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Attorney General Ashcroft Plays "Doctor" in Oregon! [Doctor assisted suicide and a new liberal site] ^ | Nov. 16, 2001 | The "Angry Liberal"

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


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
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I see the Dem Party really trying to make a move, and attempting to focus on health care and other domestic issues, since they obviously can't do jack on various other issues with GW in charge.

I'm wondering how this "Angry Liberal's" position on assisted suicide would be refuted here on FR.

Is assisted suicide solely a religious issue?

It's a very complex issue for me -- I believe there are religious issues involved, and I don't want doctors to abuse their powers, but: I have honestly seen a lot of prolonged medical suffering of others, eventually ending in death of the patient. All the misery beforehand was a great strain on the family members I know.

A very close friend of mine spent her entire childhood raising her brothers and sisters, while her mother died a very slow and agonizing death. After a dozen painful years, her mom finally died of cancer. During that time my friend never really had a childhood -- or a mother. And, her mother didn't have any real life as the cancer spread throughout her body -- but, she had a lot of pain and suffering.

I'm somewhat torn here. There are moral issues and issues of human suffering. And, if I had cancer -- I'm not sure what I would want done. In my friend's mother's case, that entire family's lives revolved around the mother, as she lay dying all those years. Would it have been less painful for the mother? Or for the family? Would G_d have understood if the family's decision had been to engage in a doctor assisted suicide, if the mother had wanted it -- would it have been forgiven in light of these circumstances?

I don't know. It is not an easy topic for me, because I have seen the suffering, up close, on one side of this issue.
1 posted on 11/17/2001 3:45:27 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
I know that this issue can cause a divide, but I know where I stand....

Please check it outMy Letter to the Editor about Ashcroft and this issue.

Ashland, Missouri (visiting in Nitro WV)

2 posted on 11/17/2001 3:55:01 PM PST by rface
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To: rface
Thanks, I will read it.
3 posted on 11/17/2001 3:57:13 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
As far as I'm concerned, this article should have a MAJOR BARF ALERT warning. There is so much wrong with assisted suicide, it's hard to know where to start.

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.

4 posted on 11/17/2001 4:02:56 PM PST by Aunt Polgara
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To: rface
That was quite interersting.

Thanks for sharing it with me.

One of the most surprising statements I read in the subject editorial resulting in your letter, was this one, not on the topic of assisted suicide. I couldn't help but wonder: why wasn't this point made plain by the opposition, at the time GW was getting lambasted for his position?:

[From editorial:]

... Remember last year’s Republican primary, when George W. Bush was asked his opinion about the Confederate battle flag flying over the state Capitol of South Carolina? Some people called it a dodge when he answered that it was properly a question for the people of that state, not for an aspiring federal officeholder. It wasn’t a dodge; it was the statement of a committed conservative....
5 posted on 11/17/2001 4:03:30 PM PST by summer
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To: rface
I think that the Justice dept, needs to stay out of a state issue, I don't care how much they morally hate it.

The state of Oregon Passed it twice, not just once but twice, I think the feds have no business in this issue.

I think the above article is hateful and spiteful and hurts the Death with Dignity cause more then it helps. I am NOT a liberal, but in this instance, it is the patients life, and the safeguards built in are more then enough to make sure that it is not abused.

And this slippery slope everyone keeps talking about, it is a no go from the get go. No one would vote for euthanasia at a certain age or any other ridiculous thing people are talking about.

The Death with dignity was a necessary law due to the ridiculous and STUPID laws regarding pain management in terminally ill patients. People were dying in extreme pain because Doctors were afraid to prescribe the drug doses necessary to alleviate the patients pain. Something about addiction or something stupid, the patient is dying, what is the difference if they become addicted to a pain med?

Bottom Line, this is a state issue and the fed's have no place in it, especially through the justice dept!!
6 posted on 11/17/2001 4:07:29 PM PST by Aric2000
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To: Aunt Polgara
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. See post #6, not from me, for a very different view. As for me, I am still thinking about this matter.
7 posted on 11/17/2001 4:10:19 PM PST by summer
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To: Aric2000
Thank you for sharing your view. I too was not impressed with the Angry Lib's writing. I appreciate the points you made.
8 posted on 11/17/2001 4:12:10 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
Personally, I think that this is an issue for the state of Oregon to decide. Michigan voters opposed it on a ballot initative. Oregon's backed it.

I don't live there, and neither does Ashcroft. It's none of his business.

9 posted on 11/17/2001 4:15:21 PM PST by Dan from Michigan
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To: Aric2000
I think the state should stay our of personal decisions and the medical profession.
10 posted on 11/17/2001 4:20:16 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Aunt Polgara; summer
Auntie knows best. I particularly hate seeing Oregonians forced into paying for these death doses for folks on medicare.

Assisted suicide is not health care.

11 posted on 11/17/2001 4:23:15 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun
If the state stays out of it too, then -- who decides? Are you saying you belive it's a very personal decision of the person who is ill and no one else?
12 posted on 11/17/2001 4:23:53 PM PST by summer
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To: Dan from Michigan
Thanks for your post, Dan. I appreciate hearing your view on this.
13 posted on 11/17/2001 4:24:35 PM PST by summer
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To: anniegetyourgun
belive = believe
14 posted on 11/17/2001 4:25:01 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
No one else. Why get the power of the state involved?

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.

15 posted on 11/17/2001 4:30:48 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: rface
GO! Could not have said it better. But I think a good many of the other Christian and the Jewish religions (Orthodox) are against "suicide" or murder with permission.

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.

16 posted on 11/17/2001 4:33:45 PM PST by Henchman
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To: anniegetyourgun
but Oregon can prescribe lethal injections

Where the devil did you hear this? Lethal injections, talk about disinformation. Let me fill you in, since you seem to be so misinformed.

1: the patient must have less then 6 months to live, and given 2 opinions by 2 different doctors.

2: The patient MUST be menatlly competent to make such a decision.

3: Then the Doctor Prescribe the lethal dose of medication to the patient, the patient then picks up the drugs, takes them home, and takes the drugs per doctors instructions.

The doctor ONLY prescribes the drugs, NOTHING more. Now QUIT spreading desinformation. Opinions are fine, but outright lies are unacceptable!!
17 posted on 11/17/2001 4:40:06 PM PST by Aric2000
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To: anniegetyourgun
A fundamental principle of modern liberal reasoning is the primacy of federal law over state law and the Tenth Amendment be damned. Your cover is slipping.
18 posted on 11/17/2001 4:41:13 PM PST by athiestwithagun
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To: summer
Now that I've calmed down just a wee bit, let me first start out by saying that I watched my own mother die a long battle with cancer. It was an honor for us siblings to give back to her in her last days on earth some of what she had given to us. She was well cared for and relatively pain free. The "doctors are afraid to give pain meds" argument is a red herring in most places today. Where it's not, we need to work on that problem, not kill people.

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?

19 posted on 11/17/2001 4:41:22 PM PST by Aunt Polgara
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To: Henchman
See, but here is what I would expect some to argue:

OK, so you're AGAINST abortion, AGAINST assisted-suicide -- fine. But -- you're FOR the death penalty? What happened to your pro-life position?

Note: I'm just playing devil's advocate here, for purposes of a polite discussion.
20 posted on 11/17/2001 4:42:15 PM PST by summer
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