Assisted Suicide an' Other Oxymorons


If ya' arrived heah from the Front Porch I hope ya looked first at the Mute Monday archive post.  It were a good laugh....but, the reason comedy is comedy is exactly on account of it havin' a grain of truth, ain't that so? 

 Whar' will government health care take us?  Especially wif' lots of nations wrangling wif' the issue of medical suicide:

Mah idea heah ain't to spark no debate on "physician assisted suicide."   The direction I mean to  point toward is jes' this: 

A nation whar' legalized killin' under the guise of "mercy killing," in an official, clinical, "caring" setting (insert dreamy music), is a nation ripe for killing citizens who are merely a drag on the rest of us.  Once we's accustomed to dispatchin' Uncle Harry because he done went blind from diabetes an wuz depressed, an' muttered that life din't have the same pleasures...well, ya' see whar' this leads. 

Once assisted suicide is legalized, how do ya' throw on the brakes?  WHO can decide what is a reasonable reason to resort to the happy bye-bye juice? If a person is "in their right mind" (what does THAT mean? Are progressives in their right mind??) can they choose the death stick?  If not, why not?  How do we measure "emotional pain" since it is jes' that--emotional not rational? 

" This (euthanasia) is a taboo subject but it really should and needs to be legalised, it would cut a lot of problems. Maybe i would do it cause I dont think I have the guts to top myself. If it did get legalized the rules would have to be more lenient, anyone who doesnt want to live anymore regardless of their sex, age etc should be granted it even if they are perfectly healthy and it should be free, I don't have to tell you the appalling treatment the elderly have been getting and this would solve the problem, although it is sad but when you've got severe alzheimers or whatever, who wouldn't wanna be 10ft under? It'd be used by so many people it's crazy and a nicer way to go. It would benefit so many people, especially in the year 2012. "

How clever of proponents of "death with dignity"  to couch it as a perk, a freedom, a choice.  Because, heaven forbid that you should be deprived of an early death? Right?  What skew of mind perceives being deprived of LIFE as a "right."  Ain't anybody read Tom Saywer?   

ooops...sorry. No rant on the issue of assisted suicide--but a warning of whar' that path takes us as a nation--when we's all comfy wif' dispatchin' folks afore nature takes 'em, then those folks who cost the most on the gubmint health mill scale will be pressured to "choose" the legal option of suicide --wif all the trimmings, of course. They'll be given a visit to the departure spa: radiant exfoliated skin, dreamy tinted eye shadow, hair augmentation for the thin pates, chin-lift, oh, toss in a pedicure too. 

All jestin' aside, when we, as a society,  rule life to be something of limited value that we can dispose of when it pains our collective pockets...well, thar' t'is. We'll accept it. It'll be familiar. It 'll be "compassionate"  and oh-so-tender.

Hmmmnnn....Flannery O'Connor said, "Tenderness leads to the gas chamber."  

* * * * * * * * * 

( most of y'all might want to click to the next blog--from this point on this heah post might be uncomfortable)

Today we've perverted the meaning of the word compassion.   Today that word is a cue to whose life has value or power. When we use that word in public discourse it is code-speak for "our lives are pained by your life and we want relief. You have to go--gently, tenderly--but, go you must so that our pain will be relieved."

Here is how the verbiage of compassion is employed in public commentary:  "Better a wanted child than an unwanted child."  
"Nobody should have to bear such disabilities." "Compassion for the terminally ill should include death with dignity."   

 But in all these examples "compassion" leads to death--of the other person, not us.   We dispatch them out of concern for our own comfort. An unborn baby never lives to become a poet,  a disabled baby is neglected by "compassionate" nurses until it dies,  an' Granny,  in daily pain from arthritis, is subtly plied wif'  lists of  her expenses until she  "chooses"  to die a'fore she uses up all her money that could go to pay fer the grandchillen's collich years. 

But compassion has the Latin root co/ com, it means "with," as in companion.  Ideally, the compassionate person is one who comes along side an' makes that journey wif' ya', bearing wif' ya' yore pain' yore sorrow. 

Assisted suicide is an oxymoron, like "only choice,"  "clearly confused"  or "open secret."  Suicide is self inflicted death, it needs no assistance.  

If it is assisted, thas' ....murder. Mebbe second degree, but it is murder. Shocking sentence, ain't it?  Why do it shock us? Because our society is a master at living the lie--we hide our hard truths under fuzzy euphemisms, like "assisted suicide," "compassionate care" "death with dignity."

I know that some folks struggle mightily wif' these concepts--an' they's good folks too.  Trouble is that, as a culture,  we's shifted toward the expedient framework--life is not the high value any longer. Rather expediency is. This coarsens our society, it leads to a lot of hopeless feeling days (because if life has less value it has less meaning, then what's the point of anything?  ).We think we's bein' compassionate, but we's destroying ourselves. 

