Good Life; Good Death — Part II 

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There are, in a society that fears death, still strong moral objections to allowing anyone, particularly a physician, to induce death. The fight against God's will is still far from over.

There are fears physician-assisted suicide would be the thin edge of the wedge, the first step on the slippery slope from which there is no return, a slope that would inevitably lead us toward genocide against the old, feeble, imperfect, malformed, mentally ill, undesirable elements of society.

There are legitimate fears some would coerce elderly and ill family members into taking their lives against their own wishes.

There are legal issues I wouldn't even want to think about if I were a physician. And, of course, there is the impossibility of forcing any healer to take part in administering death.

We're left with imperfect choices and the stark inevitability of fending for ourselves. Death is the last thing we all get to do. Most of us want to think we've led good lives but none of us want to think our last act may be the one thing we do less well than anything we've ever done before.

Ruth Goodman's allowed us to change the debate. I hope her effort wasn't wasted.


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