The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| In General, I Consider Abortion And Euthanasia To Be Morally Repugnant. In... ||Mar 29th. at 1:09:04 pm EST|
|Richard Gant (Northern Kentucky University, Kentucky US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
In general, I consider abortion and euthanasia to be morally repugnant. In too many cases, it seems that they are used as options by individuals who do not wish to be "inconvenienced". (Please note that I used "many", not "most" or "all"; I am aware that there are exceptions to everything.) There are certainly circumstances (in my opinion) in which abortion or euthanasia could be considered legitimate options (for instance, if it is necessary to save the mother's life or when there is no hope of recovery), but even then the decision should not be made lightly.Suicide is, to my mind, an extreme symptom of a greater problem. As with euthanasia, there may be times when it is acceptable, but it not a step that should be taken lightly.The question of society's right to regulate euthanasia, suicide, and abortion is interesting. Although personal liberty is important (particularly to Americans, where "personal liberty" is an ideal guarded with fanatical zeal), government (of any type) has always reserved the right to restrict or even eliminate particular freedoms. With this in mind, I would say that the government (which, in the United States, is more or less directed by society) does indeed have the legal right to regulate abortion, suicide, euthanasia, murder, skipping, or anything else. Whether or not it has the will and the *moral* right to do so is another matter, and will only be decided by the voice of the people.
| I Have Always Been Pro-choice On These Issues. I Feel That No... ||Mar 29th. at 12:55:45 am EST|
|Big John (South Amboy, New Jersey US) ||Age: 40 |
I have always been pro-choice on these issues. I feel that no organization, whether a religious group or a government agency, should dictate to an individual what happens to their body. At the risk of getting wordy, I'd like to expand on my view of these issues:
Euthanasia - About 4 years ago my late mother's dog was at the end of her life. She was at least 17 years old (perhaps older)and could barely walk. She couldn't climb stairs, walk on a leash, or even stand up to eat without help. I took her to the vet and stayed with her to the end. It broke my heart as she was my close friend and I still miss her, but the truth is nothing that I could have done would ever have made her healthy again. I could not have prolonged her life - only her death. I have always valued life, but for each of us, who lives long enough, there comes a point where our health degrades so much that there will never be any joy in the life that remains. When this happens I feel that euthanasia is by far the kindest action and the greatest gift that one can be given.
Abortion - I don't think that abortion should be a substitute for birth control. On the other hand, birth control is never 100% reliable and unwanted pregnancies happen from time to time. I'd rather see a woman choose to have an abortion then to bring an unwanted child into the world. Again, I value life, but the quality of that life is also important. What kind of life does a child have when they are considered an obligation to their parents rather than a gift? A mother's decision on whether or not to have an abortion should be a hard choice, but is should always remain a personal choice.
Suicide - I have never understood why suicide is considered a crime. Even if it should be how can society ever expect to enforce it? Fortunately, I've never really considered suicide myself, but I can understand it under certain extreme circumstances. Perhaps, if I were in a situation were I'd lost all of the joy in life and I knew the situation would not ever change I'd consider it an option. Sadly, I believe many people take this path even when their life will improve in the future. Also, our lives touch other lives. So, whenever someone chooses this path, whatever the reason, all those around him or her are harmed as well.
A life lost in this way is always a sad thing and it is all too common. But, you can't prevent suicide by legislation. I don't have a simple solution, but there certainly is a problem when so many teenagers are hurting so much that they choose this path. Perhaps it would help if we all focused on what is truely of value. Family, health, the natural world around us are all important. Money, status, grades, and someone's image of what we should be are all superficial, and are never worth dying for.
| Coming From A Personal And Nursing Perspective On Abortion And Euthanasia I... ||Mar 28th. at 10:27:16 pm EST|
|Autumn Moon (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 27 |
Coming from a personal and nursing perspective on abortion and euthanasia I feel these are up to the individual. I don't think I would ever choose these options but who is to say unless you are in a particular situation. I am strongly pro choice and have been since my high school days and yes I was raised Christian (Disciples of Christ) and somehow that hasn't affected my opinion. Women should be able to make up their own mind since it is their body. I would not want someone else making the decision for me. How would you like it if someone decided for you that because you have cancer you should be isolated from everyone and be forced to die alone? That just doesn't make any sense. Many people don't ask to get cancer just as they didn't ask to get pregnant. Of course I don't believe abortion should be used as a form of birth control but they are many reasons women have to make the difficult decision of having an abortion.
