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Witnesses to the event said they had 40 people... Not exactly busloads... Then again, they probably got to use the short buses!

"Killing yourself is a sin! God wants us to die of old age after years of pain and reduced mobility." - Marge Simpson

Sorry, after watching my mother die of pancreatic cancer, I can safely say that if I am ever faced with the same situation, I will press the morphine button and not stop pressing.

It's funny how assisted suicide is the only medical treatment that flies in the face of God. Fertitilty treatments, heart transplants, every other treatment designed to cheat the Reaper - that's exalting, even though if we truly going by God's design, we would accept no kids, early death, etc.

But ending excruciating pain and suffering, that's damnable, that's an affront.

Fighting for life as opposed to fighting for death Klute. You're trying to compare two opposites and declare hypocrisy. It doesn't work. The comparisons between killing our pets and killing our parents is fair, but to make them equal you must make your pets and your parents equal, and that's going to get a lot of disagreement from folks.

It seems like we've all had family members who have had painful goodbyes. But even those goodbyes were interrupted by moments of joy when visited by loved ones or when special moments occur. We can't place a value on those and we shouldn't step down the slippery slope of determining whether someone else's quality of life "isn't worth it". That's when we start playing God, and there's only one God (hint: it is not us!)

Fertility treatments are designed to bring a child - life - into the world. Organ transplants are designed to prolong and improve a persons life. Chemotherapy, drug treatment and other medical protocols have essentially one ultimate purpose: preserve life.

Assisted suicide, obviously, is designed to bring about death. That's why it's an affront to God.

My father died of cancer. His body was ravaged with it, but he battled that thing valiantly. He fought for life and gave it up only when he could fight no more.

My brother was 16 when he was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins. The doctors told my parents to take him home, make him comfortable and accept his fate. They refused that advice, got him the best treatment, prayed unendingly and never, ever gave up. That was 35 years ago and my brother is alive and cancer free. That doesn't always happen of course, but survival is possible.

We wonder why society has become more violent and callous; why so many young people wantonly take the lives of others. Violent crime is rampant. I believe it has everything to do with how western society has cheapened the value of life (like, for instance equating cats with people, abortion on demand, etc.) Assisted suicide is another chapter in that story.

It's only a matter of "progress" to go from benevolent-sounding options like "death with dignity" to making euthanasia a commonly accepted practice like abortion.

Life is to be celebrated, not abbreviated.

Writhing in agony for 2 weeks while waiting for the body to collapse and release a pain-shattered mind - sorry, that's not "life". It's selfishness on the part of the living because they're so damned scared of going on without a loved one - we're either willing to force the body to live, or we guilt the person who's dying into prolonging their life for our own conscience.

Greg's point in quoting Psalm 139, I believe, was to say that God himself designed us, and therefore, we are each a perfect creation by the hand of the Creator, and that to believe that we are able to end the creation is an affront to God.

If that's the case, then God designed certain people with with flaws - not everyone was supposed to have children, not everyone was supposed to live to 100, etc. Yet we see the things that give us children and extended life as positives, because that's where God comes from - life.

And because everyone is so damned scared of Death - which, if you're Christian (as I am) is nothing to be scared of, we treat anything that brings us closer to the inevitable as a negative, even if that process is one releasing us from pain and suffering - which is actually one of God's promises.

We're willing to play God when it comes to life by having litters of children on fertility drugs and swapping out livers from diseased from cirohsis, but we're not willing to play God when it comes to death, even when that will give someone a measure of peace. That's hypocritcal.

Life *is* to be celebrated - and extending it to to the point where "life" becomes a cruel joke, a mockery of the person we loved, THAT'S a sin.

What would be the difference between my cat and my Mother?..... Oh, that's right, my Mother has a SOUL meant to spend eternity with God. We Christians of the Catholic variety do NOT believe in in-vitro fertilization OR suicide (assisted or otherwise). "It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obligated to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2280) As far as being "selfish" and keeping people alive for ourselves... how about the selfishness in assisted suicide because we cannot stand to watch suffering. Suffering is an important part of this very temporary life which brings us to our knees and closer to the cross! The recognition of blessings and great joy are the benefit of having suffered (I buried my 3yr old daughter after a year long battle with leukemia)! This Christian will continue to pick up her cross.

"Life *is* to be celebrated - and extending it to to the point where "life" becomes a cruel joke, a mockery of the person we loved, THAT'S a sin. " - Klute

This argument sounds reasonable and compassionate, but it's not.

The problem is, at what point would it be determined (and WHO would determine) when someone's life becomes a "mockery'? THAT'S a perilous thought.

What if I thought having a Down's Syndrome child was a mockery of life? After all, the child is not "normal." In fact, some people choose to abort such babies to avoid having a special needs child.

What about someone like former Phoenix PD Officer Jason Schecterle? He was horribly disfigured in a car accident and near death. I have a friend who's a Phoenix cop and he told me no one expected Schecterle to live. What if they had pulled the plug on him? How much of a waste would that have been? In fact, after Jason recovered, he and his wife had another child. So, ending his life when he was scarred, in pain and not expected to live another week, would have ended one life and ensured that child was never conceived.

Or what of Uncle Charlie with Alzheimer's? Ol' Charlie isn't what he used to be. He can't recognize his wife, gets angry for no reason and needs diapers. That must be a mockery. Let's end his suffering.

Wrong.

The idea of controlling the moment of your own death is not dignified or compassionate, it leads to people making decisions about whois "worthy" to live and who dies. Those choices may seem obvious (who wants to live in pain?), but there is a reason we can't choose the moment of our birth and it's the same reason we shouldn't choose the moment we die. We don't know all the answers and we aren't meant to control everything that happens to us.

