“It matters little whether I have six days or six years to live. If I decide that it is time for my life to come to an end for reasons important to me, that should be my decision.”—Lamar Hankins, The Rag Blog, November 14, 2012
Why is this important? By virtue of being human, I own my self and my body. I am autonomous and make all decisions about my life. Likewise, I should be able to make decisions about my death (unless my creator beats me to it). When I’m done with living, I should be able to end my life without recrimination from people or governments. If I’m ill and suffering, I most certainly don’t want to drag out the pain. But even if I’m not, it is no one else’s right to dictate to me how I choose to live and die.
I strongly believe life is about quality and not about quantity. As a mentally competent adult, I am responsible for making decisions about my life, my health, my finances. But some people and most governments truly believe that they have a right to prevent me from making rational, competent decisions about my death. The people in Massachusetts were asked to decide if their state should allow a terminally ill person to end his suffering with a self-administered lethal drug prescribed by his physician. Oregon and Washington already allow this.
It was a close vote—51% against and 49% in favor. The Catholic church was behind most of the opposition. It is a huge loss for individual sovereignty. I’m glad I don’t live in Massachusetts…or rather that I don’t have to die in Massachusetts. It could take a lot longer than I’m willing to wait.