As for euthanasia, as a nurse that works with extremely ill patients, I have seen many people wish themselves dead after hearing a terminal diagnosis. I have also seen those people try to hold on no matter how painful. It's an individual decision. If it is your time then why not go pain free and have that choice. It should be an option like what is offered here in Oregon with the Right to Die With Dignity Act. A lot of counseling, understanding, and talking with both doctors and family must be done before decisions are made. Most people really don't want to die. What about that 1% that does? Who advocates for them? Often times I will talk to my patients when I know their time is near and tell them it is okay for them to go, they don't need to hold on if they don't want to. I treat them with as much care and respect as any of my other patients. It really is a personal choice.
Suicide is an option that is for the individual. Although I think there are other ways to cope and people to contact for help, many people feel they must kill themselves. If you decide to kill yourself for whatever reason, I don't believe that gives you the right to make it public, drag other people into it, or threaten other people with it. It is your struggle and your cross to bear. Nothing should be that bad to commit suicide over. Help is out there if you look for it, don't expect it to find you.
| I Personally Stand For The Above Mentioned... Under Certain Circumstances. I Really... ||Mar 28th. at 7:34:09 pm EST|
|9;2;2 (If this posts twice, then I got an error message) (Derby, Kansas US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I personally stand for the above mentioned... under certain circumstances. I really do not stand for suicide. There is ALWAYS a way around things. You either tie up the knots, solve your problems, or start a new leaf. Sometimes you'll just have to put up with problems, and if you're very sensitive or unstable, then get others to bolster your confidence, read stories, watch movies - they have morals to tell.
I stand for abortion before the third trimester. People preach about parents killing their children, and somehow link those horrors to abortion. Hogwash! There are people who do not use protection, and when they become pregnant, they lack the finances, mentality, and healthy environment to raise a child in. "But that doesn't matter, because if they had an abortion, they'd be murderers!" Okay, then. Raise a child, as a single parent, in a small, 1-bedroom apartment. The guy that saddled you with the cild runs off, and when you ask for help, he brushes you away. Your job is minimal pay, yet you work for 12 hours. You don't own expensive things, but on top of bills (electric, car, medical), insurance, food, renting, clothing, diapers, taxes, schooling, debts (up to your neck), one really doesn't have the TIME to spend time with the baby. Oh, and add babysitting fees to that list. With the time you spend at work to make just enough money to barely get by, you aren't going to leave the kid at home all alone. Mom and dad won't help; they've enough problems of their own.
If one takes this route, at least the kid lives. Then the kid grows into a teen, and will start hating the neglecting parent, and get into all sorts of trouble. Stereotypical teen, one that's uncontrolled by the parent(s). Money is not easy to come by, folks. In the unfortunately all-too-common example mentioned above, if you dodge abortion because it's "murder", then with the highly unstable environment the child grows in, you're responsible for releasing another murderer into the world. Really, now: you're not there to discipline the kid, you're busy raising hardly enough money to feed the kid (minues yourself).
If you lack the financial stability, maturity, and mentality to have children, either avoid sex, use protection, or get an abortion. Are you going to put the child through that kind of lifestyle because of others' short-sighted screaming and crying? Technically, an unborn child CANNOT feel pain - most of the time, they are unconcious, or have not yet developed a nervous system. C'mon, folks - people who have abortions don't do it on a whim (at least, the more sane ones). They have abortions because they cannot HANDLE the responsibility, or they aren't ready. If abortion is halted, just think of the sharp skyrocketing of birth rates! Think of how crowded schools will be, how hard it will be to find a job, how empty grocery stores will be in the future! There are many teen moms who have had illusions of wanting a baby, and how perfect they'll be as a parent. Those who want to be parents had better have the resources (money, friends, counseling, WRITTEN PLANS for care) and mentality for taking care of a child. Newborn babies now cost $1, 000+ per MONTH to care for. It's not all flowers, rainbows, and peaches. Get ready to lose a huge portion of your freedom if you decide to have a child. In situations like these, emotion is an enemy, and logic is the ruler.
