Pull the Plug

This letter to the editor was spotted recently in the Press.

Ken Orr’s argument against euthanasia is that ‘‘the state is to provide legal protection for the right to life of every member of the community . . . and not preside over their destruction’’ (March 13). What a travesty of truth. In a civilised and free society, all individuals have rights and responsibilities. The role of a government is to protect those rights, not assume those responsibilities.

If I choose, when my time comes, that I want to die with dignity, that is my right, and one that should be protected by law.

The state is not ‘‘presiding over my destruction’’, as Mr Orr says it is. It is protecting the wishes of a free man who rightly owns his life and death.

A reasoned morality of man qua man is where true human compassion is found, not in Mr Orr’s cold mysticism.

MARK HUBBARD
Geraldine

A travesty of truth? Yes. Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin, not the same side of the one coin! A right to remain alive is not a duty to remain alive. If confounding the two is Ken Orr’s argument, then the best I can say is that I don’t like his style. There’s a fine line between disingenuity and dishonesty, and Mr. Orr should check to see he hasn’t crossed over to the other side. Meanwhile, Mr. Hubbard should check his premises!

(Suppose, for the sake of argument.) You don’t own your life. God does. Your life is God’s property and He’s entrusted it to you. You are His servant. You have a responsibility to take care of God’s property as you would your own.

Think of your life as if it were a car. Except you can’t trade it in for a new one. So you look after it. You service it regularly. You keep it in good running order. If it breaks down you get it fixed if it can be fixed. You drive it until it grinds to a halt.

But what if your life still “goes” but is in no way, shape or form “roadworthy”? What’s the right thing to do? A good and faithful servant doesn’t leave rubbish lying around, cluttering up the place. Your life is rubbish now. I say dispose of it. Drive your life to the dump. Or pay someone to take it away.

(Old abandoned cars are sometimes photogenic. Dying in pain is never pretty.)

Memories are all that’s left behind
As I lay and wait to die
Little do they know
That I hear their choice of life

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope – Why don’t you

Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way

Once I had full control of my life
I now behold a machine decides my fate
End it now it’s all too late

What has now been days, it seems like years
To stay like this is what I fear
Life ends so fast, so take your chance
And make it last

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope – Why don’t you

Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way

23 thoughts on “Pull the Plug”

  1. What is rubbish to one person may be useful to someone else. Someone may decise his life is rubbish, another may decise that life is salvagable and should be extended. Who is to decide? If you agree that it is up to the individual, whose life it is, to decide when his life is “rubbish” and that he may end it, you are in favour of voluntary euthanasia.

  2. I am in favour of voluntary euthanasia. God gave me – not you, not anyone else, and most certainly not the state – custodianship of my life. So it is up to me what I do with it. If I choose to end it peacefully, I’m answerable only to God – not to you, not to anyone else, and most certainly not to the state.

  3. Refreshing, Richard.

    But, you say, (Suppose, for the sake of argument.) You don’t own your life. God does. Your life is God’s property and He’s entrusted it to you. You are His servant. You have a responsibility to take care of God’s property as you would your own.

    As you realise, you call up here ‘one’ of my chief gripes with Christianity. What if God says to choose voluntary euthanasia is to choose an eternity in hell?

    He seems to here:

    Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Mark 3:28-29

  4. Whether you keep your body for God is an ethical issue.

    Whether you should be prevented from ending your life is a political issue.

    Ethics — suicide is usually an act of cowardice; ergo weakness; ergo is sinful. But I agree — if you’ve gotten all of the use you will ever get out of your body, and all you have to look forward to is a slow, excruciatingly painful death, then why would you keep it?

    Politics — whether or not my body belongs to God is ultimately irrelevent (politically speaking); it’s under my jurisdiction in any case, not the jurisdiction of the state.

  5. Ken Orr is against voluntary euthanasia and against the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. But on what grounds? His “cold mysticism”?

  6. Copied and pasted.

    In reply to Mark Hubbard, we don’t own our lives – they are a gift from God. We are the custodians of that gift. The foundation stone of a civilised society is the social contract that we have that requires us to respect and protect the lives of every member of the community from conception to natural death. Our laws should uphold that social contract. The taking of a life is a grave injustice. There is no human right recognised by any United Nations Convention that would permit doctors to kill their patients or assist their suicide. Parliament would be in dereliction of its duty to society by violating this social contract and legislating to allow for euthanasia. Advocates of euthanasia are asking the rest of society to accept the collective guilt for taking of life. Euthanasia would result, as in Holland, in many others being deprived of their lives without their consent.

    Thanks, Mark.