Let's rethink it.


SophieMae said...

I keep thinking of the euthanasia scene from Soylent Green... so beautiful... those who can no longer tell the difference between fiction and reality will surely insist that we all should have the right to choose such a lovely exit.

I fear we've already gone a far piece down that path, to the point of pretending gender-selective abortions don't take place in this country... which is our way of passively condoning it. Life has been devalued and we've become desensitized. I actually came across a link to a site called 'dead babies make me laugh'. It's a sick, sad world and we're rolling like the probverbial snowball downhill. I can easily imagine 'assisted suicide' becoming a spectator sport. I always said I was born 50 years too late... never have I meant it more.

Susan said...

Hi Aunty Belle, remember me? I don't get online to look at blogs as much as I like, so it is a treat to read yours.

I haven't had the patience to read through Obamacare, so I don't know if this is based on anything written in the law itself or based on other countries that use socialized medicine. I've heard plenty, including that there will be a microchip inserted in our forehead to keep our numbers straight. I can't remember, but wasn't there a movie about that as well?

As someone who believes in choice (to a point--I dislike abortion on demand which for some falls under choice), I think it falls to the doctor and patient to make certain decisions (including abortion if it is medically warranted). As a personal practice, I would not support assisted death as I think it interferes with God's will. On the other hand, medical science also chooses to play God far too often. That is why it is so important to sign a DNR, because those hospitals will keep you on a respirator until kingdom comes. Then the patient cannot make the crossing to the next realm and his/her loved ones end up in debt to the health care industry. So some of this assisted suicide comes from the fact that medical science does extend life, but not quality of life. It is imperative that we make good choices while we have our wits about us, so that others with unclear motives won't make them for us.

As for compassion, yes, you are correct, but I don't think the world has ever been particularly compassionate. We now have technology that rubs our face in general meanness and a media that brainwashes young and old alike into becoming selfish for the sake of achievement. No law will ever make us better. It will only try to make us behave. When people have to depend on a government to tell them what is moral, then they need to go back to the soul factory and ask for a refund.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Aunty Belle,

I value life highly. I also believe the only thing the government does well or should be doing, is provide for the common defense. I don't believe they should be involved in ending people's lives in any way shape or form. However I do not feel the same way you do regarding assisted suicide or assisted murder if you wanna call it that.

I feel the stigma that is associated with suicide is wrong. I have watched people waste away, warehoused in nursing homes, in pain, feeling personal disgrace. because of their predicament. Many of these folks would've past years ago had it not been for extreme medical intervention. My mother was one. Many of the folks in her nursing home were of the same circumstance. I would give them all the option to pass as they will. If I could do so. If they need help to get their release, so be it. However it should be the person's choice. And not under any government mandate.

Enemy of the Republic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunty Belle said...

all, I'se been on th3e orad--unpackin' today, but will be back to respond to these comments--thanky so much fer yore patience.

Aunty Belle said...

Sophie Mae!

Ya' make so many good points--but this one sums thangs up:

"Life has been devalued and we've become desensitized"

That's the precise danger we stare in the face now--life doan have it's rock hard foundation no more. It will be easy now to define some folks as a drag on the rest of us, therefore they have a "right" to die. soylent indeed.


As in EOTR? I shure does remember. Real pleased, Pumpkin, that ya came by to jaw. Been too long.

ON abortion, reckon ya' 'member mah stand, but I knows some folks who are catagorized "pro-choice" but wish thar' wuz a limit to it. As Sophie above noted, sex selection abortions is not prevented--an most pro-choice folks ain't in favor of that frivolous reason.

But that abuse of abortion law do illustrate mah point which is that the idea of a "good" assisted suicide is to relieve the intractable suffering of the terminally ill, but once passed the conditions for resorting to it will be stretched to include any reason at all--jes' like they done wif' abortion.

I should hasten heah to agree wif' ya' Susan, that a DNR is key-- we do need a broad education on what a DO NOT RESUSCITATE (DNR) order is, when it is used, an' how to personalize them.

Granny died last year after a long decline that were painful, an much of the care for her near the end wuz managing pain--she were a professional in the field, so when she had the DNR drawn up, she knowed what she be doin'.

This is an important distinction--that a DNR is NOT assisted suicide. The DNR essentially stops the hospital/ doctors from reviving a terminally ill person who has a stroke or heart attack--in other words, it lets nature take them rather than intervene. It is NOT an age thang--as some young terminal folks sign DNRs too. But the important provision is that the person be past any expectation of recovery from their primary diagnosis of a terminal illness. This is NOT the same as allowing a auto accident victim whose heart has stopped to just die.

With a DNR in place for the terminally ill, there is no justification for assisted suicide--it already provides for permitting natural death rsther than intervening with medical technology.

