I have absolutely no patience with telephone solicitors, and even worse “robo-calls” Who in their right mind would listen to an unsolicited cold call RECORDING!? So much for jobs creation, even Boiler Rooms are now outsourcing jobs to technology.
If you are on a No Call List, people or institutions you have done business with in the past are still allowed to phone you. So I listened to the spiel when the guy identifying himself being from the Oregon Death with Dignity organization called.
In 1994 Oregon passed a landmark law allowing people with terminal illness to end their lives; this is sometimes referred to as physician-assisted suicide. The law was brought into effect through citizen initiative and handily passed the popular vote. However, in 1997 the law’s opponents (primarily the religious) mounted strenuous opposition, eventually placing a new ballot initiative attempting to repeal the law. The attempt failed, the repeal was voted down. Oregon voters had now made it abundantly clear, TWICE, that people should have the right to determine their own quality of life and chose the terms and time of their death.
The opposition was vehement; claims were made that the law would lead to euthanasia – a wholly preposterous claim as a patient must be terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less. The patient must be mentally competent and able to understand the consequences of their decision. Two physicians must review the medical request of the patient prior to approval of the application.
It was then claimed that Oregon would become a Mecca for terminally ill patients, flocking to the state in droves to take advantage of this law – It’s NEVER happened. Critics even charged that the law would be applied disproportionately to the poor, physically disabled, psychiatric patients, even racial minorities – Not even remotely true. Opposition rests solely with religious belief; who believe only god has the right to end a life. But such restrictions should not apply to the fifth of the population (and growing) who don’t believe in god.
Still George Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, an evangelical Christian who “speaks in tongues”, in 2002 petitioned the got the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to approve the suspension of medical licenses of doctors who prescribed life-ending drugs to dying patients. But in 2005 the US Supreme court ruled 6 to 3 that Oregon had the right to regulate the practice of medicine. Oregon’s Death with Dignity law “survived”.
Neighboring Washington State has since passed their own Death with Dignity law in 2008. A similar law is now being proposed by the people of the State of Massachusetts.
On its web site, the Oregon Death with Dignity maintains an information page on “Religion and Spirituality”, listing all the major religious institutions and their official position regarding suicide. Not surprisingly the vast majority are in opposition. Religion, you see, not only wants to dictate how you live your life but when and how you are allowed to end it. But then religion is seldom about choice.
I told the caller that I would contribute to help with the campaign to pass a similar law in Massachusetts.