Monday, June 22, 2009

Washington and Oregon, You Make No Sense About Suicide

It was with much fanfare that proponents for Oregon and Washington States Assisted Suicide Law boasted about gaining voter approval of the measures.

Oregon was the first to pass such a measure in October 1997 with challenges making it to the United States Supreme Court, who gave the practice the SCOTUS stamp of approval in January 2006.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor even likened the measure to Court mandated Executions of criminals when she pointed out “doctors participate in the administration of lethal injections to death row inmates.”

In November 2008, Washington State followed suit when voters approved Initiative 1000 by a margin of 59% to 41%, legalizing Assisted Suicide in our state now too.

Oregon and Washington State remain the only two states in the country that have declared Assisted Suicide legal.

Given that suicide has been embraced now by the neighboring states, it was with some surprise I read the article appearing in the June 21, 2009 Columbian newspaper, I-5 traffic resumes after police take man into custody.

Portland Oregon’s KGW 8 ran the incident as Suicidal man with bow and arrow closes I-5 bridge for hours.

For those who do not know, the I-5 Bridge mentioned is the main arterial between the two states, crossing the Columbia River between Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington.

As the articles state, bridge traffic was stopped for 4 hours while Police and Fire Rescue personnel dealt with the unidentified man until they convinced him to surrender, holding him for mental health evaluation.

I cannot applaud the actions of Emergency Workers enough in preventing this man from committing Suicide.

But, I am left with a quandary as to why do we decide to show such care and concern over an obviously depressed and despondent person considering ending their life, yet pass a law legalizing other people who are also despondent and depressed in ending their life.

Many say suicide attempts are actually a despondent person reaching out, seeking some compassion, some attention and they don’t really seriously desire to end their lives. How do we know that those choosing Assisted Suicide weren’t also despondent, reaching out due to the pain of hearing a doctor say they were terminal and instead of true compassion, heard only the “Death With Dignity” crowd crying out “jump, jump, jump?”

Yes, Assisted Suicide is supposed to be only for those who are terminally ill, but when someone is considering suicide on a bridge or at home, do we know they too aren’t also terminally ill and wish to end their life prematurely due to that reason?

Personally, I voted against Initiative 1000, as I do not believe suicide is an appropriate answer for any reason. Obviously, the majority of voters disagreed with me. Even the Columbian, the newspaper reporting on the effort to save the suicidal man yesterday, endorsed passage of Initiative 1000 in October 2008.

Maybe I’m just a simple minded old man, but I simply can’t grasp how people, voters, who vote to legalize, and even encourage Assisted Suicide, justify shutting down the main arterial for the whole west coast for 4 hours to talk another out of ending his life prematurely.

With the majority seeming to think suicide is now a viable means to deal with life’s worst troubles, does it really make sense for them to also call for compassion for others choosing suicide as well? Is this consistency?

Perhaps this incident will plant a seed in voter’s minds that they were misled last year and the left’s continuing culture of death will begin coming to a halt.

Suicide is a very permanent solution to what is often only a temporary problem. Even the terminally ill can still contribute to their loved ones and society.

If we can justify shutting down the west coast of the United States for 4 hours to help a despondent person choose life, surely we can reach out to those who have been convinced their lives have become meaningless and that death is their best answer.

Death comes soon enough, my friends. I can’t see hurrying it along.


Anonymous said...

Here's what I don't get....There were at least 5 boats in the water, fire engines, ambulances and MANY police least 75 people called to the scene....many standing around.....for ALL that time....Were ALL those people required? I would love to know the wages paid out for all those employees that were there. Obviously the man was sending out a plea for help or he would have quietly done away with himself like David Carridine in the closet but did the tax payers really need to pay for the support of THAT MANY public service employees?

LewWaters said...

I can't argue your point, Karen, but that is somewhat what I wrote about.

Many commenters on the Columbian support all the action taken to save this person from himself. Yet, I'd bet many of them were also of the 59% who approved of Assisted Suicide last year.

Angie Lee said...

With Obamacare on the horizon, it's only a matter of time before it's legalized on a national level - and vouchers handed out to those of us Barry and his cronies think are a burden on society's wallet.

I'll be expecting mine to arrive in the mail any day....

Once research into chronic and/or incurable conditions is halted, the government sure as hell won't want to fork over multi-thousands of dollars a month per person for (palliative or symptomatic) treatment of conditions that will NEVER GO AWAY.

Miserable sods.

I'll try to explain it best I can, since it may sound odd, but IMO, issues like suicide (specifically assisted suicide) are personal ones that the state has NO business legislating one way or the other.

Once the first law is passed allowing/disallowing actions for which we each are ultimately held accountable (we all gotta stand before God someday and answer for what we've done), the door is flung open for abuse: Assisted suicide being legalized opens the door for future FORCING of that "option" as the ONLY option onto someone (like me) who would not have considered it, does not approve of or condone it, and has a personal moral stance against it.

Just like abortion.... in far too many cases, it is offered as the ONLY option; convenient omission of options like adoption/open adoption, public assistance or - heaven forbid - TELLING YOUR FAMILY BECAUSE THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY SUPPORT YOUR DECISION TO KEEP YOUR CHILD AND EVEN HELP YOU RAISE IT.

LewWaters said...

My opposition is because, as has happened elsewhere, such as Europe, it begins as "assisted" suicide. Then it become "encouraged" suicide and eventually, euthanaisa, with state holding the power of life and death over citizens.

All we need do is look back toward poor Terri Schiavo.

What a sad commentary that our society embraces and glorifies death more than life.

Angie Lee said...

Lew: That's what I was trying to get out but having a little trouble. It becomes the ONLY option. It's already happening in this country, and it's only going to get worse.

Ever read about this?,2933,392962,00.html

"Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead [...] a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup's pricey treatment, but would pay for the cost of physician-assisted suicide [...] follows guidelines established by the state legislature. Oregon doesn't cover life-prolonging treatment unless there is better than a 5 percent chance it will help the patients live for five more years — but it covers doctor-assisted suicide, defining it as a means of providing comfort, no different from hospice care or pain medication."

Guidelines established BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

Life-prolonging treatments are NOT covered unless you fit the "risk" formula.

No different from hospice care or pain medication? EXCUSE ME? I take great offense to that, especially considering the fact that AT ANY POINT a patient enrolled in hospice may revoke that decision and return to treatment or to reduce or change a dose of pain medication if it is affecting them adversely.


Rightwingsnarkle said...
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