X-Message-Number: 4511
Date: 15 Jun 95 01:26:34 EDT
From: Jim Davidson <>
Subject: Euthanasia

If I understand correctly, euthanasia is now somewhat available in Australia.
It may be available in some places in Europe, but is not legal in the US or
Canada.  No reason to expect that Latin America will ever make euthanasia legal
given the attitude of the Catholic Church toward suicide.

Personally, I have had considerable difficulty reconciling the ideas of suicide
and cryonics.  I am making plans to have my body frozen because I love life,

want to live as long as possible, and want whatever small chance of revival that

cryonics provides in case I die.  However, I think the reconciling arguments are
strong and weighty.

Euthanasia is now widely (but not universally) recognized as beneficial for the
terminally ill, especially those in great pain.  I cannot see how anyone could

object to cryonic preservation of the body of someone who was terminally ill and
chose euthanasia.  More importantly, of course, I can't see how it is anybody
else's business.  That "lack of standing" has not prevented lots of stupid laws
from being passed.

If euthanasia and cryonics are mentioned together in Australia, and that causes
cryonics to be banned, we will know better.  Banning cryonics in Australia will
take time, allow us to gain much media exposure, and is by no means a sure
thing, so I hope the mentioning happens early and often.

>From the recent voting within the Hemlock Society, there is clearly a
considerable portion of the euthanasia movement that believe as I do that
suicide is one of the inherent rights of a living being.  If one does not have
the right to end one's own life, one is a slave.

If euthanasia becomes widely accepted for the non-terminal, or more concisely,
if suicide is made legal and becomes generally acceptable, I am all for it.
What someone chooses to do with their body is their business.  That has got to

be a good thing for cryonics.  After all, we are trying to obtain direct control
over the destinies of our bodies.

We have to seize the opportunity presented by any discussion of euthanasia and
suicide to introduce our viewpoint that the precise definition of death is not
available today.  The greater the doubt over whether a person is dead, the
better our situation.  The greater the freedom to control the timing of one's
own "death," the better our situation.

If necessary or desirable, I would be interested in suspended animation during

my expected long life for any of a number of reasons.  For example, a long space
flight to distant planets (as near as Jupiter and as far as the other side of

the galaxy) might be less tedious with suspended animation.  For other examples,

review Heinlein's _Door into Summer_.  As long as the law considers it murder or
suicide for my normal bodily functions to be stopped, I am harmed by that law.


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