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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 34 - 3/26/2001
What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide?
What are your personal views on the issue of abortion, euthanasia and suicide? Do you consider these as individual and personal decisions or are they moral, religious or ethical 'crimes'? Does society-or the majority view (religious or otherwise) have the right to 'regulate' such actions or does the individual have the personal 'right' to decide whether to have an abortion or take their own life through euthanasia r suicide? CAUTION: These topics are very emotionally charged ones. Please do not attack or respond directly to another's posting, but rather simply state your own opinion on the matter. Anyone who wishes to debate the topics further via email with others can state so in his/her posting. Postings directly attacking another individual will be removed.
| Reponses: There are 95 responses posted to this question.
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| Hi!; This Kind Of Question Can Be Controversial, But Needs Be Faced... ||Mar 27th. at 11:36:20 pm EST|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 59 - Email |
This kind of question can be controversial, but needs be faced.
As a male, I never felt I had a right to require any female to bear young
against her will.
Birthing is a female mystery I can not hope to experience.
No matter what any patriarchial authority, religious or governmental, says,
Witches have always known the formulas of remedies to abort. That knowledge
is part of "Craft" and has been used since before God.
Witches will avail themselves of those things as needed and desired.
Depriving women of the old Witch lore results in the coat hanger back alley
horror stories anti-abortionists love to portray.
Herbs can do it naturally with hardly any danger to the self. The problem being,
certain herbs can be made unavailable by the Powers That Want To Be.
That's why many of us grow them ourselves.
Suicide should be a dignified choice for the individual.
I always thought it silly for society to punish a person for attempted suicide. One
is punished by being put in the psycho ward for failing. Successful suicides can not be punished.
Judaeo-Xtian society can not cope with being rejected when a person wants to check out. I feel there should be hospices for those who want to end their lives
and have it done in a clinical setting a la Solyent Green.
Terminal illness should give a person's physician an authority with the will of the
sick person and his/her legal spokesperson to end suffering which is incurable.
All I can say is there is precedent where Witches can assist in these matters when the doctor can not.
It is not something openly discussed.
The coming and going of life is the core of women's mysteries. There is something deeply intuitive about them. BB Tarostar
| Wow! Incredibly Charged Question, But One I Have Thought About Often. All... ||Mar 28th. at 12:51:02 am EST|
|Vivianne (Union City, New Jersey US) ||Age: 30 |
Wow! Incredibly charged question, but one I have thought about often. All my life I have been pro-choice, only recently after becoming a mother I realized that I am also and have always been pro-life. I support a woman's right to choose while realizing that that is never a choice I would make. In terms of Euthanasia, I think a spirit knows when it is time to leave this plane. Unfortunately, medicine sometimes interferes with the spirit's choice. Having been the child of a man who desperately wanted to leave when he chose to leave, I understand that the spirit knows. The state does not always get it, however. And suicide. Here is where my views become skewed. I disagree. I find suicide incredibly disturbing. Primarily because those in such dire need seem to almost always ask for help in some form. It upsets me so, to know that that person was let down by society. I do not, however, believe that that person is punished in the afterlife or in future incarnations. They will have to live through their decision at some point and work through the pain. I find it morally wrong and an affront to nature, but so is not helping a spirit in need.
| Hi! Wow!what A Difficult Question. On Abortion.i Support A Woman's Right... ||Mar 28th. at 1:24:13 am EST|
|Rain BrightStar (Moore, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
Wow!What a difficult question.
On abortion.I support a woman's right to choose.It's between her and her physician.Period.
Suicide.I, personally, don't think it's the answer.But if one were dying a slow horrible death, it might be the thing to do.
Euthanasia?The same thing, if it's a slow horrible death, a person should have the option.This is a really tricky area for me.If we know that is the person's wishes.But, inevitably, there'd be ungrateful relatives who just want the person to die before all the inheritance is spent on medical.They might forge documents and finish off a person early.So I'm really unsure about it.
The dominant society should not be involved in these ethical dilemmas.Forcing its' will on peoples choices.
