Look, a picture!
I’m getting a new webcam, hopefully, for Christmas. Maybe I’ll start video blogging. It seems like an easier way for me to keep things recorded and archived in my life so I can review them.
I like doing that, by the way. I like reviewing past events. I read my old journals, look at my old sketchbooks, read old LJ entries, read old blogs, look at old pictures. I think it’s a great way to keep from hoarding objects. Someone give that idea to those hoarder OCD treatment specialists… Tell them to teach these fuckers to just take pictures and write shit. I’m brilliant sometimes.
I’m going to be baking/making today some stuff that I give out as Christmas gifts. I’m so domesticated. My friend Omar says that I am an IRG (indie rock gramma). I don’t think I’m that indie rock, but if loving BUST magazine, all music ever, knitting, baking, crocheting and cooking are any indicators, I guess I might be.
Netflix instant is amazing.
I got a 3.7-ish last semester. Are you proud? I am proud. My dad would say he’s “PER-OUD” because that is what Iranian accents do.
One of my essays on ethics from my philosophy class last semester: Assisted Suicide
St. Thomas Acquinas, philosopher and theologian, said that only God had the right to determine the duration of our existence here on earth in his defense of suicide being wrong and prohibited by the institutionalized Christian faith. But he never suffered from a debilitating illness that caused severe physical pain, mental anguish to everybody involved including himself, required constant assistance from others and, most terrifying, guaranteed his death, which might have changed his mind. What would you do if a terminally ill loved one’s dying wish was to die on his or her own terms, in a way that ensured it would be painless and quick before their sickness took it? Some places think the right to assisted suicide should be given to the patient who is facing terminal illness while some places have prosecuted those who have assisted.
St. Acquinas defended the prohibition of suicide in Christianity because, as he said, suicide violates the gift that God gave us of life. First of all, this from God who supposedly dictated that methods of testing for witchery included the accused being thrown in a body of water, and if they floated, they were a witch. This is the same religion who would burn people at the stake for being a witch (floating, really). That is irrational and unethical by many varied philosophies. Secondly, not everybody is a Christian. By using a Christian argument in laws, the regulation of separation between church and state is violated (as usual).
Assisted suicide, as per this paper, is considered a medical professional helping a terminally ill patient end their life. There are two main types of assisted suicide such as physician aid-in-dying (PAD) in which a doctor gives a competent terminally ill patient receives a prescription for a lethal dose of medication, terminal sedation is when a doctor puts a patient to sleep with medications and the patient either dies of underlying illness or starvation/dehydration, and voluntary euthanasia when death is by lethal injection by a doctor upon patient request. Prior to any type of assisted suicide, the patient must be considered mentally competent to make their own decisions by a medical/mental health professional and have a limited life-expectancy of about six months or less according to the Washington Death with Dignity Act (my basis for definitions). In this context, it means that physicians provide assistance to patients who are going to die and request help in controlling the timing and the circumstance of their death. The only states in the United States who feel that the terminally ill should have a choice over their death are Washington and Oregon. Around the world, there are many places with no laws against it like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Luxembourg but there is only a handful of places outside of Oregon and Washington who have legalized the practice: Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, from Michigan, was smeared across the news for his assistance in a patient’s suicide. The dramatic and eccentric doctor was even nicknamed Dr. Death. One of his “victims” was Thomas Youk, who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which is a neurological disorder that is not only terminal, but causes the loss of voluntary movement prior to death. In court, a jury found Kevorkian guilty of 2nd degree homicide and distribution of a controlled substance (he had lost his medical license 8 years prior) and he was thrown in prison.
Friedriech Nietzsche and the existentialists of the world consider suicide unacceptable. In believing that life is absurd, they believe suicide fails to actually be absurd (as everything is). This is because the person choosing suicide is misinterpreting himself as not absurd and is trying to escape the absurd world he was unwillingly put into. Albert Camus argues that suicide is wrong with his quote “The important thing is not to be cured… But to live with one’s ailments.” He even considers philosophical denials to be a suicide because like suicide, it uses fictions, illusions, lies and manipulation to hide the fact that life is absurd. Of course, this means that religion itself could be suicide if we use those terms.
Aristotle fretted that suicide violates a person’s duty to reciprocity. However, I can take his argument and alter it to be an argument FOR assisted suicide. Bearing in mind the guidelines of the Right to Dignity Act, if one finds their ability to contribute back to society about to end against his or her will, is simply choosing an alternate to their inevitable end a substantial violation of our duty? If an assisted suicide occurs just before or after someone ends up in a vegetative or highly physically limited state, are they even able to fulfill their duty outside of philosophically debatable psychological comfort to others?
A libertarian might see it as morally acceptable. Having the right would be enjoyable even if it doesn’t really follow rational and the right of noninterference means that others are ‘morally barred’ from interfering with suicidal behavior argue for the case. Even stronger cases are found in our liberty right that says individuals have no obligation to or not to commit suicide and in our claim right, which signifies that others are actually morally obligated to support or assist someone’s choice of suicide. Also, attempts by the state or medical profession to halt or prohibit suicide are attempts to control or alter our ideas of individual freedom.
Utilitarianism has an idea on approaching a moral dilemma with Bentham’s principle of utility. We should look at the consequences of assisted suicide. The pros and cons offhand would be psychological anguish due to loss for those who care for the patient, possibly be less suffering for the patient, medical bills would cease stacking up from hospice and treatment and the patient would get to die by his own choice (a Pyrrhic victory in a way). The pros and cons of patiently waiting for illness to take its toll: longer, psychological anguish when patient dies, medical bills stacking up. Now, I ask you from an objective, rational stance whether the determined death (suicide) or uncontrolled (death by illness) is better?
The major philosophical question for me is that at the center of this subject is it is my belief that we own our bodies; our “tombs”, as Plato would have said, are our property and we solely have a right to do as we please with them. Simply being able to have the right of choosing our death in an occurrence where we are terminally ill gives us a reassurance of that personal freedom we have over ourselves. The suffering, whether mental or physical, we might experience, the burden and stress an illness might put on our loved ones, and the hopeless feeling of having to surrender the life you made to an illness you likely despise sounds like an awful way to end an existence. It is simply morally wrong, selfish and nonsensical to impose a further lack of choice for ourselves and the ones we love. My preference? I’d want to end it in my own terms with a professional who could make it painless after saying goodbyes as sufficiently as possible in an event like this.