Also, equating suicide (assisted or otherwise) with fertility treatments and organ transplants is logically inconsistent. You may as well say we should not take aspirin to bring down a fever; we shouldn't look before crossing the street. In fact, why eat or drink? All these are things people do to sustain or improve LIFE. What part of the difference between LIFE and DEATH is hard to understand?

Can I assume that everyone here (including Greg) who has so eloquently expressed their belief in fighting to prolong, improve, and preserve the lives that God gave us and abhors the slippery slope of determining whose life is worth it is also in favor of universal health care that permits everyone to have access to all these wonderful medical treatments without regard to ability to pay?

If not, why not?

Just in case anyone gets my position confused, my position is not that a doctor, government beureaucrat, or relative gets to pull the plug - the individual makes that decision - no one else. I think *any* healthcare decision (life-prolonging or shortening) rests with the individual. In the matter of children, I don't know. I'm not father, and not qualified to say.

I'm a Catholic too, Annie, but I don't see suffering as a necessary part of faith. You may be called on to suffer *because* of faith, but I was taught the truest expression of belief and faith was joy. As a child, I hated God for the suffering my mother went though, and it was only when she died and no longer in pain did I understand what God was - a release from this world that man screwed up from the very beginning.

As for the Catechism, is a "do not ressucitate" order a violation of this? Many people can be brought back at the initial onset of death, yet we honor their request to be let go.

And I'm not criticizing anyone here for the choices they make in this regard, it's a decision of faith - but I also don't want anyone else making the choices for me, especially on their interpretation of a religous belief system.

I thought the Republican Party stood for smaller government and self-determination. You believe that God wants us to keep living, and I agree. But if I want to fly in the face of God's desires while not harming others why should the Government be dictating how I go?

There is no legitimate social need to force people to wait for a ‘natural’ death in abject misery and economic waste if they want to pass away. It is a drain on society to try and keep them comfortable while they are not able to be productive. If they want to put their money towards trying to stay alive or pass away without pain let them go, as they will.

Pray for them, sympathize with them, even try to dissuade them but don’t force someone to live by a your moral standard. We tolerate different opinions in speech and religion why can’t we tolerate how we deal with death as long as the decision is made in a sober and deliberate state?

Did anyone ask the cat if the euthinasia was OK with it? Of course not. We make that decision without consulting the animal because God gave man dominion over animals. Not so human beings. The physical act of death is not always pleasant and we are often want to understand why some suffer in their final days and others simply pass quickly. As a firefighter of 30 years I saw many people in their final seconds on this earth. I saw many with stark terror in their eyes but almost as many with a peace that simply transcended my understanding at the time. It is only now in the twilight of my own years on this earth that I am beginning to have an understanding as to the different individuals acceptance of the final breath.

There are some very painful maladies that people ultimately succumb to. We are blessed that we have drugs to help aleviate much if not all that pain. Many generations ago they had none of those drugs yet the fundamental process of dying was much the same and our predecessors accepted it. Are we now looking for social acceptance to interfer with that process for our own purposes?

In my earlier years when trying to deal with all the death I witnessed as part of my occupation, I purchased the book "Final Choice" and for some time fully agreed that one should have the right to determine when and how they met that one final episode of their existence. I actually felt that Dr. Jack Kivorkian was honorable in helping those who had made that ultimate decision for themselves but needed assistance in making it as painless and quick as possible.As you might imagine, I am no longer of that belief. Certainly we can interfer with the "natural" process at anytime we choose. I saw a lot of that(suicides, reckless acts/behavior) also.


I personally don't wish to start down the slippery slope where "society" dictates one's allotted time of existence. I prefer to do as my many predecessor's did, let the natural process run it's course.We cannot apprecibly prolong a person's years, but we can try to make their passing as painless as possible. That is however , simply one person's long developing view.


>I thought the Republican Party stood for smaller government and self-determination.

That's in the old days of Goldwater and Reagan, unfortunately. Now it's the party of nanny-state conservatves who know better than the rest of us how we should run our lives.

They are pretty much indistinguishable from what Goldwater and other Republicans (like me) used to describe as "nanny-state liberals".

They have a different set of hot button issues on which they want to come into our homes and tell us what to do, but on the general issue of wanting the government to micro-manage everybody's private life, the nanny-staters are in total agreement.

The fact of the matter is that this law does not force euthanasia on anyone and that choice is solely up to the individual in consultation with his or her doctor. Death, to me, is a very private matter and my hope would be for everyone to have a dignified death. To me, this is a privacy issue, and really, it's no one's damn business but the individual, their family and his/her doctor.

1 year ago tomorrow I rescued a shelty from the Arizona Humane Society. She was 11 years old and had one owner but the owner either died or was too sick to care for her. I adopted her and now she is here today 1 year later. It was 3 years to the day my grandma entered hospice care at age 91. I had this impulse that day to get a dog for my aging dog as a companion. I don't think it was a coincidence that I adopted a new dog three years to the day that the Columbia crashed and my grandmother began her trip home. She lived in hospice for 9 days and passed on Feb 10, 2003. My point is that people who value animal life also value human life. I don't believe in assisted suicide. I think that pain medication that alleviates pain but shortens an overall lifespan can be appropriate sometimes.

There's a natural problem in having doctors prescribe and administer such drugs or procedures (also is the case with abortions.)

They are given the responsibility of caring for and sustaining life, not limiting or eradicating it.

It's one thing for someone to take matters into their own hands. It's quite another to demand that our health and legal systems ratify and participate in someone's decision to end life.

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