Right to die billboard causes a big stir

Only in California man I swear...SMH

abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=7502970

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a simple billboard, raising complicated questions. People advocating what they call "the right to die" brought their message to the Bay Area on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, a sign went up at the intersection of Howard and Van Ness. The six words on the sign costs $2,500 and it's getting a lot of attention.

Some people are going out of their way to read the billboard and many are taking a double take.

It reads: "My life my death my choice."

You know, while all my colleagues were mocking Pope John Paul II in his castigation of the "so-called" Culture of Death, little did they know that such a culture would come to full fruition. We've seen this before. They say they're for "reproductive rights" and that it's all about "choice" when in reality they're advocating for the sanctioning of the slaughter of the unborn.

Now they're mincing their word salad of the day by appealing to the "right to die", when in reality they mean the right for others to call the shots for when you'll kick the bucket.

Listen closely:

The Catholic Church has long recognized the "right to choose" and the "right to die"...

... that is:

You have the right to choose to not have sex if you cannot support a child.

You have the right to refuse medical treatment should you find yourself fighting a terminal disease.

What you don't have the "right" to do is to murder your unborn child. Similarly you do not have the right to starve a person to death, as was done with Terry Schiavo, simply becuase she had found herself in a persistent vegetative state. In other words: YOUR RIGHTS END WHERE THE LIFE OF ANOTHER PERSON BEGINS. Should seem simple enough, shouldn't it?

We're beyond needing blessings as we're on a self destructive path. God save America from herself!

PS: I'm one of the "outraged" citizens of San Francisco. I noticed this billboard when it first reared its ugly head as I have to pass it every day on my way to work. I won't fight to have the billboard removed as I believe in freedom of speech. But I'll tell you that San Franciscans aren't ready for this, and this pressing of boundaries has prompted a general conversation of "what is life?" and "where do we draw the boundaries?" (I've already had this conversation with coworkers, students, and research fellows a couple dozen times in the last two days!). This billboard might be a blessing in disguise, and will likely have far reaching implications for the pro-life movement here.

They've poked the sleeping beast and they might not like the outcome.

The sign isn’t about abortion.

Indeed, but some people, including myself, believe that every adult has the right to decide when they’re going to die, that is whether or not to end their life, especially when faced with a terminal illness. People have the right to a dignified death; those with terminal illnesses shouldn’t be obligated to slowly waste away if that isn’t the manner of death they want and doctors and/or family members should be allowed to facilitate their wishes.

Not really.

The article mentions that three states (Oregon, Washington, and Montana ) currently allow assisted suicide. California does not, but perhaps this billboard is intended to rally support behind the cause.

And similar billboards are planned in two other states as well: New Jersey and Florida.

Must be some coincidence but did you see Dr. Kovorkian on Larry King??? I cant believe that Larry would even … entertain this man’s ideals. He was on there practically preaching that people should have the right to kill themselves. And Larry was right along with him…

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:2, topic:202358"]

PS: I'm one of the "outraged" citizens of San Francisco.

[/quote]

You've just shaken a major stereotype of mine about San Francisco. Not shattered it, but shaken it.

LOL.

I won't go to that place. The last time I went, upon leaving, I was scared to turn back and look for fear of turning into a pillar of salt.

Emperor Neopolean…

I disagree with you. I dont think its our right, to intervene with God’s will. He decides when and how you die. I think it is our job, to make someone comfortable. … to provide medicine and care. But not to KILL them.

THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

Theres no way you can get around that. Its a sin. To assist in a suicide is killing someone, therefore murder.

THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

Suicide is self murder. It is a sin to kill yourself.

And secondly, I dont think anyone REALLY wants to die. ((except for someone with some serious mental or depression issues, but those may be able to be worked out)).

