Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Artificially Extending Life

It seems most people have very mixed views on extending a person's life artificially with respirators, feeding tubes, and the like. My personal opinion is one of individual liberties, that each person has the right to determine his or her own fate, whether by dictating in a will to be on a respirator indefinitely or by ending life prematurely with assisted suicide. Personally, I want to live as long and healthily as possible. Of course, anyone seeking assisted suicide should first seek counseling and explore all options, but ultimately it should be their choice. Better for them to do it safely and with certainty while they are able, than attempt it and become handicapped for life, becoming even more miserable and unable to make a second attempt.

This topic was inspired by today's Dilbert, which was surprisingly funny with Scott Adam's take on extending life:

I understand that people object on moral (primarily religious) grounds, but I do not think other people should be able to prevent others from taking control of their own life or death. The Terry Schiavo and Karen Quinlin cases are the prime examples, where parents or spouses fight the state, doctors, or other family members for the right to prolong or end the person in question's life. I really feel for the doctors trapped in those situations, and hopefully if I face one of those cases the players will be relatively rational.

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