Peace and Love
| Ever Since Tempest's Tragic Suicide, I've Been Visiting Witchvox More Often And... ||Mar 28th. at 4:08:12 am EST|
|greenrose (Montreal, Quebec CA) ||Age: 52 - Email |
Ever since Tempest's tragic suicide, I've been visiting Witchvox more often and reading the incredible amount of writing that people are sending in. My son committed suicide in 1988 at age 19 (2 days before his 20th). So this question brings up a lot of feelings for me. So much that I couldn't even find the energy to write to Tempest's mother to offer support, as much as I wanted to. (I'll keep trying.) I'll try to write some of what I feel here. I always hope it may help someone else, but I think it's really mostly to get my own feelings & thoughts out.
It's curious that I've never felt angry at my son for taking his own life. At least not as angry as I was at the fact that there is little support for people who are marginalized in any way in our modern, busy world. Especially young people. I've done a lot of reading, counseling and research on suicide in the past 12 years. The first thing I found out was that young people talk a lot about suicide, among themselves (mind you, I live in a province that has the highest suicide rate in North America).
Finding out the historical background of this taboo subject, and where & why it is still a crime to do it blew me away. At the time of my son's death I was on social aid (another taboo subject), and went to my local office to see if I could get some financial help for the funeral. Can you believe they told me I would have to apply to get my dead son on social assistance before they could even answer my questions? I was so broken at that time anyway that I spoke my mind quite openly and let them know how crazy they sounded! I can't remember the years, but until quite recently it was a crime to commit suicide in many places. Probably still is in some. The ultimate in adding insult to injury. Suicides are not weak, they see no other way out of pain.
One of the counselors who I've talked with (she worked with youth at risk for suicide) told me that she thought that many young people feel they are indestructable when they attempt suicide. They feel the long stretch of years before them. It is obviously a cry for help and an expression of extreme distress. Why commit suicide before asking for help? That's why I think youth often don't think they'll really die.
I also found out that my son was prescibed a drug for severe acne. (He lived with his father, so I didn't know about this till later.) One acne drug called Accutane, it is being discovered, can in some cases cause severe depression. I'm not blaming the drug, but it may have contributed. Lately I've heard of other youth suicides connected with this drug. Come to think of it, there are thousands of chemical in our world today. We don't know the effects of most of them, especially in combination. I have no moral judgement for people who attempt or succeed in suicide. I do feel it may be difficult "waking up" on the other side after death and somehow having to face the distress anyway.
I came into my Wiccan identity after this happened, although looking back I can see that it was always there. I'm not part of a close-knit group, but have a few key people in my life. But after a few years, noone wants to talk about this any more. And sometimes I still need to. I am very against criminalizing suicide and assisted suicide. (I can't write on abortion right now, I don't want to get too wordy.) My son's suicide has caused a lifetime of pain & loss for his father, his sister, his friends, our families and myself. He was a very gentle soul, a very creative and loving person.
He was heard to say that he didn't feel "worthy" shortly before he committed suicide. My hope is that the current global movement for social justice, peace and a healthy ecology will set the stage for a planet where we all feel in our deepest being that we are worthy of being loved. i remember an open Samhain ritual I attended a few years ago. I was about to write my son's name on a big white candle being passed around, and looked down and saw Seth already printed there. Thank you for listening.
| Euthanasia, Suicide, Abortion. Three Very Tough Subjects. In All Three Respects There... ||Mar 28th. at 5:14:31 am EST|
|Ron (Ankharan/Shadow) Ellenbecker (St. Augustine, Florida US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
Euthanasia, Suicide, Abortion.
Three very tough subjects.
In all three respects there is always the "depends on the situation." Each situation has it's own set of problems that can never be fully understood by anyone but the individule involved. It can be sympathized with, it can be comprehended, it can even be related to and identified with but, never fully understood by anyone except the individule.
No one person has the right to tell me so long as i am in control of my mental capacities that if I am in too much pain that will never go away, will not kill me, and cannot ever be cured that I do not have the right to end my suffering.
No one has the right to tell me that if I were a woman and my life were threatened, was raped or the baby is already passed on that I do not have the right to an abortion.
No one has the right to tell me that I know what I want now and in 40 years if I get into a vehicle accident and come to the point of never awakening from a vegitative state that I cannot make a will that states my wishes to put an end to it.
This of course only applies to me, I do not have the right to force my beliefs on anyone else.
