From the Archives: On Rights

I originally posted this back on September 7, 2008. I thought it was still relevant, given the state this country is in and the almost single-minded push to strip all our rights away from us. The post appears as it did then, with only light editing.

On Rights

It is illegal to commit suicide in this country. This begs the question: Who owns my life? Is it me, or the government?

If I am the owner of my life, then it is my choice to commit suicide if I so choose. Regardless of the moral implications of the act, the everlasting damnation some people believe in, or the ethical ramifications; if I am the owner of my existence, then I have the right to choose when to die and in what manner.

In a sense, I have a limited right to this already: I am of legal age to purchase cigarettes. So I can purchase my favorite brand of smokes, light up and slowly kill myself with lung cancer or emphysema, or whatever else the Evil Nasty Cigarettes are supposed to do to you.

(Aside: I don’t hate smokers or cigarettes. I’ve been known to puff a Lucky Strike (Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco) on occasion.)

However, the right to slowly poison myself ends with tobacco and alcohol. (I don’t drink, but I have the legal right to, if I wished, except on Sunday, when the Christian God is watching.) It is, however, illegal for me to kill myself in any other way. This seems odd to me, considering the fact that I am not the property of the United States Government.

After all, if the government can make a law stating that I can’t kill myself, then they are, in effect, making a claim on my life as their property. Thus, they are making an illegal claim, as it is illegal to own another human being. Click this link to read the Constitution of the United States: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution.html to find out more. This claim to illegal action relates to the abolishment of slavery.

And I think this law forbidding me to kill myself is an act of slavery.

My life is my own. It belongs to me. It’s mine to do with as I please. No governmental agency, operative, or representative, elected official, senator, judge, law enforcer, or president has the right to tell me what to do with it.

I hold this truth to be self-evident.

It’s 12:00 AM. Do you know where your meat is?

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About WonderGoon

WonderGoon is seeking enlightenment and questions everything.
This entry was posted in Christianity, General, Personal, Philosophy, Politics, PostADay2011, PostAWeek2011, Religion, Social Observations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to From the Archives: On Rights

  1. Skatha says:

    Well what are they gonna do to you if you do it? Throw your body in jail?

    Like

  2. storydad says:

    Yes, but the purpose for that law isnt to control your life. It’s to get you help.

    With that law in place, should you survive the attempt you will be examined and treated. Of course you won’t want it, but you are not in a competant state of mind at that point to make that determination.

    I agree that some suicides are entirely justified. Terminal Illness which is going to obliterate your whole families finances and destroy all you worked for in an insane attempt to treat the untreatable is the big one, with cancer heading the list of shit that is going to kill you slowly, painfully, and extremly expensivly.

    Mental health issues are an entirely different matter. Most of them are treatable, things will get better, and death is terribly final. Cancer is night falling. Depression is a cloud over the sun. When Night falls you go home, but for a cloud you just keep on working right through it.

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    • WonderGoon says:

      Yes, but the purpose for that law isnt to control your life. It’s to get you help.”

      Why, then, is it illegal? If it were there to “help,” it wouldn’t be illegal to do it.

      With that law in place, should you survive the attempt you will be examined and treated. Of course you won’t want it, but you are not in a competant state of mind at that point to make that determination.”

      Examined. Treated. Then locked up for breaking the law. Again, a penalty for making a choice the government doesn’t like.

      Mental health issues are an entirely different matter. Most of them are treatable, things will get better, and death is terribly final.”

      Yes, mental health is an entirely different matter. On this point, we agree. Virtually all of them are treatable. But, in some cases, once treated in the proscribed manner, some people actually loose civil protections, which is a penalty, too.

      Thanks for the comments.

      Like

      • storydad says:

        No, you are not typically treated and then locked up. It is illegal as a mechanism for the state to take control of you so that you can be treated against your will, in the event that you have no family or they are unable or unwilling to care for you. If its not a crime, you are free to refuse treatment, and immediately try again. Draconian perhaps, but well intentioned.

        I can’t say that what you describe has never happened, abuses occur with anything, and those that enforce these laws are as human as anyone else. This was not the intent however. It certainly does not enslave anyone.

        If the law was used as you suggest, we would have thousands of overly emo teens in custody, rather than remanded to the care of a hospital under the supervision of their parents.

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  3. storydad says:

    Curious, I did a little searching. It appears that some old laws held over from colonial days made suicide illegal, but currently it is not, either at the federal or state level. There are a few states that hold it as a misdemeanor, and a couple more that mention it in connection with fraud. ‘attempted’ suicide gets some attention, and assisting suicide is illegal just about everywhere but Oregon, which passed a Death with dignity law a while back—and it has survived all challenges so far.

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