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Ethics

Author/DatePost
Anonymous
Aug 23 2004
comments

I write principally to congratulate Ms. Johnson on a terrific piece in the NYT Magazine which was an eye-opener for me, and hopefully a lot of others. While I put myself in Singer's camp on most issues of euthanasia, I was impressed by Ms. Johnson's professional, responsible, thought-provoking arguments and her generosity of spirit. Her refusal to succumb to the temptation to demonize, dehumanize and personally attack her opponents not only kept my attention, but made me seriously examine my own views. Conversely, when I hear others in this debate declare their opponents "evil" and "Nazis" etc., I immediately dismiss their arguments as the products of hysteria and immaturity. I firmly believe only responsible, honest and respectful debate and persuasion will win the hearts and minds of reasonable people. Ms. Johnson is well down that road, and I admire her greatly for it. Where I differ with her on these issues is principally this: I don't think where to place the "bright line" of what beings have a right to life and what beings do not can ever be resolved with respect to these questions. This is a debate that should not be about who or what falls on which side of the line, but about who decides. Euthanasia, abortion, contraception etc....these are all in my mind debates about who decides. I don't think Ms. Johnson's views hold up in all circumstances. I don't think mine do either. Given that, in these areas where debate persists and has persisted for hundreds if not thousands of years, I think we should acknowledge that there is a common element of private, personal and spiritual choice that must be left in the private, personal and spiritual (i.e. not public and legal) arenas.

Warner Broaddus

San Diego, CA

tersse
Jan 30 2008

i beg to differ with you on one point

I think we should acknowledge that there is a common element of private, personal and spiritual choice that must be left in the private, personal and spiritual (i.e. not public and legal) arenas.

should read

I think we should acknowledge that there is a common element of private, personal and spiritual choice that must be left in the private, personal, spiritual and legal (i.e. not public ) arenas.

i say this as some ppl would make decisions that are obviously ilegal because of religious beliefe, such as a mormon refusing a blood transfusion to a child that would survive and be perfectly healthy after wards, i dont think that should be alowed in any society, if some one gets cut and needs blood they should have it, if they are an adult there may be room to alow for their personal choise, but a child under the leagal age od consent cant be left for even a parent to make a decision that would kill them if otherwise it can be proven that the procedure is simple and would work, obviously this opens many other things to consideration, like heart transplants and liver etc but a blood transfusion is hardly in the realm of a magor poperation.

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