I will be honest: like everyone else, when I first heard of Jack Kevorkian, the infamous doctor who helped terminally-ill patients commit suicide, I was disgusted by the man. But as the years went by, and I became more mature (and with the help of Neal Boortz’s chapter on Terri Shaivo in his book Somebody’s Got To Say It!), I learned that the world isn’t entirely black-and-white.
Every human being has the right to do with their life as they see fit provided they harm no one else; and no one, especially the government, has the right to dictate what they can and can’t do with it. If a person is terminally-ill, possibly without a chance of recovery, they should have the option to end their life.
Personally, I feel that when modern medicine fails, God has a chance to intervene and provide a miracle, and I believe most people should at least wait for a miracle to happen. But that’s my personal preference, and I don’t believe anyone else should be forced to abide by it.
That said, I’m slightly disturbed by some of the praise surrounding the man. Recently, the Young Turks released a video praising the man’s legacy.
But perhaps the comments to the video were much more disturbing:
• I don't get people, if your dog has terminal cancer you'd be considered exceedingly cruel if you didn't put them to sleep, yet if you're a person (who has more feeling and sensitivity to pain both emotional and physical) you've got to wither away in agony for months. If someone is mentally sound and decides to end their life when there is no reasonable hope of salvaging it then i think they should have that right.
• People have the compassion to put down their sick animals, but not their loved ones.
• We put animals down why can't humans be put down too?
• The longer I lay in a hospital half-alive, the longer I take up a bed for someone who can get better.
So because it’s okay to put a sick animal to sleep, it should also be okay to put a sick human being to sleep? Also, we should be willing to kill someone off if it means making more room for the hospital?
Moral reasoning like that makes me worry about the future.