  7. And my full re-reply 🙂

    Ken Orr (March 19) would have us revert to the barbarism of theocracy. The West’s emergence from the Dark Ages was won by separation of Church and State, for good reason. Mr Orr states, “we don’t own our lives [God does]”, and I need not read beyond that point, for the uncivil and violent society the welfare state is growing turns on this same notion we have no responsibility for ourselves. Mr Orr’s social contract is not a contract I would sign, for it’s the contract of a slave, not a free man. Again, the civilised society turns on individuals recognising they have rights and responsibilities; the State must protect those rights, but is not responsible for how I choose to live and die – I am, because I own my life, the State doesn’t, nor God. Compassion will only be found in a morality of man qua man. Mr Orr’s statement about Holland is wrong.

    Where would you and Tim, individually, stand on the separation of Church and State? I assume, being Libertarians, you would take that as a good, because the role of the State must be limited to just the protection of rights and non-initiation of force? And religion is personal business, not the business of the State.

  8. I insist upon a separation of Church and state Mark, to protect my right to follow my own conscience. Christianity as preached by St Paul was never a legalistic/ nationalistic political movement, but an individualistic Universal voluntary association. That is what distinguishes it most from Judaism. St Paul never attempted to establish Gods kingdom on Earth. That is what distinguishes him from Jesus Christ, and his Jewish Apostles…St Peter etc. These important distinctions have been lost to the majority of Christians today who confound Law and Grace… Judaism and Christianity, thus they have been deceived into supporting Socialism and Oppressive Legalism. Political coercion has replaced the gospel and personal ethics as the modus opperandi of the church. They have lost their way and become instruments of Satan.

  9. PJ, thanks for that. (Disagree on SOLO though: last thing from arbitrary. Richard can vouch for that. How did you get ‘cut short’).

    Tim: interesting. I understand your position a little better.

  10. Where would you and Tim, individually, stand on the separation of Church and State?

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.

    Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man’s and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend’s or our foe’s, are exactly the right.

    I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

    It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.

    All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution.

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

  11. Richard can vouch for that.

    Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the New Enlightenment Men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Moeller hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

  12. “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the New Enlightenment Men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Moeller hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.”

    LOL! Holy Moeller. Classic.

    That’s exactly my point, though! That is arbitrary! “You can’t question Moeller’s honesty, ’cause…you just can’t!”

  13. Richard, Tim, and Thomas:

    Well said. This is a view which is gaining in popularity among Christians these days. And that’s a good thing. If only the Muslims would come around to this way of thinking, we would be so much better off.

  14. Believe it or not it is very possible for the Muslims to realise the glory of Religious liberty. At one point in history the Islamics were more enlightened than so-called Christendom. They had Higher Philosophy and Science, and practiced Religious Toleration. It is my understanding that the Crusades may be blamed for ruining Muslim tolerance for Christianity. Also there are some enlightened Muslim Clerics working today preaching tolerance to their communities and some Muslim Politicans who risk their own lives confronting Islamic extremism and theocracy… like Salman Taseer whom was murdered because of his activities in abolishing the Anti-blasphemy Laws. (he is a worthy candidate for the Eternal vigilance Roll of honour Richard).
    The ‘Arab Spring’ may look to many westerners as wonderful yet in reality it is not a move towards Greater liberty but really merely a swing from one form of tyranny towards another … From Aristocracy to Mobocracy ie Sadly The West, (in particular America) has abandoned the fundamental principles of true Freedom, and now represent Mob Rulze., and this is the forms of government That will rise in the East and sadly without the principles of Religious liberty and limited Government, there is nothing in The Western democracies to contradict the establishment of Sharia Law being enacted via the Mandate of the majority.
    Thus things are Bleak the world over… yet small pockets of brave Libertarians exist in all quarters, thus the light is still burning….

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/31313

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmaan_Taseer

  15. It is my understanding that the Crusades may be blamed for ruining Muslim tolerance for Christianity.

    Now THAT’s what I call “blowback”! 😉

  16. Yes Paybacks are a bitch! Sadly The Muslims are Pissed off because of being attacked by *a Whore*…a false church… The Unholy Roman empire. In truth The scriptures never commanded Christians to occupy Jeruselem, nor are Real christians the enemies of Muslums. We are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves, ie respect their God given equal rights and liberties, and St Paul says that as the ambassadors of Gods grace that as much as is possible we ought to show good will towards all men. Thus we are actually their friends and only want their good. Even when we are at war with Muslim extremists, that does not mean we desire to wipe out all Muslims by force! No not at all.

  17. That’s a good analysis of what is going on in the ME right now. The ME has been under secular tyranny for a while, and they are in the process of overthrowing that in favor of religious tyranny. A lot of the younger generation want liberty, but they’re not going to get it, because they don’t wield enough influence. The ME had a great opportunity, but it slipping into something even darker than it had been before.

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