As for euthanasia... if someone is lying in bed from an incurable, tormenting disease, you're just going to let them lay there and suffer, won't you? The patient would have to be going through really intense, non-reversible suffering to get euthanasia. I'm all talked out, so I'll shut up now. :)
| A Woman's Decision To Continue Or Terminate A Pregnancy Is A Personal... ||Mar 28th. at 7:09:55 pm EST|
|Ceara (Atlanta, Georgia US) ||Age: 39 |
A woman's decision to continue or terminate a pregnancy is a personal one and should not be either approved or restricted by any other person, group, political cause etc. It is an intensely personal matter and who else can poosibly know or understand all of the issues which may enter into that woman's decision? Not to mention the issues of personal privacy rights and individual freedoms.
Euthanasia? Well I can certainly understand why someone with a terminal illness or severe disability of some sort would want to end their current life. Again I think that ultimately this is a personal matter and falls under the same privacy rights mentioned earlier. This, of course, assumes that the person involved is mentally capable of making the decision, is not under duress of any kind, or has expressed their wishes in case of debility in something like a living will.
Suicide I think is tragic and ultimately will affect the future incarnations of the person involved. Whatever the root cause that drives them to suicide is not going away and they will likely face it again - in another life. Life is hard sometimes and excrutiatingly painful - maybe we all need to do more to reach out to those who need our help so they can resolve the ROOT issue and move past it.
| I Am Sorry To Say I Have Had Experience In 2 Of... ||Mar 28th. at 6:40:12 pm EST|
|MAMASQUIRT (FOREST, Ohio US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I AM SORRY TO SAY I HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE IN 2 OF THE 3. WHEN I WAS 16 YRS.OLD
I FOUND MYSELF PEGNANT. THE FATHER WAS A ONE NIGHT STAND FROM ANOTHER TOWN. WHEN MY MOTHER FOUND OUT SHE CONSULTED HER FRIEND AND THEY DECIDED THAT IT WOULD BE BEST IF I HAD AN ABORTION. SO, I WAS TOLD THIS WAS WHAT WAS TO BE DONE. WHEN WE GOT TO THE CLINIC THERE WAS A PICKET LINE THAT WE HAD TO CROSS. THERE WASN'T ANY COUNSELING BEFORE AND THERE WAS ONLY "WOULD YOU LIKE TO START BIRTH CONTROL?" AFTER THE PROCEDURE. NOW AFTER ALL THIS YOUR SUPPOSSED TO JUST FORGET ABOUT IT AND GO ON WITH YOUR LIFE. WELL, I'M SORRY TO SAY IT JUST DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT! I AM 29 AND THERE HASN'T BEEN ONE DAY THAT I HAVEN'T FELT GUILT OVER TAKING MY BABIES LIFE, WONDERING IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GIRL OR A BOY, HOW OLD THE CHILD WOULD HAVE BEEN, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. BUT THEY DON'T TELL YOU THESE KINDS OF THINGS BEFORE HAND. IF ANYONE IS THINKING ABOUT IT PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THROUGH IT AND DO AS MUCH RESEARCH AS POSSIBLE.
I DO FEEL THAT EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DECIDE. I THINK TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL, YOUR NOT ONLY GOING TO SEE MORE DEAD BABIES IN TRASH CANS, BUT ALSO A HIGHER DEATH TOLL FOR YOUNG LADIES, IF NOT LEGALLY THEY WILL SEEK OTHER WAYS. WOULD YOU REALLY WANT YOUR SISTER, DAUGHTER, FRIEND OR SOMEONE ELSE YOU KNOW FOUND DEAD IN AN ALLEY WAY JUST BECAUSE THEY WENT TO SEE A SO CALLED DR. TO HAVE AN ABORTION AND THEN BLEED TO DEATH? THINK OUT ALL THE OPOTIONS.
