Sunday, August 16, 2009

Australian quad given the "right" to be dehydrated to death

Story here. Unclear whether he'll actually do it. How evil is that? You insist that the courts declare you have this "right" when you aren't even sure you want it. On the principle of the thing. Presumably, so other people can be dehydrated to death. That's what they call progress, I guess. It's unclear from the story whether the facility has the right to refuse to be involved, but in any event, the facility appears to be willing in principle provided they can't be held liable. In the U.S., of course, nursing homes get court-ordered to withdraw nutrition and hydration. And dig the judge: Part of the argument for this is that he is not dying? I'm trying to wrap my mind around the pseudo-logic of that. I suppose the judge intends to emphasize that Rossiter is of sound mind. The Kevorkian from Down Under, Philip Nitschke, was on hand to say how terrible it is that Rossiter can't be killed more swiftly. All the usual suspects, in fact.

God have mercy on us.

HT Bill Luse, via e-mail


William Luse said...

"Philip Nitschke, was on hand to say how terrible it is that Rossiter can't be killed more swiftly."

That will be the next step because, on a purely utilitarian basis, Nitschke's right. Withdrawing N&H and administering a lethal injection are the same thing except that one is faster. It will depend on how long we hold to the delusion that withdrawing the former "allows" one to die.

On a PR level, Rossiter will be held up as a sort of paradigm: "See? Sane people in this condition really do want to be let go." The implication being that when this is done to unconscious people, we have done "what they would have wanted."

Lydia McGrew said...

Good point about his being awake and aware. And here's what that means: The facility will have to knock him out (practically) with pain medication so he can bear to go through with it. How anybody can think of that as "letting die" is beyond me. It's hardly natural to refuse food and water and demand sophisticated pain relief so you can manage to go through your self-chosen torturous death.