I mean, I’ve had MIGRAINES that have made me shut myself in my room and cry OH GOD I wish I could JUST DIE already…But I dont REALLY want to die, and when its all over, I thank God. I think that the pain is what makes people want to die, thats why we should make them as comfortable as possible, but always follow God’s rules, you know??

[quote="Charlotte408, post:7, topic:202358"]

And secondly, I dont think anyone REALLY wants to die. ((except for someone with some serious mental or depression issues, but those may be able to be worked out)).

[/quote]

I don't think you've cared for many people who are lingering on in their final months. Persons who have no enjoyment in life, but experience daily suffering. They know they are about to die, have made peace with the world, and they are ready to pass.... but cannot, and it grieves them.

I'm not saying that euthanasia is the right thing to do. But some people, in certain circumstances, truly do want to die.

I don’t think that is true at all; some people do have a very valid reason for wanting to die and are not suffering from any mental illness or depression issues. To say that if you want to die you must be suffering from depression simply isn’t true. There is a difference, however, between wishing for death and leaving things in God’s hands and taking the issue into your own.

You can just about always kill yourself painlessly so the point seems moot to begin with. The people who want to die can do so already without any negative legal consequences. There is no reason to put a stamp of approval on suicide and push sick people who might want to live otherwise to kill themselves. Legalizing suicide makes it easier for society and relatives who are becoming economically burdened caring for a sick person to get rid of them. It basically sends the message… dear Sickie, you’re expensive. please die. It becomes hard to justify millions of dollars in treatment to keep someone alive for a few months more when you can simply kill them for about 500

I know it’s not. I clearly mentioned abortion as it’s euthanasia’s sister in the “Culture of Death”.

Indeed, but some people, including myself, believe that every adult has the right to decide when they’re going to die, that is whether or not to end their life, especially when faced with a terminal illness. People have the right to a dignified death; those with terminal illnesses shouldn’t be obligated to slowly waste away if that isn’t the manner of death they want and doctors and/or family members should be allowed to facilitate their wishes.

And I’d have to disagree given that I believe in God and that life lies in his providence. Seeing as you’re an atheist I don’t expect an appeal to God to be very convincing, so how about an argument to consistency? I see this “right to death” being arbitrarily granted to some and withheld from others. Why should the law stop me from committing suicide right now while I’m a healthy 25 year old but bestow upon me that right when I’m a decrepit 75 year old? If I am my own island and I have this inherent right to make such a decision for myself, who is the law to tell me otherwise?

[quote="Charlotte408, post:6, topic:202358"]
You've just shaken a major stereotype of mine about San Francisco. Not shattered it, but shaken it.

LOL.

I won't go to that place. The last time I went, upon leaving, I was scared to turn back and look for fear of turning into a pillar of salt.

[/quote]

Oh Sweetheart. San Jo isn't too far from Sodom. ;)

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:11, topic:202358"]
Oh Sweetheart. San Jo isn't too far from Sodom. ;)

[/quote]

Your right...Its about a 45 minute drive down 101 from it. ;)

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:10, topic:202358"]
And I'd have to disagree given that I believe in God and that life lies in his providence. Seeing as you're an atheist I don't expect an appeal to God to be very convincing, so how about an argument to consistency?

[/quote]

Well, first, I'm not an athiest; I'm agnostic. Second, even the Catholic Church condones suicide to some degree in it's prohibition of the use of "extraodinary measures" to stay alive. Precisely what falls under the definition of "extraordinary measures" is disagreed on by clergy and the laity alike.

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:10, topic:202358"]
I see this "right to death" being arbitrarily granted to some and withheld from others. Why should the law stop me from committing suicide right now while I'm a healthy 25 year old but bestow upon me that right when I'm a decrepit 75 year old? If I am my own island and I have this inherent right to make such a decision for myself, who is the law to tell me otherwise?

[/quote]

I'm not saying that the law should prohibit any adult from making and carrying out that choice. What I am saying is that doctors and/or family members of those with such wishes, who cannot perform the act themselves, should be legally permitted to carry out that directive provided there is a legtimiate medical reason for doing so.

