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jdavidb (1361)

jdavidb
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http://voiceofjohn.blogspot.com/

J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Wednesday September 07, 2005
10:50 AM

It's my life, and my body

[ #26630 ]

People should have the legal right to terminate their lives if they have a terminal illness causing them great pain.

People should have the legal right to terminate their lives even if they do not.

People should have a legal right to injest whatever substance they want: food (healthy or unhealthy), alcohol, marijuana, drugs they've decided they need under advice from the medical source of their preference, whatever.

People should have the legal right to skydive or bungee jump.

People should have the legal right to ride their motorcycles without helmets.

People should have the legal right to engage in whatever sexual practices they want, as long as all persons participating consent. (We're assuming, of course, that we're talking about people who legally can consent, here.)

People should have the legal right to donate their organs in the event of their death.

People should have the legal right to donate their organs even if they don't die.

People should have the legal right to give or sell their organs to the recipient of their choice.

People should have the legal right to leave directives which must by law be followed in the event of their incapacitation.

People should have the legal right to stay in New Orleans whether it is a danger to themselves or not.

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  • I'm ambivalent about that last assertion. I think there's a societal implication that if things get really bad, the police/army/coastguard will have to come in and rescue them. Sure, you can say, "Don't rescue me!" but people (and polling-twitchy politicians) simply won't stand for it. So it's different than all the rest because it implicitly involves someone (a rescue worker) who's not giving consent and who may be endangered by the rescue.
  • Some of those are cut and dried "yes" answers. Some of them have caveats that need to be added. For instance donating an organ to who ever you want should have a medical rider. Some of them are matters of interpretation, or conscience, or even morality. All subjective.

    You still have to live under the laws of the land.

    However, all those lines really start with an unstated "I think". Which is fine and dandy.

  • Sure, someone should have a legal right to ride a motorcycle without a helmet but that poses an interesting dilemma. Some feel that society has a moral obligation to help those who cannot help themselves, such as with medical expenses. If an indegent mother cannot afford pre-natal care, the argument asserts that by society providing her with such care, we lower long-term costs by ensuring a more healthy baby.

    However, what about the motorcycle rider? Should society bear the costs of his voluntary activ

    • I recognize and agree with your point that there are occasionally complex issues. However, I have simple answers to some of the ones you raise. :)

      Some feel that society has a moral obligation to help those who cannot help themselves, such as with medical expenses.

      Those who feel that moral obligation should bear the burden of carrying it out, rather than legislating their morality onto anyone else. :)

      In our current state of affairs, the motorcycle rider who seriously injures himself and sits in a h

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • should a pregnant mother be forbidden to drink aclohol?"

        No, but that doesn't stop me from talking to her about how bad drinking (and smoking) is to her unborn child.

      • I'm fine with people not riding without helmets. I would impose two legal requirements:

        1) proof of health insurance
        2) be an organ donor

        I would say the same for those that feel the need to not use seat belts.

        Freedom to fuck your life up as much as you want is fine. Imposing a burden on society for your actions needs to be somehow amerliorated.

        If one wants to belong to a group for certain benefits then you need to go along with the group's rules.

        I suppose if a helmetless rider signs a document that he won't b
  • I don't know about in countries with fully privatised medical systems, but in Australia we have largely public health.

    And some of the assertions fall down under those circumstances.

    For example. As a general rule, you should ride a motorcycle with a helmet. REALLY REALLY bad things happen to heads in motorcycle accidents.

    The government owns those roads you want to ride on. And they are going to have to pay if you hurt yourself. So the deal they do is that if you want to ride a motorcycle on their roads, you