
As long as the boy loves his mother!
I’m quite vocal in my belief that someone who is suffering from a terminal illness, or is in constant pain, should be allowed to die with the help of a doctor if that is what they choose to do. I think it’s the only real humane thing to do for someone who is suffering in ways that most of us can’t possibly imagine, and if they want to die, that should be their option.
But…what if the person is under eighteen? What if you have, say, a sixteen-year-old girl who has terminal cancer? Should she be allowed to die with help from a doctor, or should she be made to suffer through several months of pain and agony until she dies on her own? What if it’s a twelve-year-old boy who has some sort neurological disorder that causes near constant pain, and will probably be dead in a year or so anyhow? What about an eight-year-old? A six-year-old? How low can we go?
While I don’t have any idea what the lower limit should be, or if parents should be able to make the choice in the case of, say, a newborn baby who with a fatal disease who will be dead within a few months, I do think that some provisions for minors do need to be set up, and Belgium has taken steps in that direction with a bill their king signed into law three days ago.
Now I understand that it’s hard to picture children dying in any case, and really hard to imagine that it would be acceptable for a doctor to help one to die. Some people will say that that no matter how brief a child’s life is, they should have the chance to live it to the fullest. But…you know, consider, say, a nine-year-old boy who has some sort of disease that will kill him in six months, and that every single day of those six months will be spent in pain in an ICU. Is that kid really living his life to its fullest? No, of course not. He’s in constant agony and deprived of anything even approximating a real life. If he understands the consequences of death (and I can almost promise that a kid in that situation understands them better than most of us), then why shouldn’t he be allowed to die? If it makes us uncomfortable, that’s too bad; we aren’t the ones in pain.
I am aware that there is a potential for abuse in an adult system of euthanasia, and that there’s probably an even bigger chance for abuse in cases of children. But surely we can put in place various safeguards so that any potential for abuse is limited as much as possible.
As a last thought, pretend that the nine-year-old boy above, or any of the kids in this example, has a dog that gets hit by a car. That dog survives, but is in constant pain and will never be able to recover fully. Most people would put down that dog, saying that is humane to end its pain and torment. If that’s the case for a dog, can’t we also extend that most humane of ideas to a fellow human, regardless of their age?
So I just spent a rather pleasant hour talking with a census taker. She showed up here a few weeks back when I was out, and left a card wanting me to call. I forgot to, but that’s ok because she came by today to see me. She was very nice, very polite, and seemed quite taken aback that I was actually enthusiastic about participating.
You see, I understand the point of the census. It isn’t just to count how many people there are. It also yields valuable demographic information about our nation and the people who live here. I understand that the census is part of the Constitution, and that it really matters to our country. I understand that it is a civic duty to participate, and no, I’m not typing that sarcastically, ironically, or in any fashion other than totally sincere.
The questions she asked were a bit lengthy and I’m sure some would find them intrusive. Some might also wonder why, for example, the government needs to know how much credit card debt you have, or if you’ve gone hungry in the past year. But both those things are actually important. The credit card debt can provide the government with information needed to strengthen consumer protections, and if people have been going hungry, perhaps the food stamp program needs to be expanded (as opposed to cut back, which it totally has been). Certainly questions about medical coverage are important in making future adjustments to the ACA.
So I answered all these questions honestly and proudly; pleased that I was able to participate in one of the most important parts of American civic life. Not just a duty, but a privilege.
Ok, I have zero interest in using marijuana for any reason, but I think it should be completely, 100% legalized. Of course, that would lead to advertisers hawking marijuana and marijuana accessories. On the other hand, if the ads are generally like this, I could deal with that.
Yep, I’m at work and bored, so I thought I would share with you the worst joke in the entire world. Not just part of the world, mind you. The entire world.
“Why are ameobas so bad at math?”
“Because in order to multiply, they have to divide.”
So no real major surprises. Nothing I didn’t expect. I was pleased that they put Roger Ebert in the “In Memorium” section. I do wish they had found a way to give him an honorary Oscar or a special award of some sort, since he really did have a huge impact on film. But the mention in the memorial section was nice. It made me think of this wonderful speech he once gave.
Anyhow, grats to all the winners!
I just hosted a movie watching party, and I still have tons of stuff to clean up and put away. But I had a great time with my various friends! And now, here is a fun video for all of you to look at while I roll around on the ground moaning about having eaten too much.