Saturday, May 21, 2005

Berg's Assisted Suicide Bill

That Assisted Suicide Bill, sponsored by Patty Berg seems like a real can of worms to me. I suppose most, if not all, Libertarians would support it. I hesitatingly do so myself, I guess. The folks opposed to it have brought up some good points in regards to the State sanctioning death, though. One if my concerns is along the same line:

The trend in health care, especially in California, is definitely headed toward a government takeover of the health care industry. Not saying that's a good thing, that's just the way it is. Since health care rationing exists, at least to some extent, in all socialized medicine systems, how long will it be before politicians and bureaucrats decide it isn't cost effective to deal with certain medical conditions and thus will only allow, and pay for, the physician to administer a lethal dose of drugs for say, Lymphoma, which can't be cured and is extremely expensive to treat? Or say lung cancer, that has a high mortality rate, "heck, the guy's gonna die anyway...why spend all that money on a lost cause...". Far fetched? Perhaps, but stranger things have have happened in the world's history, especially with government(s) making the call.

I also foresee the government forcing physicians to accomodate those wishing to end their lives, even if the physician is morally and/ or ethically opposed to such a procedure. That's almost a given, since such things regularly occur nowadays. Just recently, and I forget how it ended, pharmacists were taken to court because a few pharmacists refused to sell that night after abortion drug to some gals because they felt it was immoral. How long before the physicians are left with no choice on the suicide issue?

Oh, by the way, this week's Times Standard online opinion poll asks if you support Berg's Assisted Suicide bill. Poll's on the right side of the page.


At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Jaime said...

this is a major problem i see with the libertarian party, that libertarians come in on the side of the culture of death. Abortion, euthenasia, assisted suicide all TAKE AWAY personal freedoms not grant them. When is your party going to see that supporting, and respecting the right to life is very libertarian?
Supporting government sanctioned assisted suicide is more on the side of fascism and LARGER government control then on the side of personal freedom. Why? because the next step is government inflicted suicide and then the next step is extermination. I dont want our government to sanction death. I want it to protect life. If someone wants to kill themselves, how can the government stop them? And if they are not capable of suicide, just put them in Saint Joseph's.

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't know that that's really accurate, Jaime. Libs argue amongst themselves about abortion. Most I know are opposed to it but simply don't want government involved in it. BTW: There is a Libertarians for Life group formed simply because some didn't feel the LP came out strong enough against abortion. Check them out at

As far as "assisted suicide", as I mention in my original comments, this is more of an effort to allow individuals to make their own choices and get the State out of the way of those choices. Your concerns about State Sanctioning suicide are valid concerns which is why I am apprehensive about such laws. Scary subject, actually.

I suppose we should look to Oregon, where this particular bill got its inspiration and see how things are working up there. Then again, California isn't Oregon and I wouldn't be surprised if things don't work the same way here as they do there.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger LPFC Chair said...

To be perfectly honest, Jaime, your logic escapes me. Giving me the right to control my body takes away my freedom? Having to get permission from the government to use my body as I see fit is LESS facistic than not having to get government's permission?

I have the right to go to Taco Bell for dinner tonight. Is that "government-sanctioned" dining? Dining with government sanction would be if I have to fill out a form to get permission to eat at Taco Bell OR if I got the $4.95 for a burrito and a Coke from the State of California.

Going from government-inflicted suicide and extermination to self-determination of suicide is a gross non-sequitir. You have to explain to me how those two are connected. They are opposites.

I support the Berg Bill enthusiastically. If anything, it still gives government too big a role. But if having to alert the State gives this bill more support for passage, I'll accept it. It is a definite improvement to the status quo.

Libertarians don't support a "culture of death". We support a culture of optimum living through individual self-determination and self-responsibility. Support for a "culture of death" is up to the individual, where it should be.


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