Skip to comments.Attorney General Ashcroft Plays "Doctor" in Oregon! [Doctor assisted suicide and a new liberal site]
Posted on 11/17/2001 3:45:27 PM PST by summer
Attorney General Ashcroft Plays "Doctor" in Oregon!
Just for fun, let's say you're captured by terrorists. After a twelve-second-long trial, you are convicted of "Crimes Against (insert a religion you think is silly here)." You are sentenced to die in one of two ways: 1) quickly and painlessly, or 2) slowly and agonizingly over a period of months while your family is forced to watch. Which death would you choose? Death #1? Really? Guess what? Attorney General John "Major League" Ashcroft is working hard to take Death #1 off of our list of choices and force us to endure Death #2. With the simple issuance of a directive, Ashcroft has signaled that he will ruin physicans in Oregon who help terminally ill patients choose Death #1 under the state's Death with Dignity Act. So much for Compassionate Conservatism.
Ashcroft, former Missouri senator who lost his senate seat to a dead Democrat (Missourians figured that Mel Carnahan at room temperature was better than Ashcroft at 98.6 degrees), was quickly scooped up, along with other Republican losers around the nation, to form the perfect loser administration under presidential second-place finisher George W. Bush. After deciding that a religious fanatic would be a good choice for U.S. Attorney General, Bush's short list included Ashcroft and two others. Bush was then informed that fellow Texan David Koresh was a currently a pile of soot and the Asian community vote-magnet Shoko Asahara had said through an interpreter, "I'd sooner ride the subway," so the nod went to Ashcroft.
Now Ashcroft is taking time that could be otherwise wasted pursuing terrorists in order to pursue doctors. On November 7, Ashcroft issued a directive stating that physicians who helped their terminally-ill patients end their own lives under Oregon state law could have their licenses to distribute federally controlled drugs revoked.
Why would Ashcroft do this? This stunt violates the following Republican principles:
1) The government should stay out of people's lives.
2) If government is needed, decisions are best made at the local level, not in Washington, D.C.
3) If federal oversight is needed, it should be done via legislation and not unilaterally from another branch of government (Republicans whine about "legislating from the bench," except when deciding presidential elections, remember?).
It also violates the following American (as opposed to Republican) principles:
1) Decisions about medical treatment should be made by the patient and the doctor, not a third party.
2) People should be allowed to own their own lives.
3) Government officials should check their religious beliefs at the door when they enter their offices.
American Principle number three is certainly Ashcroft's biggest constitutional nemesis, and his opposition to it probably precipitated his actions in this case. After all, suicide is a sin to Christians, right? If God sees fit to give you an unbearable disease, who are you to argue with Him? Ashcroft' s belief in this principle appears to trump not only his vocational responsibilities, but his political affiliation as well. He is apparently a "Christian" first, a Republican second, and an Attorney General third. We ain't payin' ya for the first two, pal.
Personally, I'm a believer in assisted suicide. If death is to be soon, certain, and agonizingly painful, what better way to go than by looking God right in the eye and saying, "You can't fire me. I quit." Herein lies the rub for Ashcroft. Suicide is disrespectful to his god. Kind of like a woman who shows her face on the streets of Kandahar, right, Johnny?
A federal restraining order is currently keeping Ashcroft at arm's length in Oregon, affording the terminally ill some tangible, if short-lived relief. Imagine having to request legal relief from our own Attorney General.
Suddenly, Ed Meese doesn't seem like such a bad guy after all. . .
. . .The Angry Liberal
Please check it outMy Letter to the Editor about Ashcroft and this issue.
Ashland, Missouri (visiting in Nitro WV)
If someone really wants to kill themselves, no one is stopping them, but don't get doctors involved in that grisly business.
The pressures put on the frail, the elderly, the ill are bad enough without having society encouraging them to ask a "doctor" to kill them. Don't get me started.
I don't live there, and neither does Ashcroft. It's none of his business.
Assisted suicide is not health care.
Ashcroft is only enforcing the law on controlled substances, by reversing Reno's exemption for one state to use them in killing. If the federal law is going to have meaning, he had to reverse her single exception. The DOJ can't say to CA that docs can't prescribe pot, but Oregon can prescribe lethal injections. It doesn't make sense. The DOJ will prevail in this case - on the basis of the law. And when it does - people in Oregon can still off themselves by whatever means they can get their hands on themselves.
There was a post
There was a post that the government should stay out of peoples lives. TRUE, but death is another matter, including unborn children. The Constitution guarantess "the right to life..." - but the liberals think it can be changed by lawyers, judges and popular opinion - always citing the need to protect the rights of minorities - double speak all the way.
Pretend that you are old, frail and not in too good health. You've got a little money stashed away, maybe a house and a few investments. You love your kids and they love you. You'd do anything for them. Maybe you're a little depressed about getting old and sick. After all, you've lived a good life. Further pretend that your kids are struggling (what kids aren't after all?) and they could really use some of your $$. Can you imagine that you would feel some subtle pressure to "get out of the way?" Even in this "best case" scenario, there would be plenty of pressure.
Now let's change the scenario just a bit. Pretend some of your kids didn't turn out so great, which really depresses you. You are old, you're tired, you're sick. How many cruel comments by your "heirs" do you think it would take for you to ask a "doctor" to put you out of your misery? Do you think that would be in your best interests, or in your kids interests to kill yourself so they could have more material goodies?
What happens if you get really sick, do you really want greedy heirs having the power to tell the doctor to stop your care, even if there is a good chance you will recover? That is what's happening in Holland, you know. Why should the doctors care? After all, it's legal.
I believe that Oregon has a comprehensive medical plan that covers just about everyone. Since the government is paying for your medical care, not you, don't you have a duty to "get out of the way" and save the system some money? Some medical conditions in Oregon are considered "too expensive" to treat, so those people are out of luck. The same is true of Medicare. Once we stop paying for our own care, we become only so much as an line item in some HMO's balance sheet.
We all like to think that we will be lucid and in charge toward the end of our lives and that our relatives (heirs) will have nothing but our best interests at heart. We are living in a dream world. Most people who commit suicide are depressed, and treating the depression is the most compassionate thing we can do to help them over the hump.
You talked about seeing the problems in your friend's household, but perhaps they learned valuable lessons in caring for their sick mother. I know I am a better person for having the privilege of caring for my mother in her last days. I learned many things about myself and about her that I never would have known if we hadn't had that time together. Was it easy? No, of course not, but it was definitly worth it for both of us.
If you think most old, sick, handicapped people are just sitting around waiting for their doctors to be able to kill them, I think you are mistaken. If that was so, many more would be committing suicide on their own. Most people want to go on living even if their lives aren't all that we would want them to be.
Did you know that there is an organization of handicapped people called "Not Dead Yet"? They are mightily afraid that the current push for assisted suicide will put even more pressure on them to "get out of the way." Don't they have hard enough lives without having to justify to society that they have a right to keep on living?