Monday, July 12, 2010

Knowing the Facts

Two True/Slant journalists are having a back-and-forth about the "right to die." The first, Ethan Epstein, has just learned about the Hemlock Society and basically says that if people want to end their lives, let them go at it. What legalizing AS would do is allow doctors to kill patients.

It's a juvenile argument that anyone following the conversation could debunk any number of ways: suicide is not assisted suicide, many suffering patients don't want to end their lives violently (guns, etc.), our medical system has developed in such a way that patients are subjected to futile, life-prolonging care that they would never have agreed to had they been informed and prepared, artificial life-sustaining methods of keeping patients alive are hard to end once they are begun, and doctors provide their patients with the means (like a gun seller does, like a Henkle knife sales man does, like a hardware salesman when he sells a rope does). The patient must self-administer any lethal medication. Humans don't have a right to die, he says. Geesh. Want me to go on?

He's got no history on the issue, no life experience of it (apparently), and no knowledge of the current bioethical or political debate.

His colleague, Sahil Kapur, weighs in and debunks Epstein's "logic." It will be fun to watch this dialogue if it continues.

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