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:13, topic:202358"]
Second, even the Catholic Church condones suicide to some degree in it's prohibition of the use of "extraodinary measures" to stay alive. Precisely what falls under the definition of "extraordinary measures" is disagreed on by clergy and the laity alike.

[/quote]

I think you misunderstand the Catholic Church's position. Here is what the Catechism says:

Withholding extraordinary care is acceptable when the burden greatly outweighs the benefit. But the primary intention cannot be to cause death.

The section immediately before that statement is clear about forbidding euthanasia.

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm#I

You are correct that what constitutes "extraordinary means" is undefined, and a judgment call. But withholding such care has to be weighed against the strong prohibition on euthanasia. And actively taking an action to cause a death is always wrong.

[quote="Dale_M, post:14, topic:202358"]
The section immediately before that statement is clear about forbidding euthanasia.

[/quote]

Which seems, at least to me, to be a contradiction. Ceasing medical treatment viewed to be "extraordinary means" to cause death is just a longwinded way of saying euthanasia. The means may be different but the purpose and end result are the same.

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:13, topic:202358"]
Well, first, I'm not an athiest; I'm agnostic.

[/quote]

Oops. :blush: I hastily read your affiliation tag. I'm sorry.

Second, even the Catholic Church condones suicide to some degree in it's prohibition of the use of "extraodinary measures" to stay alive. Precisely what falls under the definition of "extraordinary measures" is disagreed on by clergy and the laity alike.

While we're at it the clergy and laity disagree on a host of issues. It's this same hair splitting game that particular Catholic laypeople and clerics employ to argue for what the Vatican deems "artificial" contraception by saying that there's no essential difference between the effect of it and natural family planning. What ultimately matters to the orthodox Catholic, however, is what the Roman Curia says, not what ones liberally informed conscience or pastor might think. And I might add that this is a mighty fine reason to have a visible head; a focal point of authority to make these fine distinctions otherwise each and every Catholic would be arguing from a different vantage and we'd have hundreds of thousands of "extraordinary measures".

I'm not saying that the law should prohibit any adult from making and carrying out that choice. What I am saying is that doctors and/or family members of those with such wishes, who cannot perform the act themselves, should be legally permitted to carry out that directive provided there is a legtimiate medical reason for doing so.

But this begs the question. What is a legitimate reason? By what authority does one determine legitimacy? I won't pretend to have followed the right to die discussions vigilantly, but from what little I have read of the advocates' point of views, they seem to have a general consensus that a legitimate reason for physician assisted suicide is the physical pain a terminal illness causes while the emotional or psychological pain prompting one to consider suicide while physically healthy is not legitimate. Now, I understand the distinction, but I question if the distinction is actually helpful or even accurate. Why is it that emotional or psychological pain disqualifies one from making this decision (presumably as one lacks the faculties to accurately weigh the cost/benefit relationship of the results) while physical pain doesn't? I've seen people say and do pretty irrational things when in extreme, chronic physical pain that they would otherwise not do were they pain free. What makes one situation different from the other?

It is seemingly contradicting if one doesn’t consider the morality of acts in of themselves. Our secular world doesn’t do this too often any more, which sadly predisposes us to a relativistic mindset, but the Church still does. Yes, consequences and effects matter, but the actions employed to arrive at such consequences matter just as much. The Church says we cannot do inherently evil things in order to produce a good effect; so while deciding to forgo chemotherapy ultimately results in a dead patient as does removing a feeding tube or actively administering a euthanizing reagent, the first act is amoral while the latter two (starving someone and actively killing someone) are immoral.

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:16, topic:202358"]
Oops. :blush: I hastily read your affiliation tag. I'm sorry.?

