How these people can call themselves "compassionate conservatives" is beyond me, particularly when they pull stuff like this.
The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to block the nation's only law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients die more quickly.
The appeal from Attorney General John Ashcroft had been expected since May, when a lower court ruled the federal government could not punish Oregon doctors who prescribed lethal doses of federally controlled drugs.
Oregon voters approved the law and since 1998 more than 170 people have used it to end their lives. Most had cancer.
The Bush administration has argued that assisted suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose" and that doctors take an oath to heal patients, not help them die.
While not as prominent as abortion, the issue is an important one for conservative Christians, who helped President Bush win a second term last week. The government waited until Tuesday, the final day possible, to file paperwork at the high court.
Maybe it's because this is an issue I worked on and/or near for several years, but I just don't get it. If a person is sick and suffer, isn't going to get well, there isn't a way to relieve their suffering, and the end is going to be paiful and/or ugly why not let them go if they want to go? Why not help them go?
I've seen enough people die slow, painful, undignified deaths to know it's not the way I want to go if I have a choice. I'm glad that my partner and I both took the time to have advance directives (a/k/a "living wills") prepared by a lawyer (when we were finalizing our son's adoption). I spelled out the circumstances underwhich I do or do not want artificial life support, and authorized my partner to make medical decisions for me in the event I can't make them myself. It's something I think every adult—partnered, married, or single—should do. It's particularly important for same sex couples, since we don't have the protection of marriage, nor the automatic access it allows to a sick partner, or the authority over medical decisions usually granted to the spouse of the incapacitated person.
Of course, this is one that get's slipped in under the wire. And it completely flies in the face of the Republican party's whole "states' rights" ideal. (Something I might have more to say about at another time.)
Someone tell me, what is compassionate about keeping the terminally ill from controlling the circumstances of their deaths? What is wrong with letting them chose when and how to end their suffering? What is wrong with helping someone end their suffering?
I don't get it.