WHEN I WAS 18 I TRIED TO COMMIT SUICIDE. I WAS SCARED AND THOUGHT THAT NO ONE WOULD UNDERSTAND WHAT I WAS GOING THROUGH. MY MOTHERS 2ND. HUSBAND RAPPED AND MOLESTED ME FOR SEVERAL YEARS. THAT ADDED TO THE ABORTION AND I WAS AN EMOTIONAL MESS. MY MOTHERS RESPONSE WAS "ARE YOU TRYING TO HURT ME?" I GUESS IT WAS HER TRY AT A GUILT TRIP. I AM LUCKY I WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL. WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT WHEN WE LEAVE THIS PARTICULAR LIFE THERE IS NO COMING BACK TO IT. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO COMMIT SUICIDE, BUT WHENEVER SOMEONE EVEN HINTS AT IT IT IS OUR DUTY AS A HUMAN BEING TO TRY AND TALK TO THIS PERSON. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF SOMEONE YOU KNEW MENTIONED IT IN PASSING AND A FEW DAYS LATER THEY ACTUALLY DID IT, WOULD YOU FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT TALKING TO THEM?
THESE ARE ONLY MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS AND EXPIERENCES. I FEEL THAT EVERY HUMAN HAS A RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT DOES OR DOES NOT HAPPEN WITH THIER OWN BODIES AND LIVES.
BUT, I DO ADVISE STRONGLY TO SEEK SOMEONE TO TALK TO AND TO RESEARCH ALL OPTIONS BEFORE DECIDING YOUR OWN FATE.
TO END ON A BETTER NOTE MY FATE HAS BROUGHT ME TO A GOOD MARRIAGE AND BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER. ALL CIRCUMSTANCES ARE DIFERENT BUT THEY ALL DON'T END BADLY.
| My Personal View Of Abortion Is That It's A Personal Right. I... ||Mar 28th. at 5:26:04 pm EST|
|Jonathan(wiccan and nurse) (Duluth, Minnesota US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
My personal view of abortion is that it's a personal right. I myself have not had experience in this area, however, I will be the last person to dictate what one person should do with their bodies. I personally would prefer, if I were to father a child, that abortion not be an option. I would hope that it would be a situation where the mother could come to me, we could then (hopefully) discuss the issue and make a decision together. But alas, we don't live in a perfect world and many women don't have the luxury of discussing this with the father of the child and/or aren't in a situation where they would/should want to. It is a very complicated and difficult issue.
As for euthanasia and suicide, I find that I ask what is meant by these words. Websters defines it as "The act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy." (Webster's ninth new collegiate dictionary, 1988) Suicide is defined as "The act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind." (Webster's ninth new collegiate dictionary, 1988)
This implies that one must be of "sound mind and body" to actually commit suicide. But the medical community and society see it differently. Does this mean that if you are sick physically, and you kill yourself, it isn't suicide? Or does suicide only apply to the irrational act of someone who is having overwhelming problems with no way out? Either way, my personal view of suicide is that of someone who is experienceing an extreme form of depression, who needs help to cope with their problems. This may mean counseling, determining if the depression is organic and/or providing the necessary treatment for any other cause of such feelings of hopelessness. We must always take depression and suicide seriously.
Euthanasia to me then, as the definition states, is an act of mercy. But for us to determine legislation for it is a slippery slope. We do not live in a society, where things are often debated in the perfect sense, where such a practice can be applied in reality. This means there is always going to be some who will, for example, "euthanize" their mother as an "act of mercy". With the express intent of getting the family fortune (not such an act of mercy). Even though there may be the best of intentions, it isn't truely applicable to our society, especially as it stands today. Perhaps if we evolve, maybe someday, it will become an unspoken law that we can count on. I believe we can only use the tools we have now to keep those who are in pain comfortable and pain free in their final time. Speaking as a nurse, who has worked extensively with those in their final years of life, pain control is the most important means to provide a merciful and fulfilling experience for the patient and the family. I have found that it is also spiritual, to know that they may slip to the otherside and not suffer in the process is greatly spiritual, often to the family, patient and to me as well. I only hope someone is there to do the same for me when my final time comes. Perhaps this is as close as we can come to euthanasia in today's society.
I look forward to reading the opinions of others on this topic. Remember, just thinking about something and talking about something is part of the magic that will and can change the world!
| Since My Email Helped Prompt This WeekÕs Topic, Here Are My Opinions... ||Mar 28th. at 4:04:20 pm EST|
|John (New Naumkeag) ||Age: 33 - Email |
Since my email helped prompt this weekÕs topic, here are my opinions on the morals of permissible killing and societyÕs role therein.