Theer are counter arguments, usually filled with what ifs. What if humans could fly......
| Being Pagan Like Most Of Your Readers Im Sure We All Believe... ||Mar 28th. at 5:35:58 am EST|
|Obsidian Mallikyte (Port Angeles, Washington US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Being Pagan like most of your readers im sure we all believe and at times have dealt with the fates, whos to say that they dont have plans for us. In Tempests case, while sad, much good came out of her CHOICE. 50 organs were donated from her and whos to say that those donations werent her destiny? We were all born with free choice we all fundemantely know our path its just a matter of listening carefully enough to hear it. while Abortion, Euthanasia and suicide may not be your path, it may be someone elses. You wouldnt know, only they would. Life, Death, ans Rebirth, it the way of nature.
| Suicide?right" Wrong? I Can't Tell You Either Way. I Can Only... ||Mar 28th. at 6:00:42 am EST|
|lucky (Shakopee, Minnesota US) ||Age: 20 |
Suicide?right" wrong? I can't tell you either way. I can only tell you what I know from personal experiance.
When I was 15yrs old I had no friends, I was picked on all the time at school, I was beat up at the bus stop, I was failing all my classes at school. I lived in a poor family, so I never had a lot of material posessions. I lost all hope of fitting in. That summer I stole some money and bought a gun from one of the drug dealers that lived in the apartments down the streat from the ones that I lived in. I found that deciding to kill myself was a verey easy decision to make. I nolonger had to endure the daily humiliathion of getting bullied, or having the girls that I has crushes on laugh at me. It never crossed my mind how my family would be affected, or what came after death. the only thing that mattered was getting rid of the lonlyness that flooded my life. one morning I rode my bike down to the river and hid in the trees. I loaded the gun, closed my eyes and put the gun up to my head. remember how I said that deciding to take my life was easy. well deciding to pull the trigger is an entirely diffrent matter. I sat there thinking for an unknown amount of time. It seemed to take forever and at the same time it seemed like only moments. after some time though I made my decision and pulled the trigger. at first I was drown in a fealing of shock. i wondered if this is what death realy felt like. I didn't seem that much different than life. the shock only lasted a second though. I opened my eyes to find the gun still up against my head. The gun never went off though. I don't know weather to call it a mirrical or just plane dumb luck, but what ever it was it decided that it wasn't my time to die. It took me a wile to unjam the gun, but I finaly succeded. The gun that almost killed me is currently residing at the bottom of the minnesota river. The bullet I keep in a little pouch in my dresser to remind me of how close I came to killing my self. since than I've made several new friends. I have made many memories and I still am making memories to enjoy when I reach old age.
Again I can"t say if killing yourself is right or wrong. I can say that it is a more difficult decission than it seems. I just ask that all that face that decission remember that time is the best medecine for any pain. Concider how your decission will effect your family, friends, and your comunity.
| These Choices Are So Difficult That They Must Remain The Choice Of... ||Mar 28th. at 6:06:48 am EST|
|dawn kressly (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
These choices are so difficult that they must remain the choice of the individual. I have always been pro-choice on the issue of abortion, simply because, "My Body, My Choice". The issue of and suicide remained difficult for me, until recently. Over the past few years of taking care of my Grandfather, who was suffering with Parkinsons Disease, my views on euthanasia and suicide became a little clearer. My Grandpa was a Catholic and as such would not consider suicide as a way out for himself, we did however have more than one discusion on the subject and had he not been so devout, he would have ended his suffering long before nature finally took him, and if he had asked me to help him, I would have. Would it have been the right thing to do? I'm still not sure, but I loved him and would have done anything to help him. Suicide and assisted suicide fall under the "My Body, My Choice" heading for me. Euthanasia is a little more touchy, simply because I feel that big insurance companies and hospitals would grab onto the idea for the dollar value alone, not taking into consideration the wishes of the individual. How to regulate something like that is such a diffucult idea.
