Supreme Court Right to Uphold Assisted Suicide Law
By Thomas A. Bowden (Miami Herald, January 20, 2006; San Francisco Chronicle, January 21, 2006; Orange County Register, January 22, 2006)
In upholding Oregon's assisted suicide law, the Supreme Court reached the right result for the wrong reasons. The law should have been upheld on the grounds of an individual's right to his own life.
The right to life includes and implies the right to commit suicide. To hold otherwise is to deny the right to life at its root. If we have a duty to go on living, despite our better judgment, then our life does not belong to us, and we exist by permission, not by right.
Individuals have a moral right to seek assistance in committing suicide. And if a doctor is willing to assist, based on an objective assessment of his patient's mental and physical state, the law should not stand in his way.
There is no rational basis upon which the government can properly prevent an individual from choosing to end his life. The choice is his because the life is his.
Religious conservatives, supported by the Bush administration, want to ban assisted suicide because it defies God's will. Such conservatives crave to inject religion into the bloodstream of American law, thereby assisting in our own national suicide. People of reason must refuse their consent to the religious conservative agenda.