A New Mexico judge has ruled that terminally ill, mentally competent patients have the right to get a doctor to end their lives. The ruling by Judge Nan Nash of the New Mexico Second Judicial District would make New Mexico the fifth state to allow doctors to prescribe fatal prescriptions to terminal patients.
Judge Nash said,
This Court cannot envision a right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying. If decisions made in the shadow of one's imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, than what decisions are?
Faced with terminal illness and significant suffering, we don't even have the legal right to end our pain in most parts of the country. For animals it's humane; for humans it's a capital offense. We refuse to allow animals to suffer yet we are committed to making sure people die naturally no matter how much misery they must endure. Heroes like the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian were villianized and thrown in jail for helping people escape their suffering. The delusion is we don't own our own bodies and lives. Critical thinking say's that people should have 100 percent control over their own decisions as long as those decisions don't violate the rights of others. This is 4th grade logic our elected officials are apparently incapable of comprehending.
Dr. Kevorkian had the moral courage to answer the desperate pleas of the terminally ill and was subsequently rewarded with an eight-year jail sentence. In the Roman Catholic Church suicide is a sin because only God has the authority to end a human life. No evidence exists to support this claim, yet it's the undercurrent of the laws banning assisted suicide. We have religious leaders and organizations telling us what God wants with no proof to support their statements. Make no mistake: this is not about what God wants. This is religious zealotry masquerading as morality. This is about controlling society, and it works on the masses.
The problem is once critical thinking is injected into the equation, this mass manipulation becomes obvious. The Catholic Church, one of the most powerful organizations in human history, believes the patient seriously damages his relationship with God if choosing to end his or her own life. But how do they know? The Church has no more information than you or I do. Years ago they did, and that's where the manipulation began. People didn't have access to information and were largely ignorant and terrified to challenge the church.
Today, Americans are armed with more information and education at their fingertips than all the generations that preceded us combined. It's easy to scare an uneducated, ignorant populous, but once the playing field of education, knowledge and awareness is leveled, everything changes. Educated people cannot be bullied or brainwashed. In the information age, you better have extraordinary evidence to support extraordinary claims, and religion offers no such evidence. Today's 12-year-old knows more about the world than the greatest scholars of the iron age and the authors of the Bible. How can a merciful God be against ending human suffering? It defies even a child's logic, yet it's ferociously observed and defiantly defended by most Americans.
Unfortunately, the church isn't the only powerful group of people protesting assisted suicide. There are many physicians who are banding together to fight physician assisted suicide as well. Once again, here's another powerful group of people who used to have far more clout in society than they have now, due to education and information available to the masses.
Critical thinking on this is simple: if a physician assisted suicide violates the individual physician's belief system, he shouldn't be forced to perform this service. For physicians who believe it's the right thing to do, they should be able to do it. This whole argument boils down to a simple premise: who is in charge of our lives? Doctors? Politicians? Religious leaders? Or Us? Are we so feeble minded that we cannot be trusted to be responsible for our own existence? The answer is obviously no, yet that's exactly what the people in power would have us believe. They brainwash us to believe we need their laws, dogma and leadership to live our lives so they can exert their control.
A terminally ill cancer patient named in the New Mexico lawsuit said, "Most Americans want to die peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, not die in agony in a hospital. If I face intolerable suffering, I want the option to cut it short, and to die peacefully at home."
It's time for thinking people to stand up and start pushing back on issues that involve human suffering. The states have the power to allow and regulate assisted suicide or to prohibit it, and with enough pressure from critical thinkers we will someday have the freedom to end our lives with dignity. If enough critical thinkers band together, someday we'll be able to live and die on our own terms.