License to Kill

Headline: Bozeman Daily Chronicle Ap 4, 2009

“Doctors reluctant to assist in patient deaths”

doctor nurse patient

doctor nurse patient

The text read: “While a district court judge has ruled it is a right protected in the state constitution, life-ending treatment has proved elusive for many patients in Montana, advocacy groups said on Friday.” Janet Murdoch of Missoula said, “I feel as though my doctors do not feel able to respect my decision to choose aid in dying. Access to physician aid in dying would restore my hope for a peaceful, dignified death in keeping with my values and beliefs.”

But doctors do not want to kill. They have “moral qualms with assisting in suicide.” Dr. Kirk Stoner said, “Assisted suicide is really against our ethics. Our reason for being is to care for our patients.”

That’s the trouble with “positive rights.” Positive rights compel action by others. The patient, at state behest, compels the doctor. This is not liberty. Liberty is about freedom from coercion. The liberties we honor are “negative” ones, ones that protect us from incursions and forcings of others.

As soon as I read this article I knew that my predictions were being fulfilled. I predicted that, first the advocates would claim and be granted a right, then, second, they would compel others, doctors, to fulfill their wishes. I hear rumblings of legal, legislative action.  Patients are saying: “Doctors must help me. I have a right to die. They are obligated to bring to pass my wishes.”

Though people are free to end their life by jumping out of skyscrapers, they should not be able to compel any one else’s services in that decision. And no one should volunteer to “help”, either. That’s murder.

Take this thought experiment: Wal-mart offers a cheaper alternative to doctor assisted suicide. Next to the optometrist is a sucide shop. Or, sheriff’s offices could offer the service at a price much cheaper than having doctors do it. Why aren’t proponents asking for a free-market, greater access? Because they like hiding the wrong behind the revered white jacket. And in the process they conscript the doctors, against their wishes.

I predict we will see this, proposed legislation to compel doctors. They have a state granted license. Now they must do what the state has said is legal. They will then be licensed to kill.

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2 Responses

  1. The liberties we honor are “negative” ones, ones that protect us from incursions and forcings of others.

    That makes sense to me, but do you suppose we have a negative right that protects us from being kept alive against our will? Being forced to continue on in pain and suffering? I think it’s an interesting question.

    And no one should volunteer to “help”, either. That’s murder.

    Interesting you say that. Whose rights are being compromised if one person chooses to assist somebody who wants to die? If rights are negative, and nobody is being forced to do anything, why is it wrong?

  2. NEW CANADIANS, IMMIGRANTS BECOME REALLY DEPRESSED, EVEN AGITATED WHEN THEY ARE TOLD THAT ELDERLY PATIENTS ARE BEING ALLOWED TO STARVE TO DEATH IN CANADIAN HOSPITALS. I GUESS THEY THINK THEY WILL ALSO GET SECOND RATE MEDICAL TREATMENTS WHEN THEY GO TO THE HOSPITAL NEXT AS WELL?

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