[/quote]

No offense taken. Just wanted to make sure you didn't mistake me for an athiest. :D

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:16, topic:202358"]
What ultimately matters to the orthodox Catholic, however, is what the Roman Curia says, not what ones liberally informed conscience or pastor might think. And I might add that this is a mighty fine reason to have a visible head; a focal point of authority to make these fine distinctions otherwise each and every Catholic would be arguing from a different vantage and we'd have hundreds of thousands of "extraordinary measures".

[/quote]

The problem being that the Roman Curia, as far as I know, hasn't defined the term in way that uniformy applies. What is extraordinary to one family may not be to another.

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:16, topic:202358"]
But this begs the question. What is a legitimate reason? By what authority does one determine legitimacy? I won't pretend to have followed the right to die discussions vigilantly, but from what little I have read of the advocates' point of views, they seem to have a general consensus that a legitimate reason for physician assisted suicide is the physical pain a terminal illness causes while the emotional or psychological pain prompting one to consider suicide while physically healthy is not legitimate. Now, I understand the distinction, but I question if the distinction is actually helpful or even accurate. Why is it that emotional or psychological pain disqualifies one from making this decision (presumably as one lacks the faculties to accurately weigh the cost/benefit relationship of the results) while physical pain doesn't? I've seen people say and do pretty irrational things when in extreme, chronic physical pain that they would otherwise not do were they pain free. What makes one situation different from the other?

[/quote]

In terms of terminal illness, the emotional and psychological pain is a direct result of physical pain and the knowledge of one's impending demise. An advance medical directive would easily resolve any issue that would derive from of the impairment of one's normal judgement in the face of extreme physical, psychological, or emotional pain. Euthenasia is not a legitimate course of action in cases which do not involve severe impairment (i.e. a vegetative state) or imminent death because such cases are medically treatable.

[quote="xixxvmcm85, post:17, topic:202358"]
It is seemingly contradicting if one doesn't consider the morality of acts in of themselves. Our secular world doesn't do this too often any more, which sadly predisposes us to a relativistic mindset, but the Church still does. Yes, consequences and effects matter, but the actions employed to arrive at such consequences matter just as much. The Church says we cannot do inherently evil things in order to produce a good effect; so while deciding to forgo chemotherapy ultimately results in a dead patient as does removing a feeding tube or actively administering a euthanizing reagent, the first act is amoral while the latter two (starving someone and actively killing someone) are immoral.

[/quote]

I question that assessment. Forcing someone to continue experiencing extreme pain and anguish is not moral; it's tantamount to torture.

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:15, topic:202358"]
Which seems, at least to me, to be a contradiction. Ceasing medical treatment viewed to be "extraordinary means" to cause death is just a longwinded way of saying euthanasia. The means may be different but the purpose and end result are the same.

[/quote]

I think you are right in that it could be described as passive euthanasia. You've put your finger on a gray zone in Church teaching on this subject.

However, active euthanasia, which involves administering a lethal agent, is expressly forbidden.

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:18, topic:202358"]
Forcing someone to continue experiencing extreme pain and anguish is not moral; it's tantamount to torture.

[/quote]

Yes. No one is questioning a person's right to undergo all of the suffering that he or she wants. What we're talking about is a person's ability to choose whether or not they want to suffer extreme pain when they're going to die anyway after a few months, or whatever the particular case is.

There are most certainly cases where people are in extreme physical pain and told that they will suffer tremendously and then inevitably die.

Now maybe you are of the position that suffering is a good thing; that it brings you closer to god or that it builds character or that it provides an example for others or that it produces virtue or that it is part of god's plan or whatever.

Good for you -- not everyone shares those beliefs.

Like it or not, you are part of a society where other people don't necessarily agree that there's a god or that this god likes suffering for its own sake.

No one's going to take away your right to suffer if you're ever in that situation, yet you want to take away someone else's right to choose to die, even when that person doesn't share your beliefs and instead believes that being forced to live on is a kind of torture.

For these reasons, I find the anti-euthanasia position to be wicked.

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