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A Right To Ones Own Body


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Firstly, I must say that I am a callouse individual when it comes to people who don't care about themselves or life in general. Misery loves company and that's why it hates me.

I am curious how this community feels about peoples right to their own body, and to which extent that right should be taken away. I myself have a strong bias on this topic and wish to elaborate my thoughts a little further.

I feel as though people should have a right to do as they wish to themselves with no legal reprimand as long as they are not directly affecting another persons health with their current drug use. I see no point in keeping things illegal when there is more practical ways to do things. Nobody wants to take a hypocrit seriously, but we do it daily when we adhere to the confines of the law.
I understand my ideal has many social repricussions which would include but are not limited to drug overdoses, possible crime increase, lack of informative drug awareness. I don't know how to fix any of it, I just know it should be all or nothing. I'd prefer all.

I think we should have suicide booths for people who wish to commit suicide. I see no reason to put a whole society of people through the anguish of a loved one dying, nor making a crew of people clean up a crime scene and waste tax payer dollars. I'm not saying make it easy for these people, but I don't see the harm in every state having one.

 

I'm sorry if I offended anyone in this post, please do realize that is not my goal. If you have lost a loved one due to suicide I offer my condolences to you and I sincerely hope they are in a better place.

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The idea of a right to ones own body is logically incoherent as ownership by definition applies to external entities (a horse doesn't own itself and a chair doesn't own itself, they simply ARE themselves... likewise with humans). Ownership implies a contract between two parties or entities, whereas a self is just one.

 

Additionally, the concept of freedom is implicit in your position, and your freedoms stop when they impinge upon the freedoms of others (your liberty throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose). You assert that drugs and suicide don't harm others and so should be permitted. However, that premise is false. When one chooses to take drugs or commit suicide or make other similar choices in life they DO have an impact on society and others.

 

Most obvious is the overall drain on resources and healthcare that would also be an issue. Drugs also tend to lead to more violent anti-social behaviors and consequently higher crime, illness, need for additional services for housing or food assistance, lack of contribution back to the economy helping them in the first place, etc.

 

I tend to agree with you that people should be free to ingest whatever they want and justice focused instead on other downstream behaviors like theft, homocide, threat behavior, etc, but IMO the idea of self-ownership and rights to ones own body are the wrong path to pursue in support of such positions.

 

Even with suicide, I think the better approach is to offer more mental health services and increase low/no cost options for treatment and rehabilitation. Have you considered ideas such as those?

Edited by iNow
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from a legal perspective and only dealing with cells once removed from the body (qv iNow's points above) you can read up on Moore vs the Regents of the University of California.

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The idea of a right to ones own body is logically incoherent as ownership by definition applies to external entities (a horse doesn't own itself and a chair doesn't own itself, they simply ARE themselves... likewise with humans). Ownership implies a contract between two parties or entities, whereas a self is just one.

 

Additionally, the concept of freedom is implicit in your position, and your freedoms stop when they impinge upon the freedoms of others (your liberty throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose). You assert that drugs and suicide don't harm others and so should be permitted. However, that premise is false. When one chooses to take drugs or commit suicide or make other similar choices in life they DO have an impact on society and others.

 

Most obvious is the overall drain on resources and healthcare that would also be an issue. Drugs also tend to lead to more violent anti-social behaviors and consequently higher crime, illness, need for additional services for housing or food assistance, lack of contribution back to the economy helping them in the first place, etc.

 

I tend to agree with you that people should be free to ingest whatever they want and justice focused instead on other downstream behaviors like theft, homocide, threat behavior, etc, but IMO the idea of self-ownership and rights to ones own body are the wrong path to pursue in support of such positions.

 

Even with suicide, I think the better approach is to offer more mental health services and increase low/no cost options for treatment and rehabilitation. Have you considered ideas such as those?