Yore comment, "no law will ever make us better" is too true. Nor is that the function of gubmint. The reverse is the terror--a gubmint that enforces its utilitarian "morality" on the people. This we must resist.

Aunty Belle said...

Sir Karl!

We's in perfect agreement--onliest thang the gubmint should do is defend us from external threats--we can figger the rest out on our own--another great case for State's Rights.

On the assisted murder/ suicide question, I hears ya' on the poor ole folks --like yore Mama an' mine, who spent their last months (years) in "warehouses" for the dying. It's horryfying. I grieve fer yore hurt on this.

I doan know yore circumstances, iffin' anyone suggested a DNR for y'all to consider. I doan know iffin' yore Mama had her mind in tact, how much awareness she had of her condition.

IN cases whar' thar's extreme pain, it can be managed, though of course it may mean sleeping 18 hours a day. Thas' OK, iffin' thar's a DNR--because after a few weeks the body thas' not in motion will begin a natural shutdown--won't take food, body temp drops, lungs start to fill--an' the DNR prevents forcing them onto ventilators an' such. This is a process that can take a couple of months, but usually less. It is a gradual shutting down. It is merciful wif'out forcing a death before the body of the person is truly ready to go.

I short, I reckon, thar's a difference between letting a person die, and killing them outright. When we permit such clinical killing it changes us'uns, I fear. I'se worriet that it desensitizes us, coarsens our medical vocations, changes how we unnnerstan' the precious gift of life--makes it easier to lower the bar for other types of death by design.

It ain't an easy topic. Folks all have hurtful stories that lead their thoughts. I'se jes' tryin' to make a plea fer extreme caution--when "the authorities" sanction civilian killin' it cain't ever be a good thang, can it? Doan it soon become a means fer folks to eliminate the merely inconvenient among us? an worse, a legal method fer the gubmint to eliminate a portion ofthe population it finds costly or troublesome?

chickory said...

The culture changed and it wasnt a part of modern life to have your elderly at home - yes, to die, without benefit of all this extraordinary medical attention. I agree with Enemy that its a cash cow to warehouse the old sick and dying and its horrific. I think a passage into death with home administered palliative care is the way to go.

My sister once told me that sometimes a person suffers before death not because the world is cruel (it is indifferent) but because others attached to the suffering need that time to set things right. If you trust in God his timing is perfect but the BUSINESS of health care muddies the water.

My thoughts on suicide: its the ultimate do it yourself situation. It should never be a function of the State and certainly not the evil superstate currently destroying this entire world. You can see the set up now the prepping of the culture to accept this compassion...

These compassionate people are the same ones who see human beings as a disease killing mother earth and how millions of people "need to die", but somehow they are never willing to actually put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. Yes, of course its always the other person that needs to bow out.

Its open season on humanity - you can see it in every mode of culture - with media being the handmaiden of the death dealers. They are priming minds to accept it. But like we have discussed in other areas of our sad predicament; once you see how it works, you never not see it again.

BlazngScarlet said...

It's not only important to have a DNR, but a Living Will and a HealthCare Proxy that spells out EXACTLY what can and should be done ... in ANY medical emergency.
I drew up my first set of papers when I had Gall Bladder surgery in 1990. I was 22.
I look over it yearly and update them as necessary.

I worked in a Nursing Home (warehouse) for too many years ... and I completely understand the IDEA behind Assisted Suicide.
The problem is, the IDEA is so very far removed from reality.
But even knowing that, I still believe in it.
I just want the government to stay out of it.

moi said...

The whole healthcare debacle vis-a-vis Mr. Obama can be summed up in one phrase by Mr. Lou Reed: "You can't depend on the goodly-hearted. The goodly-hearted made lampshades and soap."

Aunty Belle said...

yep, kulture done took a wrong turn--today what counts is $ an the appearance of doin' tender/ compassionate thangs while takin the $. I likes yore plan--jes' stay home while makin' yore final landin', even if it shortens the days. However, whar' a nursin' facility can git ya the kind of care that gives ya another year of meaningful time, it's worth it.

But youse so right: "open season on humanity."

absolutely--the DNR, the living will, the proxy--all that. This is what I mean by oxymoron--suicide doan take no assistance, even the bedridden can refuse food, as long as there is a DNR an' living will that prohibits the personnel from stickin' tubes and machines on ya'.

Onliest caution I would have on this is fer young folks--thar's a heap o' cases of young folks bein' on some sort o' machine maintenance fer months until they could make it on their own--but did make it, an went on to live fulfillin' lives. A 19 year old what lived near us wuz firebombed in her open VW bug--burned her from the breasts down. She lived in twilight sleep for months ( to dull the pain), a feeding tube delivered 9,000 calories a day to
help rebuild some flesh...in hospital 9 months.