* * *
SOCIETYÕS ROLE. I think society can and must involve itself, at least culturally if not also legally, in matters of morals. I think that is especially true in matters of life and death. I do not think that such matters --especially matters of life and death--are only private choices.
I think that way because of the social nature of human beings. We are not atomized individuals, living in our own isolated universes. We are a social species: we incarnate into this world and live this life by and through and in the company of other human beings. As social beings, our actions not only affect ourselves; the actions of the individual affect other individuals and the world in which we all must live, and the consequences of our actions take place now and (through cause and effect) into the future.
Furthermore, we are moral beings. We are not just social beings. Ants are just social beings. Human beings are also moral beings: we have a tremendous degree of consciousness and we possess free will.
Taken together --mankind being moral and social-- the position of ÒWho are we to judge?Ó is unacceptable; it is in effect avoiding the responsibility (which is the flip side of freedom) which we as society have for society and its individual members. We are social beings; we are moral beings; therefore, we must judge. We must judge human conduct to determine whether it is acceptable, and we must enforce standards thereof. We must do so in order that human beings can survive and thrive, both as individuals and as a social and moral species, now and into the future.
That is the web of life as experienced in human life. We are social beings and moral beings; and our dual nature reflects and is part of the interconnectedness of all and its dynamic of cause and effect (karma). Thus, please understand me: I donÕt support a tyranny of society over the individual. However, I also donÕt support a tyranny of the individual over society. And, I donÕt support what is in effect avoiding our responsibility (which is the flip side of our freedom) by asking Òwho are we to judge?Ó Instead, I support the Balance: of individualsÕ rights and societyÕs rights. That Balance respects how human life actually operates: yes we are individuals, but yes we are all in this together.
* * *
PRINCIPLE. Regarding the morals of killing other human beings, the principle from Nature (and from the evolution of mankindÕs understanding of NatureÕs law) seems to me to be:
ÒRespect life and cause no harm, unless harm is necessary to prevent or to stop a greater harm.Ó
And thus I try to apply that principle to the matters of euthanasia, abortion and suicide, and I try to do so in a way that respects the Balance of individualsÕ rights and societyÕs rights.
* * *
EUTHANASIA. Death is part of NatureÕs law for physical life, but modern medical technology can try to challenge that law of Nature and end up making an obscene mockery of all that is life. So, I think euthanasia can be moral to prevent the greater harm of prolonging someoneÕs life after it is her or his time to die. Thus, I think it should be allowed as an option for a person who *knows* that it is his or her time to die, AND if that person consents to euthanasia, AND *only* if legal precautions and procedures are followed to insure that the person isnÕt being murdered: out of a motive of over-zealous desire to ease sufferings, or out of a motive of convenience, or out of baser motives...
* * *
ABORTION. The arguments surrounding this can be so clouded in emotion and tangential issues, yet the deciding issue seems clear enough to me: is the fetus a human being, not just a human life? (Just as an acorn is not yet an oak tree, so not every human life is yet a human being.) Since Nature provides no clear answer (conception is too early and birth is too late), we must decide.
The only objective standard for making that decision which makes practical sense to me is two-fold: 1) does the fetus have enough of a developed brain for consciousness? 2) if yes, is the fetus viable for life outside of the motherÕs womb? If the answer to both questions is yes, the fetus must be judged to be a human being.
If the fetus is sufficiently developed to be judged a human being, the principle of Òdo no harm, unless harm is required to prevent a greater harmÓ comes to apply. Therefore, a fetus which is also a human being can be morally killed only to prevent a greater harm from occurring: for example, preventing the death of the mother or preventing a rapist from perpetuating his crime. Otherwise, if no greater harm is to be prevented, a fetus which is sufficiently developed to be a human being must be allowed to live.
On the other hand, if the fetus doesnÕt yet have a brain capable of consciousness and/or it isnÕt yet viable outside the motherÕs womb, I think it can be judged to be ÒjustÓ human life and not yet a human being. As such, an undeveloped and/or unviable fetus can be morally killed through abortion, which should be legal and safe.
* * *
SUICIDE. I think suicide is wrong, and I think that it must be condemned, and I think that it should be prevented when possible.
