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Copyright 2000 Tara K. Harper.  All rights reserved.

To Beg for Death

Anyone who takes away fundamental choice--to live or die, to believe in one faith over another, or to think independently--is removing fundamental human rights, and those who take away those fundamental rights are usually recognized as dictators, tyrants, terorrists, or slavers.  There is a profound difference between protecting the rights of smaller groups (equal rights, affirmative action) from the fanaticism of large groups, and forcing one set of people to live under the arbitrary rules of another group (for example, the Taliban).  Removing fundamental rights and choices is enslavement.

For some people, being forced to live is torture, pure and simple.  When the act of breathing is so painful that it makes a woman scream and plead for death; when a turn of her head makes her shriek and beg for release; when there is nothing ahead but weeks and months of continued degeneration and ever-greater-growing pain--the life forced upon that human being is torture.  And because of the deliberate nature of that torture--the extension of life artificially, against the will of the victim--for weeks or months, for the living, not the dying--such torture should be considered an evil act.  Deliberate.  Evil.  Only a sadist or voyeur would force someone to live with that kind of agony.  Those who work or vote to remove others' choices--to live, die, whatever--are exactly that:  voyeurs, sadists, slavers, tyrants.

Some people give everything to make someone's last days as comfortable as possible.  It is not just an honor to help someone end his life with dignity, it is a responsibility and a heavy duty.  It takes strength to face someone else's death with that person's wishes, not yours, in mind.

When you've nursed someone into the grave, when you've listened to the screaming, begging, screaming, begging he cannot suppress, then you can talk about your stance on the right to die--not because you've heard and can no longer stand the screaming, but because you might then have a concept of what pain is. When you understand death and the desperate desire to die, you can talk about life and the right to live.  Until then, your voice is a sound bite, out of context, with nothing real to say.

Copyright 2000 Tara K. Harper

All rights reserved.  It is illegal to reproduce or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, any part of this copyrighted file without permission in writing from Tara K. Harper.  Permission to download this file for personal use only is hereby granted by Tara K. Harper.

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