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Aren't there actual criminals out there that our neighboring Georgia state investigators should be, you know, investigating? Murders, meth, robbery, child abuse and stuff? Those are all pretty pervasive, and there's a direct and measurable cost to society.
No. Instead they wage culture war in a bid for a high profile bust--cuffing high-ranking members of the Marietta, GA-based Final Exit Network
, a group that claims it provides only suicide guidance to the terminally ill. The investigation began back in June with an assisted suicide that seemed more gray than black and white. A Georgia man who was recovering from throat and mouth cancer committed suicide with the guidance of the Final Exit Network.
He wasn't dying, but he was somewhat disfigured from the surgeries. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent began investigating the group and posed as a cancer patient looking for a way out late last month. He claims he was told to buy a helium tank and plastic mask, and that FEN members would hold his arms down while he asphyxiated.
This is contrary to FEN's website, which says members don't directly
participate in a suicide. I think the only thing that would make this a
crime is the physical restraint. Now whether the agent is telling the
truth, or is just interested in a high-profile case, who knows? It's
the word of a bunch of Kevorkian wackos against a state investigator.
it brings to the fore all kinds of interesting debates. The law on the
subject is pretty vague. Palliative care can be provided to comfort the
dying, even if it hastens death. But a doctor can't just hasten death,
which strikes me as a particularly fine line. If you'll recall, Freud
had his physician assist his own suicide after suffering from an
invasive skin malignancy.
The argument against doctors assisting
in a patient's suicide is that it goes against the moral code. But
ending a life to prevent suffering is, in my opinion, probably more
natural than keeping someone alive against their will. Death is one of
the most natural stages of life. Perhaps it's time for this society to
reexamine its queasiness regarding the end of life.
Thoughts, PITW readers?