She became a client of Granny's, fortunate chile'. Today she is physical therapist who specializes in burn patients, an' is the proud mama of two daughters.

Amen. Fkannery said the same--all this "tenderness" leads to the gas chambers. People don't THINK anymore, they emote.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have somethin' to say: I really like your blog !! and especially all the expansion to it, coming from the Commenter Gallery. This particular post is full of 'points to ponder' for me but being red-raw at this time, the whole subject just makes me cry. I've so often pondered why can we not do the dying phase under a happy stance. Experiencing that last breath in ease can be so important! I watched my father. I didn't see my brother go by his own hand, recently. Whew! Life can be RoUgH.

Ardlair said...


I returned in the hope I’d find some stimulation – dropped by Chickory….but all Haiku and recipes, so came on over to the dark side, the back porch.

And find………..a real déjà vu experience!!!

The desire to control our own lives is a fundamental part of human nature, and one that you, AB, with your hatred of "state control" should actually be seeking to defend rather than denigrate.

Illness strips many things from people.

In the advanced stages of many illnesses, some people recognise that they are losing control. They look for ways of getting a bit of control back.

So instead of waiting ----- to die in an unknown place, at an unknown time, in an unknown way, and perhaps with strangers around them ---------they set out to control the place and time of their death.

For me------ well it would be a Saturday afternoon, about 5pm, when the football (soccer) results are in and I can see just how my team did. All my best friends would have visited me earlier in the afternoon. I’d have my favourite music on. In my right hand I’d have a glass of whisky, and in my left, the hand of my girl.

And rather than then spraying my brains across the walls with a blast from my grand-father’s double barrelled shotgun, I’d get a bit of help, with a needle and a line, to die there and then. Ideally from someone who knew what they were doing. Maybe even a physician.

This isn’t asking for something unreasonable, obscene, undeliverable or, fundamentally, wrong.

It’s about exercising the right to self-determination.

Something I always thought, AB, that is uber-American.

So I guess your resistance is based on your religious prejudice – that ending a life is implicitly wrong –rather than your political beliefs. Your Catholicism - once again - compromises your ability to think rationally.

Over 200 years ago David Hume, in the city in which I live, and the building in which I now work, sorted out the “ you shouldn’t interfere with God’s will” argument. I won’t repeat it here, as I know you know all about it. Suffice to say, if we followed the “don’t interfere with God’s will” argument through……..well, we wouldn’t go treating the sick at all.

Would we?

Love and kisses

Aunty Belle said...

so sorry fer yore recent experiences. It's a big topic, fraught wif' emotion. I appreciate yore visit.


Heh....feelin' peaked is ya? Nostalgic fer the ole wrestlin'?

while I is against suicide in any guise, the akshul point heah is ya' doan need no help if thas' yore intent--no "ASSISTANCE". So--leave the gubmint an' yore fellow citizens out of it. Once the gubmint gits in the bidness of sanctionin' murder of its own citizens, the gloves is off. The wobbly balance of man/ state must be guarded.

Want to die? 99% of those mentally competent to make that decision can swallow their own pills, refuse medicine, or simply stop taking nourishment. (already noted that I ain't in favor of DNRs)

Doan need to conscript others into murder territory-surely even yore obdurate soul can see that it gives officious bureaucrats too much room fer mischief.

However, iffin' youse pining fer a smackdown, we can go mano-a-mano on God an' Mr. Hume.

Anonymous said...

Ooops--I IS in favor of DNRs--editin' error, wuz about to say "ain't in favor of life-prolonging machines" and edited that out but didn't clip the "ain't".

Aunty (unsigned in )

Susan said...

Chicory writes most eloquently on the situation, and I cannot top that comment, except to add a big YES!

I suppose contradiction is a component of the human condition as Chicory points out, but it never fails to annoy me. For the individual, there may be compassion here and there, but any institutionalizing of it will result in abuse.

In other words, there is no absolute. Killing people is generally not a good thing to do or else our soldiers would be happy, police officers would be happy--anyone who is called upon to kill for a living would not have to seek psychiatric help or go to a bottle for self medication. Even when something is a good shoot or a righteous kill, it often ends up bothering the person who did it. I've talked with enough soldiers to know something about that.

As the world gets worse, we will be seeing more suicide--in Italy, it is becoming a common practice because the government agencies are hunting down people who owe the state and are promising financial ruin to their families. People are killing themselves so that their families get some provision. In my mind, that is another form of assisted suicide: break a person until he has no hope and watch him squirm. Italy is blaming her problems on the individual, not the shoddy way the economy was conducted.

If assisted suicide is legalized, then we can assume that someone is making money off of it legally. It has nothing to do with mercy.

Aunty Belle said...

Well stated and well reasoned, Susan. NOT about mercy, it"s about money.