Life is sacred. And we should never deviate from this belief – not even if the radical right agrees with us on this one value.
The life of the poor is sacred, just as the right of the rich is sacred. All life is sacred. There is no life that is worthless. The worth in life, all life, is absolute and sacred.
There can be no move towards making life disposable by corporate medical systems, by uncaring and hateful rightwing governments, and by any and all systems of healing and caring. The job of medical care is to sustain life. Any move towards expediency, any move towards shifting this role from life to death, is a move in the wrong direction.
Life is sacred and we should protect human life.
That said, each person has the absolute right to choose both life – and death. It is your right to live. It is your right to die. And if you choose to die, it is best that your death be the least painful and the most dignified possible.
The right of both – life and death – belong to the individual. Not to the state, not to medical professionals. And the decision to die belongs to the person making the decision. It is not right, in any way, for society to be moving people along in this decision to save money on medical programs, or to remove the disabled from society – or for any other reason. The sole reason to support and assist one’s choice to die is to respect each person’s right to choose in such matters.
I believe that the absolute and undeniable value of all life should be the bedrock principle on issues of death and dying. From this principle should stem safeguards, systems, ethical standards and means of resolving conflicts between the value of life and the value of respecting the right to death. But the correct order is to derive all from the first and foremost value: that of life.
Additionally, I believe that this principle should extend to a consistent expression of the value of life throughout society. There should be no death penalty. Hunger, disease and death from poverty should be overcome. War ended. Poverty ended. Loving care should be provided for all – in all stages of life. Humane systems of care, of pain management, and of death and dying should be central to our entire society. Life is sacred. And we should never deviate from this belief – not even if the radical right agrees with us on this one value.