Personal Termination/Assisted Suicide

When an individual is suffering from a terminal illness or injury, or a chronic (long-term or otherwise never-ending) excruciating painful condition, and his body becomes a prison of pain, an individual ought to have the right to terminate his life and get help from physicians who are willing to help him.

We must therefore provide physicians with the assurance that if they chose to provide medical help for personal termination then they will not be prosecuted under criminal law or sued under civil law. There should be exceptions for the patient's protection, including medical negligence or incompetence, but under no circumstances otherwise should a physician by exposed to prosecution or lawsuit.

Lawmakers who have objected to personal termination laws have stated that they are afraid that a patient's family will push for early termination that effectively would qualify as murder. This objection could be overcome by requiring that a patient's mental state be evaluated by a competent psychiatrist. The patient would have the right to acquire a durable power of attorney that would give his designated attorney the final decision concerning his termination in the event that he is either mental incompetent or otherwise in a coma and unable to request termination.

We already have laws that forbid murder, therefore any conspiracy leading to a personal termination not certified by a psychiatrist or otherwise protected by a durable power of attorney shall the prosecution and/or suing of the conspirators.

Lawmakers are concerned that a sufferer's family members might pressure him to terminate himself and thus by their pressure increase his suffering, the focus should be upon the patient and his physical suffering and his right to relieve himself of his physical suffering. Those with medical suffering shall have to bear the additional suffering of family pressures, but they shall have the right to restrict the activities and presence of obnoxious family members. This, too, can be dealt with by means of a durable power of attorney wherein a responsible attorney can restrict the activities and presence of obnoxious family members.

People should have the right to protect their estates from being drained by excessive medical care costs. They therefore should have the right to terminate themselves for this reason.

Who among us is qualified to deny an individual his right to terminate himself when his body becomes an intolerable prison? Who among us has the right to deny a suffering person his right to relieve himself of his suffering?

Thomas Jefferson has said thus: The essence of all law is that no man should injure another; all the rest is commentary.

When ‘injury’ is defined as including but not limited to a loss of life, limb, liberty, or property, and when ‘another’ is defined as an innocent person who is defined to be innocent when he does not intend to injure another innocent person who does not intend to injure him or any other innocent person, then Jefferson’s quote can be rephrased thus:

The essence of all law is that no man should [be allowed to] injure another [innocent man]; all the rest [of the law] is commentary.

We see, therefore, that the concept of an injury enables us to determine the priorities concerning personal termination, that the suffering person who is denied his or her rights to life and liberty, the right/freedom/liberty to choose personal termination, is thus injured.

All laws must be evaluated by the following two standards:

1. The law/policy must benefit the people.

2. The law/policy must not injure an innocent person.

By standard #2, an anti-personal termination law/policy would clearly injure an innocent person—the suffering individual, who should be given priority over those who are not suffering but who claim that they have the right to tell him he must suffer and that they have jurisdiction over his suffering and his right to relieve himself of his suffering by personal termination.

To deny a suffering individual his right to personal termination/assisted suicide is to deny him his liberty and therefore to effectively enslave him, which is an injury to him, and which is wrong.

There are some individuals who claim that suffering is good, that we should welcome suffering, because it causes us to develop our character.

Let those who think suffering is good suffer and develop their character if and when their time comes and their body is their prison, their personal torture chamber, their enemy. Let them not force their values upon a suffering individual who thinks differently.

There are some individuals who wish to impose their religious values upon suffering individuals, including those suffering individuals who do not share those religious values. The religious extremists think they are serving their gods by denying the suffering their right to personal termination, as if they are keeping the suffering seeking personal termination from committing a sin, as if they think they have a right to prevent someone from committing the sin of personal termination. This imposition of religion into politics should not be tolerated. The individual should be totally responsible for his decisions concerning his suffering, and if he chooses personal termination, then the consequences of the that decision should be between him and the gods, if the gods exist.

There are some individuals who claim personal termination is a death culture value and that the individual who wants personal termination and those who are willing to provide such personal termination services are somehow injuring those who are not suffering or who although suffering otherwise choose to not undergo personal termination.

There is no logical connection between the suffering individual who chooses personal termination and injury to other individuals. The suffering individual who chooses personal termination does not in any way injure another person. In fact, the imposition of the values of other individuals, anti-personal termination values, injures the suffering individual who wants personal termination, because of the denial of his rights to his body and life, and the denial of his rights to his liberties, and the effective enslavement of the suffering individual when others impose their values upon him by the denial of his rights and his liberties.

Let those who do not want personal termination for themselves impose such values upon themselves, and themselves only; let the rest of us do what we want and will as we see fit when we are suffering and our bodies have become prisons, torture chambers, and our enemies, and we seek relief by personal termination.

I want the assurance that if my body should become my enemy that I could get legal medical help from a physician who chose to help. I would want to donate my organs, and, in that light, to have a final celebration at which I could meet the people who would receive parts of me, who could therefore live, or at least live better, because of me, to whom I could give my blessings as well as my body, and who could brighten my final moments by sharing with me their dreams that they would have a chance to realize because of me, and who could share with my family members their friendship and hopes.

That would be an incredible celebration that I should have the right to plan, execute, and enjoy without the interference of lawmakers or religionists.

Personal termination should be the sufferer's choice, not some lawmaker's.

Proposed Law: No physician shall be prosecuted or sued if he should choose to provide assistance for personal termination/assisted suicide.

This law does not require a physician to provide personal termination services; instead, it only says that if he should choose to provide it a physician cannot be prosecuted or sued; and as in all medical cases, the exception being for clear and obvious negligence.