I agree that a right to ones own body seems to be a sham, but it is what many consider to be true. I am of the belief that we should be free to do as we please with our bodies and thus would be what I consider our right to our own body. At the same time, we are in a contract with the goverments in which we live, so at some extent a right to a persons body is needed for a government agency to understand its boundaries.

 

I agree with your second point too. I should have been more clear with that aspect.

 

I think public intox, and drinking while intoxicated would obvoiusly be criminal offenses. Along with the many other obvious offenses.

I speculate that if the FDA approved the drugs and they were distributed in a safe manner that our the societies distributing the drugs would intercept the profits drug lords were generating. If taxed society could incorporate more drug awareness and wellness centers for individuals in need.

 

I'm glad that you and I have some of the same perspectives. What are some of your ideas on how a society that legalizes drugs would work?

 

I agree with your sentiment about more help for suicidal individuals. I don't want people to commit suicide. I just think that people who have been contemplating it for a long time and wish to leave as small of an impact on society as possible should have an alternative.

 

I kind of compare my drug legalization, and suicide booth ideals to abortion. A women has a right to do with her body as she feels necessary, I think it should be equal. Granted there are many differences between abortion and the other 2 ideals, but doing drugs and committing suicide are not equal to directly harming anothers life.

from a legal perspective and only dealing with cells once removed from the body (qv iNow's points above) you can read up on Moore vs the Regents of the University of California.

Interesting. I think I agree with the court on that one.

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Yeah, your discourse plugs some ideal idealism, but even if we break free iNow's arguments regarding the medical costs exist. Although, I suspect the conservative base employs the tax payer’s responsibility as a furtive mantra. Perhaps drug users should be able to take a drug test. You know, to see if they have the means.

 

The suicide booth idea really kills me. Would the individual have a choice in method? When I was twenty I hated things. I walked out of work one night in Tucson, Arizona, and got on a bus to San Francisco with the intention of throwing myself off the Golden Gate Bridge. On top of that, I was packing a 380, which I intended to blast upside my temple on the way to bottom. I did not have the constitution to follow through. Instead, the next day I walked into an Army recruitment office on Market and signed up with the Infantry. I guess I figured if I could not shoot myself, maybe I could at least end someone else’s suffering. Well, that was 94-96 and mostly I just played war in Manhattan, Kansas, shot big ass gats, played a ton of pool, ate steak, and really had a grand ball. Then, at 38, I lost my mind, like for real--locked down in a facility bad. The emotional scars left me wishing for a heart attack or an embolism daily, knowing from previous experience my character seeks not to pull its own card. Again, I tried other ways. During my madness, I stood in front of the Chinese Consulate in Koreatown, Los Angeles, blocking traffic and hoping the guards would shoot me dead. Alas, some nice Anglo body guard came over real nice and said, “These guys are trying to get out, would you mind moving?” That was my best shot and still I live and breathe. Great too, as my depression has gone bye-bye. Incidentally, I was burning an ounce a week, but you know how Jane goes, kiddie drug like. I quit smoking because acclimation left it nothing more than a joint pain reliever. Heroin will kill me for sure. Really, drugs do not interest me much anymore, except alcohol. Alcohol cannot be thought through. I like it when I cannot think through. It is like suicide for the living. Maybe if the booth served shots to the shooter he or she could prevail like a drunken Irishman. You know, with a hole in them.

 

What is your other point, spun recognizable by iNow. Do we own our bodies? Maybe iNow is right and ownership needs two parties for recognition. If that be the case, I claim Id, Ego, and Superego as witness. Puff and pass brotha, puff and pass.

Edited by Kevin D.
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One of the problems with assisted suicide would be the possibility - or likelihood - of coercion by unscrupulous relatives intent on some old person's money. In a sense vulnerable people should not have ownership of their own bodies in situations where they can be abused. The same goes for drugs; not everyone makes the choice to use illegal substances but can get hooked by accident, and the more drugs are freely available the more likely it is. Then there is the peer pressure to join in when others are indulging, or when under the influence of alcohol. And it's not easy to stop using drugs when you have a habit.

