Wednesday, 6 December 2017

WELCOME TO THE MONKEYHOUSE




Governmental sanctioned euthanasia or ethical suicide is closer than you think.
Australia's Victoria State Upper House has passed a bill to legalise voluntary suicide.
The law will make it legal for doctors to assist in the death of the terminally ill and will return to the Lower House for a final vote.

In New Zealand 'End of Life Choice' polls have shown that Kiwis support the idea of the terminally ill having the choice to end their life although when bills have been presented to Parliament they have been defeated and as a consequence voluntary euthanasia is illegal in New Zealand.

The Netherlands and Belgium have had legalised assisted suicide for over 20 years and while it still spurs debate there is no evidence demonstrating that the Netherlands has a greater rate of non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia than other Western countries. 

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In Vonnegut's short story Welcome To The Monkey House an Orwellian future society that has population problems has made birth control mandatory and in fact made taking drugs to eliminate the sex drive in total compulsory. The government also created voluntary suicide booths set up to offer a pleasant experience (in a non-pleasurable world) for those who took up the option. The resistance to this was a group who advocated birth control but wanted to eliminate the sex-drive suppression and get rid of the suicide booths. It was an OK story but bound up in the dodgy sexual mores of the 1970s.

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I don't have any moral objections to voluntary assisted suicide or, ethical suicide provided that all of the safeguards are in place ensuring that the choice is absolute and total and not influenced by mental illness or coercion. Most of the objections come from religious groups who claim that the individual doesn't have the right to end their life as their life doesn't belong to them but belongs to god. Well, what a lot of codswallop that is and is in line with all of the other arrogant and irrational thought and teachings that come from most religions.

If in the (increasingly near) future,  I have a debilitating and incurable illness and my physical and mental capabilities are to be severely limited then I reserve the right to choose when and how I 'pop my clogs'. No religious group and hopefully no government should stand in my way of that.

It has seemed that the legalisation and normalisation of this are way in the future in New Zealand but the Victorian Parliament's action last week might well be a breakthrough.




3 comments:

  1. I've got gigs to do, so need to stay a little longer, but no probs with people signing out.

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  2. Yes it's a hard one.
    A similar debate is the right to life.
    One thing that caught my attention from an confessed atheist is "I don't have any moral objections to voluntary assisted suicide or, ethical suicide" !!!
    Our moral codes came from Christianity and the Hebrews.
    Tell me what is the moral code other than the ten commandments or Christ's preaching that you now accept?
    If you think deep you will find that there is no other.
    Even if you say as an atheist it is in our genes then God put it there in the first place!

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  3. Right. And I thought that I'd heard it all from an arrogant, self-satisfied and smarmy christian but now you want to hi-jack the concept of morality and to narrowly attribute it to Christianity and the Hebrews.

    Is there no end to your hubris?

    The word 'Morality' stems from Latin 'moralis' meaning manner, character, and proper behaviour. It is what civilised human beings use to differentiate behaviour that is 'proper' from that which is 'improper'.

    What next will you christians want to appropriate? Music? Politics? Sex? (Oh you did that with that fairytale about Adam and Eve and all of the bonking in the Old Testament). Fiscal responsibility? Cooking?

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