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You want me to do what?

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On Election Day in November, in addition to electing a president, we the people of Massachusetts, or at least those of us who take the trouble to vote, will be deciding whether to legalize prescribing "medication" to end someone's life. Question 2 is a ballot question, and I for one plan to vote NO. For one thing, I don't like medications that are actually lethal. Without euphemism, we used to call them simply "poison."

I think human life is inherently valuable, inviolable and unalienable. Even or especially when it becomes difficult or painful, as happens with illness and/or old age. I do not think it is the business of government or of individuals to be making the judgment that someone else's life is not worth living, and consequently enabling third parties to help kill them. Suicide is something I regard with horror, partly because a strain of mental illness runs in my family, so suicidal urges and thoughts are not something foreign to my experience. But I associate them with depression and mental illness.

While suicide is not technically illegal, assisted suicide has always been illegal because it helps kill someone. Consent, it should be noted, has never been a defense to the charge of homicide. (In this, it is unlike some other crimes like rape.) The proposed law does not generally require a psychological evaluation of the people requesting the lethal drugs to assure that they are in their right mind. So much for the proposed "safeguards"!

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