Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Assisted suicide?

A news item on NPR caught my attention this morning. California executed 77 year old man who was blind, partially deaf and confined to a wheelchair. He had been incarcerated on death row for more than 20 years.

I don’t know the case well enough to know how the gentleman felt about dying, but suppose he wanted to die. What kind of conflict would this have created for men such as former Attorney General John Ashcroft who were strong death penalty advocates by opposed Oregon’s death in dying law. Perhaps there is a solution for those seeking ‘death with dignity.’ They have only to dispatch some unworthy citizen first, perhaps in Texas. Then right to die opponents, who are also capital punishment advocates, might become their partners.

Perhaps the lethal chamber in a Texas or California penitentiary would not meet the test of ‘death with dignity’ but there is at least food for thought in this paradox


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