X-Message-Number: 12367
From: "john grigg" <>
Subject: What it will take to legalize assisted suicide
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 1999 19:50:55 PDT

Hello everyone,

Rion Snow wrote:
>What will it take to legalize assisted suicide (and thus the 
> >right-to-suspend for terminally ill patients)?

This will be an extremely uphill battle due to certain groups of religious 
believers who see this as wrong no matter what because it is in their view 
an affront to God's gift of life to humanity.  They believe only God can 
give or take away life.  The suffering is to strengthen the character of the 
person even though to use pain-killers is generally seen as alright.

I believe in God and an afterlife but still want to see assisted suicide 
made legal but with stringent rules regarding it so no abuses occur.  
Actually perhaps I don't want this done except with cryonicists!  After all 
I see cryonic suspension not as true "death" but as a state of "inactivity" 
where in time I will be awakened.

I want people to be suspended and not killed and buried in a cemetery. I 
realize though that to bring to the general public's attention this matter 
with  cryonics in the forefront could confuse the public or cause derision 
and skepticism to rear it's ugly head as academics and the common man and 
woman mock the possibility of cryonics working.

And also disability rights groups that see this as a first step to "cleanse" 
society of them.  I do not think in our current society that legalizing 
assisted suicide would lead to the handicapped being put to death against 
their will but many activists militantly feel that in time we would fall 
down a slippery slope and do just that.  I have read periodicals with 
articles and pictures showing protesters in wheelchairs locking themselves 
to buildings to fight this.  Considering the cold-blooded nature of some 
HMO's perhaps there are seeds of truth to their fears.

I can see how working with the ACLU and the Hemlock Society would be 
beneficial but in the end I feel that the weight of public opinion is to be 
swayed by religion and to a lesser extent disability activists who will stop 
assisted suicide from becoming legal.  It may take at least twenty to thirty 
years before a possible generational shift changes this.

I admit from a cryonics standpoint this is a CRUCIAL matter.  I do not want 
to die away from a suspension team and have my brain decay for hours or even 
days before I am able to be suspended!  Even science centuries from now may 
not be able to restore memories and personalities that have been exposed to 
such damaging effects.  I am only thirty-two and hope forty years in the 
future things will have changed.  I sure hope they will have by then!

I want to have lived my life and then in my early seventies make an 
appointment to be suspended.  I will say my good-byes and then have it done. 
  I realize life does not always go according to plan and accidents happen 
but I think people should have the right to at least try to do this.

But we live in a nation where doctors are even afraid of administering 
strong painkilling narcotics to people dying in agony of cancer!  They might 
kill the patient on the one hand at get sued or be investigated by the DEA 
for possible misuse!  My family doctor won't prescribe ritalin out of fear 
of DEA investigators possibly deciding to harass him!  A doctor was quoted 
as saying that "the baby boomers don't know that dying still requires great 
pain quite often but they WILL" and that is largely because of the mentality 
in this country regarding usage of powerful painkillers.

So hopefully time is on my side and our society will not make assisted 
suicide legal to then later turn on the handicapped and hopelessly ill.  And 
I see my visit to a cryonics suspension on my 70th birthday as the start of 
an adventure and not the end of one.  May we all see the dawn of the 21st 
and 22nd centuries.


John Grigg

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