Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Pelosi on a High Horse
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi * The Fishing President * Death With Dignity and the Brits
Reading Dan Froomkin's column : "Would Bush Rather Be Fishing?" made me think of a bumper sticker that I see on pickup trucks near fishing holes---A bad day fishing is better than a good day working. "Is it possible that President Bush doesn't really enjoy his job? "Asked by a German tabloid to name the most wonderful moment of his presidency, Bush on Friday said it came while he was on vacation, fishing on his private lake." A joke or a reflection of his innermost self in an unguarded moment ? A Freudian slip.
Our friends across the Atlantic are considering a bill to allow assistance in dying for terminally ill patients. Baroness Mary Warnock in The Guardian, May 7th: "Considering that all men are mortal, we are curiously unwilling to acknowledge that death, our inevitable fate, should not always be postponed. The Romans recognised that suicide was sometimes not only an admirable but a rational end to life. I think they were right and that there are situations of suffering where to kill oneself is the most reasonable and the most desirable course to take. But committing suicide is difficult, especially if one is ill and under constant surveillance. And though suicide is not illegal, as the law stands, one cannot ask help from anyone else, because assisting suicide is a criminal offence. On Friday, Lord Joffe's bill to permit assisted dying for the terminally ill is to receive its second reading in the House of Lords. It is a bill of limited scope, allowing doctors to provide patients with the means to commit suicide, but only those who ask repeatedly for help to die, who are competent to make their own decisions and who are suffering acutely in the terminal stage of an incurable illness."
The bill appears to be identical to the one that the voters of Oregon passed in 1997, and which has, so far, survived repeated attacks against it by the Bush Administration. It is unfortunate that bigots in America are receiving support of the government to deny physician assistance in dying to terminally ill people who wish to elect that option, and the Bush Administration is prepared to ignore State's rights to appease its core support groups.