I donÕt refer to euthanasia (see above), and I donÕt refer to self-sacrifice (such as to save someone elseÕs life or as a last defiant gesture in war, etc.), and I donÕt refer to people who are genuinely insane and who kill themselves because of their insanity.
Instead, by ÒsuicideÓ I mean very specifically: someone who responds to the hardships of life by killing himself or herself.
I realize that people who commit suicide are usually responding to tremendous anguish. I realize that the causes of that anguish might be truly unjust, unpleasant or unhappy circumstances. Thus, I realize that suicidal people are worthy of help and love if still alive or prayers and sympathy if dead.
But none of that changes the fact that the act of suicide is wrong. It is wrong on principle, and it is wrong by example to others who might be going through similar (or worse) hardships of life.
Suicide is wrong on principle because it causes harm -- but it does not prevent or stop a greater harm. Again, IÕm not referring to euthanasia, self-sacrifice, etc. IÕm referring very specifically to people who respond to the hardships of life by killing themselves. And that is wrong on principle because it causes harm but it does not prevent or stop a greater harm.
Specifically, suicide causes tremendous harm to the loved ones left behind and to the person who kills herself or himself.
For the loved ones left behind, suicide causes the harm of a living nightmare of pain, anger and doubt; an open, jagged, raw wound upon the heart and soul and psyche of the loved ones left behind, perhaps for the rest of their natural lives. I have witnessed this harm in others whose loved ones committed suicide. I can only call the chronic harm they suffer an atrocity.
For the ones who commit suicide, suicide causes harm too: they have thrown away their destinies and thereby made them worse. If they think that suicide allows them to escape their karmic and Divine lessons (and the pain that often comes with those lessons), they are sadly mistaken. They will have to face their lessons, and their pains, in the afterlife or in another life. Also, those lessons and that pain shall be compounded -- by the harm they caused to others because of their suicide.
Suicide doesnÕt make the pain go away; it makes the pain worse: for others and for the person in question. That is the simple but inescapable cause and effect of suicide. And that is why suicide is wrong in principle: for the harm it causes others and for the harm it causes the person who kills herself or himself.
The harm that suicide causes should be especially remembered by Witches, whose moral law begins with: ÒAn harm ye none...Ó
Listen, anyone who is considering suicide: the only way to make the pain go away is to go through the pain ... and thus, to go beyond it. You canÕt escape it, but you can go through it and get past it. Others did; you can too. So, fight! And, get help: thereÕs no shame in doing so. Get help from a doctor, a counselor or a loved one. But donÕt fool yourself: suicide doesnÕt make the pain go away; it only makes it worse. So, please, donÕt murder yourself. Instead, get help and fight onward.
* * *
Wise and Blessed Be.
--John, a Witch
28 March 2001
New Naumkeag, U.S.A.
| Blessings All, I Will Not Talk About Abortion. For I Have No... ||Mar 28th. at 2:56:09 pm EST|
|Riki Crosado (Christchurch, New Zealand) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Blessings all, I will not talk about Abortion. For I have no personal experiance thier. I will talk about Euthanasia, for a friend of mine is dying of Aids. Here in New Zealand, aid is not a big thing. Every now and then a fund riser is started and a bit of public info go out. The last time I saw my friend he was having trouble walking, and was in a lot of pain. I enjoyed his company. But for me to ask him to stay around would be unkind. I think that if he wished to leave us a week or two sooner, and on his terms. I will not stop him. I will fight for his right to deside for him self. I think he will be happy in the summerland, It does not matter if he is a bit early.
| I've Had At Least Some Experience With All Three Of These. I'll... ||Mar 28th. at 2:43:22 pm EST|
|Lonely Cat (somewherein, Texas US) ||Age: 20 |
I've had at least some experience with all three of these. I'll start with the easiest, euthanasia. When I was 12 my cat's kidneys finally gave out. She was very old for a cat, living to be 20, and had a good life, and I wasn't mad at my mom for having her put to sleep. It was the first death of a family member I went through, and I mourned her very much, but she would have died soon anyway, and was in a lot of pain. It was the right decision, and I think humans should also have that option. Of course it depends on the individual situation, but I am sure in some situations euthanasia is appropriate.
