Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Obviously, I owe this distinction to Norman Daniels. I ended up with custody of my son and, although he was not a demanding child, raising him could not help impeding my career a little. But it can also be emotionally devastating simply to live with a spouse who is increasingly distant, uncommunicative, unresponsive, foreign, and unreachable. There was a time-- fortunately, now long past-- when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide would directly breach this duty because it would be legalising intentional killing. Most of us are aware of this responsibility and most families meet it rather well.
A death motivated by the desire to spare the futures of my loved ones might well be a better death for me than the one I would get as a result of opting to continue my life as long as there is any pleasure in it for me. It could be argued that this duty always supersedes whatever obligations we might have to our families. That's where the responsibility comes in and fault can arise. For most, it would be gut wrenching to watch our families struggle as they cared for us. Consider the following case: An 87-year old woman was dying of congestive heart-failure. Greater if you lived lavishly rather than saving for old age. Practical Ethics London:Blackwell , 1996, with permission.
Nor is it clear that the belief that life is sacred requires that we never take it. They must be allowed to speak for themselves about the burdens my life imposes on them and how they feel about bearing those burdens. Some prefer not to live under such conditions. Certainly most families could not have this discussion all at once, in one sitting. And if others were not much affected by my life, I would have no duty to consider the impact of my decisions on others. If nothing else, it will often be very difficult to predict how one's family will bear up under the weight of the burdens that a protracted illness would impose on them.
Still, I can suggest a few features of one's illness, history, and circumstances that make it more likely that one has a duty to die. He is serving a 10-25 sentence. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. We fear death too much. By this time she was pretty drugged anyways, and had trouble stringing together thoughts cohesively.
With every right comes a corresponding obligation. Those most likely to be pressured to end their lives are the people who are poor, marginalized, and members of minority communities—those with less access to quality health care or with no one to advocate for them. But our medicine also delivers most of us over to chronic illnesses and it enables many of us to survive longer than we can take care of ourselves, longer than we know what to do with ourselves, longer than we even are ourselves. The duty to die would then be virtually eliminated. These people could only be the victims of twisted moral reasoning or vicious social pressure. This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table.
On the other hand, if I could count on others to end my life after I become incompetent, I might be able to fulfill my responsibilities while also living out all my competent or semi-competent days. If I end my life to spare the futures of my loved ones, I testify in my death that I am connected to them. Illness and death do not come only to those who are all alone. Granted, a conversation about whether I have a duty to die would be a tremendously difficult conversation. She had more years of education than my whole family had, back in the days of Aunt Nance Ann.
That is the evil we would more hope to avoid in our lives. Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Lamm, when asked, said he did not have any particular age in mind for the terminally ill to ''get out of the way'' and that the decision should be made by the ill person in consultation with doctors and family members. I present them here without much elaboration or explanation. There is a time when it is mercy, and that should not be forgotten either.
It suggests that we assume a duty to die is irrelevant to us because of our wealth and technological sophistication have purchased exemption for us. The E-mail message field is required. And what guarantees that it always supersedes our obligations to try to protect our loved ones? By contrast, a life in which I am free to choose whatever I want for myself is a life unconnected to others. But she moved around from relative to relative, not spending enough time in any one home to be a real burden. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems.