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POLITICS: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments over Assisted Suicide Law

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posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:02 PM
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Legal arguments relating to the Oregon Death with Dignity Act gave new Chief Justice John Roberts his first hot-button social issue and may turn on the balance of power between states and the federal government. In addition there may be more problems because after the arguments were heard the court appears to be split, which could lead to even more problems if the court ends up divided.
 



www.bloomberg.com
U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled a split over a Bush administration bid to block Oregon's doctor- assisted suicide law, opening the possibility that new high court nominee Harriet Miers ultimately may cast the deciding vote.

In a one-hour argument in Washington today, Sandra Day O'Connor was one of several justices who questioned whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could use the U.S. Controlled Substances Act to bar doctors from prescribing lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients, as the Oregon law allows.

[…]

O'Connor, who plans to retire as soon as her successor is confirmed, heard arguments in the case even though she might not take part in the court's decision. President George W. Bush this week named Miers, his top White House lawyer, to succeed her. If O'Connor leaves before the court rules and the remaining justices are split 4-4, the court probably would hear arguments in the case again with a new justice on the bench.

New Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. directed most of his questions to Oregon Assistant Attorney General Robert M. Atkinson, who represents the state. Roberts signaled skepticism when Atkinson said the federal government couldn't stop states from authorizing doctors to distribute morphine for medical use or steroids for bodybuilding.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Once again the Bush administration wants to take away our state rights but rather then wait as we so often do to discuss the issue, I would like to see other opinions on this issue before the fact. That way we can compare what we think should be done and see if we come up with the same ruling as the court does in the end.

I will start off by saying I think it should be up to the state not the federal government to decide if assisted suicide is right.

We already have the right to deny life support; so why not have the right to say when enough is enough. Now do not get me wrong; I am only saying this should only be considered if and when an individual is judged to be terminally ill and is of sound mind when the decision between doctor/doctors and patient is made.

Now where do you stand on the issue? Please keep in mind that the original intent of congress and the house when the law was written was to control illegal drugs and not the dispensing of drugs by a legally qualified doctor.



Related News Links:
www.abcnews.go.com




posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:13 PM
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How many times have the people of Oregon voted to keep assisted suicide? At least twice! I absolutely think they should be able to keep it. Of course I think death with dignity should be a choice to all of us.

From my PODcast on a silmilar subject (Execution of old People) edited for relevance:

We, in the US at least have a prevalent mindset that there is nothing worse than death. That death should be the last option. That if we can keep someone alive at any cost, we should, whether they’re going to be a vegetable or be in a coma for the rest of their life, maybe riddled with cancer or even brain-dead. We keep pumping them with life-sustaining nourishment or chemicals, whichever is called for, and at all costs, to keep them alive. I strongly disagree with this practice.

What I’m saying is that I think if we gave people the unfettered choice of whether to live or die (without the negative connotation of suicide and death with dignity) more people would choose not to go on. And I believe it should be each person’s choice. If it were given as a free choice - whether or not to live out our last years and it was respected by family members and the society, we may very well not have near the population problems we face today and in the future.

I’d be willing to bet that if I interviewed people in nursing homes, some of the older and more infirm people who are just basically waiting to die, and got down to their honest desires, I’d find that many of them would be thankful and relieved to be offered the chance to have the wait be over.

I watched both of my parents die. And I know that my mother, her body riddled with bone marrow cancer would have chosen to go much earlier, if the social and religious morays had not made it taboo for her to consider.

A couple years after my mother’s death, my father, who was a very active man all his life had a stroke that took - his – body - out. He was devastated as his daughters and nurses handled his every physical need. His wives were both gone, he was ready, but yet he had to wait because there was no option.

I’m just saying that if we gave people the option, unencumbered by the guilt and prohibition associated with moving ourselves on to the next plane, whatever that may be, we might finds that the population weight on our society would be self-correcting.

I don’t have many fears, but one of my worst fears is that, near the end of my life, I will be unable to care for myself, a burden on my loved ones and society - and that I will have no option but to wait for death to come to me. I have thought many times of what I could do, without resorting to a bloody or dramatic suicide, to go to death instead of waiting for it to come to me. I do not fear death, as I believe it’s as much a part of life as is birth. It’s the same and there’s nothing to fear there. My only concern is that I won’t be free to die when I want to. When I choose to.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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This is a very good issue involving the will of the federal government into the will of the people at state level.

I think that is not debate in this one, the state and the citizens already stated their choice and the will of the people should prevail.

Again its all about choices and how many want to take them away from all of us in their moralistic obsession of controlling the people in this country.

The moral majority that is nothing more than big mouthed minority wants to take over the will, rights and choices of everybody and bend them to their will.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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First off, lemme say Im all for suicide assist, only when it's needed tho. Not any of that "My BF left me" garbage.

Ok, I think the Federal Gov't should decide yay or nay on this, not the state gov't. This is not like a small matter, like innerstate speed limits, ticket fines, etc..etc.. This is someone's life and the choice to end that life under extreme circumstances...they should have the right and It's not fair if one state can do it but another can't

Most of your hardliner states are gonna not OK it while the other states approve it.....IMO, it's just not fair to the people who are suffering and they cannot end the pain because they live in Alabama or Virginia and not Maryland

I say all or none...hopefully they'll say all, in favor of suicide assist.


[edit on 5/10/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by SportyMB
...hopefully they'll say all, in favor of suicide assist.


Don't hold your breath (ha-ha-ha). This is the 'err on the side of life no matter what that looks like' era we're living in. Come ooooon, Harrett!



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 03:37 PM
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There is a Catch-22 to this. One of the previous posters stated "if the person is terminal and of sound mind". A case can be made that a terminal patient cannot be of sound mind because they are terminaly ill. That factor alone has to have some effect on their mental state. Don't get me wrong I lean in favor of asisted suicide after the death of my father several years ago. If there is going to be a law I think that it should be adminstered at the Federal level. What is to stop a terminally ill patient from moving to a state that has laws in line with their wishes?

[edit on 5-10-2005 by JIMC5499]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 03:50 PM
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What is to stop a terminally ill patient from moving to a state that has laws in line with their wishes?

Nothing, and there should not be any barriers. We make decisions on where to live and work to give us a better life; why shouldn't we be able to do the same so that we might die with dignity?



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 03:53 PM
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Gee, I wonder how this court is going to rule on Assisted Suicide..


If they rule in favor, I'll eat my socks. Really...I will.*


*Flinx reserves the right to determine the time and place ok the sock ingestion

[edit on 10/5/2005 by Flinx]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 06:08 PM
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I'm not to concerned on the state's right issue here, I am more interested in the moral arguement, as I normally am. It is too bad those on the bench show absolutley no morals or this would have been legal years ago (as well as prostitution, drugs, abolitionment of minimum wage and minimum ages, etc). If one wishes not to be a vegetable any longer and they have a writen and signed contract with their doctor with obligation to pull the cord or inject them, I see no problem.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by Frosty
I'm not to concerned on the state's right issue here, I am more interested in the moral arguement, as I normally am.


I'm concerned about the moral issue, too, but that has nothing to do with the law. If we make this a law on the basis of our morals, we're no better than those who want to outlaw abortion, prostitution, drugs, etc. 'on moral grounds'.

And Flinx, I want pictures!

[edit on 5-10-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And Flinx, I want pictures!

[edit on 5-10-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]


And I will buy the beer to wash them down


Sorry could not resist.

----------

Now on the serious side I fully agree with what you said in your first post Benevolent you stated it very well.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 07:26 PM
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Why do people need to go this route in the first place?

They still sell shotguns at WalMart don't they?

Is this an open casket issue? Do people want to be able to just slip away, as opposed to fly across the room in a red spray?

I don't have a problem with people killing themselves, whatever floats your boat. What I do have a negative opinion of is the state telling people what to do with their own lives, in any regard.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Why do people need to go this route in the first place?

They still sell shotguns at WalMart don't they?


Personally, it would be the mess I would leave for someone else to see. I wouldn't want my husband to have to see it, clean it up or deal with the emotional scar the event might leave.

If he could just inject a shot and sit with me while I went to sleep, that would be much easier on him.

And I'm not sure I'd have the nerve to use a gun on myself, What if I screwed it up? No thanks. I want euthanasia.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by Frosty
I'm not to concerned on the state's right issue here, I am more interested in the moral arguement, as I normally am.


I'm concerned about the moral issue, too, but that has nothing to do with the law. If we make this a law on the basis of our morals, we're no better than those who want to outlaw abortion, prostitution, drugs, etc. 'on moral grounds'.

And Flinx, I want pictures!

[edit on 5-10-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]


I don't think you are concerned with the moral decision. This is the most important issue here. These SC justices say they interpret a constitution, but what basis is the constitution in existence? Why was it created? What was the influence? Some of the issues in both legislature and SC have no right to belong there in the first place, but because some people have a fualty logic (not morals) they are there anyway, such as Cheeseburger Bill and MLB STeroid Bill.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by Frosty
I don't think you are concerned with the moral decision. This is the most important issue here.


I don't know what you mean or how you know my concerns. Care to explain? If you have read my large post in the beginning of this thread. I don't see how you can say that I'm not concerned with the moral issue.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 02:29 AM
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Force the terminally ill to continue to suffer? Force Mother's to give birth to unwanted children? Yes, and we can thank the "Morale Majority" for protecting us from these "sins" and others.

But how many "Christians" in today's growing movement fully support capital punishment and America's unprovoked wars as well as many other horrors?

"God bless America" they say, as if we alone deserve it. I'll never understand the hypocrisy of a religion lacking in good will to all God's people. But hasn't the "might makes right" arrogance been the Christian catalyst throughout the history of their slaughter?

But religion, like government becomes corrupted by it's power, then only serves to force it's will and destroy.

The recent "Christian" bills that the Bush administration is trying to force through, are about control and only control. They plead ethics, but these people have no ethics, as ethics are not subject to double standards.

It's time for the real "Morale Majority" to reclaim America before it's beyond redemption.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 02:46 AM
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Originally posted by dollmonster
It's time for the real "Morale Majority" to reclaim America before it's beyond redemption.


I dont think that is possible. Remember what happened the last 2 times the Morale Majority tried to take over.. It wasnt a pretty site..

Anyway I have something to say about this subject.

I wonder how many of you have ever hung out at a nursing home where all the Advanced aging people are or the people with terminal illnesses are??

I want to say something to alot of you.. How many doctors do you think do this already??

Do you think some # bill is going to tell these people its ok if its passed?? no its not, why.. Because they are already doing it.. That is cause they care more about the person than some stupid check from whoever tf someone gets it from for aving these people hang on to every last second of thier lives.

I want to ask you people something.. Have any of you honestly, truely thought about death?? or is it some type of thing you would not think about..

Altho it is in front of us all the time.. Watch a movie someone dies, watch the news someone dies, maybe even a family member dies from some reason.. You know that crap they put into bodies called enballming only started about 100 or so yrs ago.. that people actually gave a crap back then on how someone died.. Today its not like that, people would rather go thru this as fast as possible and then forget it a week later..

Its not how things are suppost to be.. A few people have reported coming back from the dead 5 10 even 22 days after they died.. If a person really wants to live they would come back.. If not they wouldnt say they want to die..

I myself am for this bill cause there are alot of people who are truely suffering because of some moron in an office says its not right to let them die..

Anyway i am done.. I plan on making a post about most of what i said.. sorry if it sounds all half assed..



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 03:33 AM
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I think the AG's argument, based on controlled substances as it is, is flawed on that basis alone. Doctors can prescribe controlled substances legally and nothing should be done to change that. One the larger question of assisted suicide, I'm all for it. Its ok for some of the deeply religious folks to be against it--that doesn't bother me a bit. But, I think it is wrong for one group to impose their beliefs on others. Further, I believe strongly in State's rights and don't think its any of the federal governments business--where is the Constitutional issue here?

[edit on 16-10-2005 by Astronomer68]




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