All I know is that anyone faced with any of these choices should think long and hard about all the reprocussions of their actions. Blessings to all
| I Have Varied Feelings On Abortion On One Hand I Feel If... ||Mar 28th. at 7:47:02 am EST|
|Joy (Mystic) (Mount Gambier, South Australia AU) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I have varied feelings on Abortion on one hand I feel if you cant look after it properly dont have it but on the other I think if you didnt want it you should have taken precautions. I agree with Euthanasia on certain levels if it just a matter of time till you die, from a painfull illness then feel free but it has to be warented. Suicide i think thats a personal choice too.
| This Is A Question That Has Been Debated For Years Now, But... ||Mar 28th. at 10:11:06 am EST|
|Jamie (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
This is a question that has been debated for years now, but I don't should be. Who are we, as a society or we, as a government, to restrain others in this matter.
No, abortion should not be used as birth controll. That very statement is what allows our arguments.
Have you thought about the woman who is pregnant from rape; or the couple who has been told the mother will not be able to carry the baby without dying. People should be able to make that heartbreaking choice!
It is the induviduals choice to make, not ours.....
As far as euthanasia goes, it's the same argument. It seems funny to me that people would contest this. I would deem living by a thread on a machiene with no hope to live normally, strange torture indeed!
No one should our moral decisions for us!
| These Are Extremely Difficult Matters To Be Discussed. Many People Have Very... ||Mar 28th. at 10:42:31 am EST|
|snowgoddess (Burlington, Vermont US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
These are extremely difficult matters to be discussed. Many people have very strong opinions, and mine are also rather strong. I believe that people ought to have a choice in all three cases. Life is precious, and I hope that everyone knows that. There is so much good in the world that it sometimes over-whelms me, but there is also much hatred. Women know when they can take care of a child and when they cannot. I don't want to see a child going up neglected, abused, or harmed in any way. I respect life too much. If that would be the case, I think abortion should be made an option. I don't know whether or not I would have one.
With Euthanasia and suicide -- people know what works for them. They should be able to make the decicision. Suicide scares me some, since it seems so easy. I doubt it would be easy to pull the trigger, though.
| I've Been Thinking About This Since I Saw The Topic. I Have... ||Mar 28th. at 10:49:37 am EST|
|Eowyn Forestchilde (Western, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I've been thinking about this since I saw the topic. I have been confronted about the abortion topic many times and my answer is simply this: I support the right for a safe, legal, medical procedure. Whether or not to have an abortion a personal issue, but no one should be denied the right of medical attention.
As for euthanasia, I have had some experience with that. Diabetes took my cousin's sight, his leg, his kidneys and eventually his life. When he was finally confined to a wheelchair, he asked his wife to end his suffering. He knew that the diabetes was going to kill him eventually and he could no longer live in a body that was dying all around him in slow painful pieces. The one thing that the diabetes didn't touch was his mind. He was a brilliant scientist and continued his work until the end. His wife refused and he went on for many more years before succumbing to the illness. I donŐt know how to feel about euthanasia, truthfully. I think that on one hand, it was within JerryŐs rights to take his own life. He knew that he was dying and that there was no hope for recovery. On the other hand, if he had taken his life when he wanted to, his daughter would have lost precious time with a father who loved her. Where do you draw the line? I think it has to be when the pain overcomes the quality of life and there is no hope of recovery. I think about cancer patients as I say this. They have pain and for some, remission and cure are as unbelievable as little green men. But what about the quality of the time they have left? This is the deciding factor, I think.
Suicide is something I am intimately acquainted with. I have tried to take my own life. I have lived without hope and rationalized all the reasons to kill myself. I thank the Gods everyday that I did not. I was lucky. I cannot stand in judgment of someoneŐs decision to commit suicide. I cannot even stand in judgment of the people around them that let it happen. I can only say that it needs to stop. I grieve for a society that is so oblivious to the pain of its loved ones. These are not even strangers IŐm talking about, but family members, friends, lovers and even co-workers. It seems to me that there is a responsibility to look out for those we care about. I am as guilty as anyone for losing sight of that. I have gone for months without talking to my own sister. What could have happened in that time?
How things like Abortion, Euthanasia, and Suicide are handled is something that individuals must determine for themselves. They should not be left to society at large. They should not be left to strangers. They should not be left to the moral climate of the times that we live in É for that can change in a heartbeat. Look to yourself. Look to your loved ones, those who know you best and can help you. It is no crime to ask for help or advice. Someone you know may have been there before you and can give you guidance É but you will never know unless you talk to someone.
But thatŐs just the way I see things É I could be wrong.
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