Thursday, December 31, 2009

Montana Joins the Culture of Death

It’s not unexpected, but unfortunate nevertheless.

Just announced, the Supreme Court of Montana has decided that assisted suicide is legal in Montana. That makes Montana the third state in the US to so rule.

ISDB filed an amicus brief opposing assisted suicide in Montana, along with many other groups. I watched the arguments before the Montana Supreme Court in early September, and was not hopeful that our side would succeed.

So there we have it. Creeping culture of death, now legal.

That, plus the pernicious pro-death provisions of the healthcare bill that may well be passed, means we are entering a new era of disposable humanity.

My greatest frustration? That many people with disabilities apparently cannot see how they will soon be in the sights of the pro-death lobby.

In my more perverse moments, I can’t wait to say, “I told you so.”

More rationally, if more people with disabilities don’t stand up along with those of us who are trying to get the word out, then the future is very dark indeed.

Happy New Year.


william Peace said...

As a person with a disability, I find the tone of your comments unproductive if not insulting. Every person I know with a disability is staunchly opposed to assisted suicide. I too am opposed to assisted suicide and often write about why I feel so strongly on my blog Bad Cripple. But what good does it do to call people with a disability who do not share your views "brain dead" (and yes I am ignoring your proviso). More generally what use is a phrase like "culture of death"? Will this foster debate and sway those that are open minded and willing to listen about the inherent dangers of assisted suicide? As you know at first glance assisted suicide seems to make sense. But scratch the surface of the facts involved and it is obvious assisted suicide is wrong if not dangerous. Your passion is appreciated but must be tempered by reason.

Virginia Beach said...

William, thanks again ( I just posted thanks to your blog). I spread the word about Bad Cripple wherever I can.

I must disagree that "every" person with a disability is opposed to assisted suicide. For quite a while, for example, I and my colleagues have been doing our best to engage the HIV-positive community on these issues, and have been firmly rejected as they (at least those I have been able to reach out to) are firmly in favor of assisted suicide vs. death from AIDS.

Here's the prob: with those in favor of AS, there is no debate, so, IMO, it's almost impossible to engage in debate. Of those on the fence, which is what I think you are referring to, we, on our side, have got to answer their essential question: Why shouldn't this be a solution? I think we are far from a consensus here.

Thanks for recognizing my passion - I'm incredibly passionate, especially seeing that my wife has a very significant and life-altering disability. With 3 states having egal assisted suicide, I don;t know how one can argue that there is NOT a culture of death....

Maybe we have some minor disagreements, but thanks for your willingness to connect.

All comments appreciated, Mark

william Peace said...

Mark, I wrote "every person I know with a disability NOT "every" person with a disability is opposed to assisted suicide. Of course there are some who do not share my views or yours. The HIV community is a good example. I wish more people were on the fence as you put it about assisted suicide. My experience is that views on this matter are deeply held and most are unwilling to change. And passion is evident on both sides, those for and those against assisted suicide. I understand the reasons for this too but lament the fact the two sides cannot have a productive dialogue.
I am passionate and know you are too. And you have mentioned your wife's disability--this makes any discussion very personal.
As for the term culture of death, it is an effective slogan but one that ends all nuanced discussion before it can even take place. Hence I never use it. Regardless, your pessimism may be well placed, I know many other MDs that feel the same way.
Thanks for your kind words about my blog