Suicide is different. I've been suicidal on and off ever since I first started getting picked on in elementary school (Tempest, I know how you felt). I think most people who commit suicide are very depressed, or feel they have no other way to end their problems, and in that case they need help. Luckily in high school I got help with the school counselor and now I at least don't actually try suicide anymore. I'm still depressed a lot, but I am going to get help. People who are suicidal don't need punishment or ridicule. They need help and love.
As for abortion, I feel that no one has the right to say someone shouldn't get an abortion until they've faced pregnancy themselves. I say this as a person who, yes, actually has had an abortion. NO, I am NOT a slut. In fact, I didn't lose my virginity until I was 19, and when I did it was to a guy I had been dating for seven months, and am still with. I thought I was the last person who would have to make such a decision, but I was ignorant. We both underesitmated the fertility of people our age! We cut corners with birth control, and I got pregnant. There was no way I was going to have a baby. Here I was trying to balance going to college and working almost full time, so there was no way I could raise a kid, let alone handling nine months of being pregnant while trying to work and go to school. Being pregnant is NOT FUN, especially if you don't have a wanted baby to look forward to at the end of it. Also I didn't want to be responsible for yet another unwanted baby up for adoption.
Getting pregnant was a huge mistake, but for me the abortion was the right thing to do. I learned my lesson and am now on birth control and am VERY careful to make sure it doesn't happen again! I hate how people say abortion can be used for birth control. They obviously don't know what it's like at all. For one thing, it's expensive, it's also painful (not the actual procedure, but the soreness afterwards), and you still have to go through the early pregnancy morning sickness (which for me lasted all day). Not to mention any guilt or regret. Nope, buying a pack of birth control pills or some condoms is SO MUCH EASIER. That arguement is just absurd.
I think abortion is definately not a good thing, but it should be an option. Especially in a country where kids get hardly any education on safe sex in school (mostly all I got was "just don't do it"). People are going to have sex, so you have to teach them how to do it safely and responsibly. I think that would prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies. However, we all make mistakes, and there is no such thing as a completely foolproof birth control method, so I think abortion should always be an option.
| I Cannot And Will Not Ever Support Any Religion Or "majority Moral... ||Mar 28th. at 2:34:11 pm EST|
|Iko (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I cannot and will not EVER support any religion or "majority moral view" that attempts to legislate, dictate or otherwise impose rules regarding what I can or cannot do to my own body, or what you can or cannot do to your own body. My life has been touched by suicide (my uncle and a good college friend both killed themselves), euthanasia (my brother was removed from a ventilator and allowed to die "naturally" at the end of a long battle with a fatal disease, he was 20). I have had two miscarriages, but I have never had an elective abortion. I have been there for friends when they faced the decision and the consequences of ending an unwanted pregnancy. So, not only have I thought about all of these topics, I have lived with the real world consequences of two of the three, and felt the enormous loss that follows a miscarriage, and the pain others go through in deciding on having an abortion.
Abortion: Perhaps the saddest of the big three listed here. Personally I would hope that we can evolve as a society to a point at which birth control is freely and cheaply available and family planning is talked about openly. Abortion should never be treated as birth control. Just as we put on seat belts before we drive our cars we should teach kids (and adults) to use protection before they engage in sexual activities. Schools should teach family planning, starting in Jr. High, just as they teach any other subject. Parents should be open and forthright about sex with their children before children hit puberty. Teach a child to value and treasure his or her body, give that child the knowledge and the tools to keep themselves healthy (both mentally and physically) you most likely will have raised a child who will never be involved with an unwanted pregnancy. Contrary to fundamentalist religious leaders, teaching children about the mechanics and consequences of sex does not make children more promiscuous. Promiscuity is much more likely in children with low self-esteem who see sex as something forbidden and mysterious - these are children who are forced to learn about sex from TV, movies, "dirty" magazines and locker room chat. Teach a child to understand, treasure, respect and care for his or her body and you will also find a child who is much less likely to have sex too young, or without protection. Unfortunately there will always be unwanted pregnancies. No birth control method is 100% effective, and there will always be rape and incest. Ultimately the only person who should be able to legally make a decision regarding such pregnancies is the woman or girl who is pregnant. No government, judge, parent, church or man should ever be able to tell the pregnant woman or girl what she can or cannot do with the baby she is carrying before the baby is viable.
Suicide: We need to make sure as a society that we have in place as many safety nets as we can possibly put into place to help catch desperate individuals who are consumed with mental pain before they reach the point of suicide. We need to talk about mental illness and suicide with our children, in our schools, with our friends and co-workers. We need to become a society that no longer treats the mentally ill and their families as if they are carrying some awful stigma. I know how hard it can be to have a mentally ill family member. I know the toll it takes on the entire family, and not just the individual who is ill. I truly believe the VAST majority of suicides are preventable. Find a way to stop the individual's mental pain, and you will stop the suicide. However, if an individual is determined to take his or her own life there is no way anybody will ever stop that person. How can any of us judge the individual who takes his or her life? It was not our life, and ultimately it was not our decision to make. I do believe we must do all we can do to help those who cry out for help, but when a person succeeds in ending his or her life, none of us should be allowed to pass judgment on their action. We can mourn them, we can be mad at them, but we cannot judge them. We have no way to know the real pain they were enduring, and how can we say, really say, their decision was morally wrong.
Euthanasia: We must tread very carefully down this road. We already warehouse our parents and grandparents in nursing homes. We must not become a society where it is easier to "put someone to sleep" than to care for them in their later years. We must help individuals manage pain, manage aging and the disabilities that accompany the final stage of life. We need the medical profession to take pain management for those with cancer and other diseases very, very, very seriously. Euthanasia must be treated like the final option it is, and it must be a decision that only the person who is going to die makes. Period. That said, we should be able to make decisions FOR OURSELVES before we reach the point where the pain is unbearable, or before we are incapacitated. You can protect yourself now by writing a living will (check the requirements for making it legal in your state). Generally with a living will you can make sure that no "heroic" methods are used to extend your life if you are deemed to be dying. Once you are put on a respirator or have a feeding tube inserted it can be very difficult to legally remove them. Write the living will and give it to family member(s) who you KNOW will follow your wishes. If the end is inevitable, and the pain is still unbearable (after the doctors have done EVERYTHING they can do to manage it), then and only then should the individual have the option of ending his or her life. This cannot be a decision made by anybody but the individual. I fear that people will find it easier (and cheaper) to "put grandma to sleep" than to care for her and give her a quality of life if we do not take great precautions on just how euthanasia is used. However, it should be an option and a decision the individual can make. This is not a decision to be made by committee, the only person who can make this decision is the person who is dying..
| Emotionally Charged. I Nominate That Statement For The Understatement Of The Year... ||Mar 28th. at 1:45:33 pm EST|
|ChromeZephyr (West Valley City, Utah US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Emotionally charged. I nominate that statement for the Understatement of the Year Award. *grin* Anyways...
I guess the real crux of this question is one of personal freedom vs. institutional regulation. Myself, I am pro-choice on all accounts. That is not to say I agree with abortions (for the most part I find the practice disgusting, ) but I cannot say for anyone else whether they can or cannot make that choice for themselves It is, after all, their life and they will have to deal with the aftermath of making that decision. As for euthanasia...my grandfather's last six months of life were a living hell as his systems rotted from within due to two forms of cancer. I wonder frequently if, given the chance, he would have chosen to just turn up the drip and drift away. But it should be up to the person, not their family, or their doctors, or (Goddess forbid) the health care companies (sanctioned murder of an elderly patient because it will cut costs makes me shudder at the thought.)
Suicide is a touchy subject. I've been there, sitting in a darkened room with the knife to my wrist and waiting until I could find the courage to make the cut. I've helped friends work through it (sadly, experience does seem to be the best teacher for that.) I find the thought that anyone would willfully remove themselves from this series of lessons repulsive...Yes, I know, I was there and quite willing to do just that. I've had a lot of time since then to think about that choice and see what I would have missed. Scary. But, how can I say to someone "Yes, your life sucks, your significant other just left you for someone else, you lost your job, your apartment, your family hates you, etc. etc. etc....but you can't kill yourself! No! Bad!" In the end, it's their choice...and I've seen both sides of that choice with friends (--I'll see you next time around, ke'chara--).
So, the entire point of that long-winded ramble was that, in the end, this life is full of choices to make...and those three are just a small part of it.
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