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You assert that drugs and suicide don't harm others and so should be permitted. However, that premise is false. When one chooses to take drugs or commit suicide or make other similar choices in life they DO have an impact on society and others.

 

Even with suicide, I think the better approach is to offer more mental health services and increase low/no cost options for treatment and rehabilitation. Have you considered ideas such as those?

David Hume would disagree with your position on suicide. He discusses the potential damage to society by suicide starting with paragraph 22 of the essay "Of Suicide", but I think he summarizes the position succinctly in the opening thought when he says:

 

A man, who retires from life, does no harm to society. He only ceases to do good; which is, if it be an injury, is of the lowest kind.

 

He goes on to address the obligations of the individual to society versus the self, and discusses the increasing burden one may place on society. It's an interesting read, if nothing else.

 

As for myself, personally, I can't imagine my life being so bad that I would need a speedy withdrawl from it. However, there are very few true horrors in my life - for which I count myself lucky. Others may not be so fortunate.

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I think we should have suicide booths for people who wish to commit suicide. I see no reason to put a whole society of people through the anguish of a loved one dying, nor making a crew of people clean up a crime scene and waste tax payer dollars. I'm not saying make it easy for these people, but I don't see the harm in every state having one.

 

 

The idea of "suicide booths" doesn't seem good, for these reasons:

 

1. They would have to be built, and kept in working order, at public expense

2. This expense would only be justified, if they were in regular use.

3. Regular use might make them popular sources of entertainment - wouldn't people gather around them, to watch the suicides getting in the booths to die? Rather like in the 18/19th century when public hangings used to attract big crowds.

 

Of course, such crowds might provide an additional source of revenue for the State, which could sell licences for soft-drink or ice-cream sellers to set up stalls around the booth, to refresh onlookers.

 

That might not be as depraved an idea as it sounds. I recall reading that in 1941 when the Wehrmacht had invaded Russia and the SS were conducting mass machine-gun executions of Jewish people in Ukraine, a German officer commented (in disgust) that crowds of unaffected locals stood watching the executions while licking ice-creams. Or is that a myth?

 

Anyway, I can't see that "suicide booths" are necessary. If someone wants to commit suicide without causing trouble, couldn't they just take these steps:

 

1. Square everything with your family and friends - make a careful Will, so they're looked after.

 

2. Go to the coast incognito, hire a boat, sail it out to sea

 

3. Drink a bottle of whisky, pull out the bilge plug, then rest while the boat, and you, calmly sinks into the peace of oblivion.

 

What's wrong with that?

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The idea of "suicide booths" doesn't seem good, for these reasons:

 

1. They would have to be built, and kept in working order, at public expense

2. This expense would only be justified, if they were in regular use.

3. Regular use might make them popular sources of entertainment - wouldn't people gather around them, to watch the suicides getting in the booths to die? Rather like in the 18/19th century when public hangings used to attract big crowds.

 

Of course, such crowds might provide an additional source of revenue for the State, which could sell licences for soft-drink or ice-cream sellers to set up stalls around the booth, to refresh onlookers.

 

That might not be as depraved an idea as it sounds. I recall reading that in 1941 when the Wehrmacht had invaded Russia and the SS were conducting mass machine-gun executions of Jewish people in Ukraine, a German officer commented (in disgust) that crowds of unaffected locals stood watching the executions while licking ice-creams. Or is that a myth?

 

Anyway, I can't see that "suicide booths" are necessary. If someone wants to commit suicide without causing trouble, couldn't they just take these steps:

 

1. Square everything with your family and friends - make a careful Will, so they're looked after.

 

2. Go to the coast incognito, hire a boat, sail it out to sea

 

3. Drink a bottle of whisky, pull out the bilge plug, then rest while the boat, and you, calmly sinks into the peace of oblivion.

 

What's wrong with that?

 

Be damned annoying for the person they leased the boat from!

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The idea of a right to ones own body is logically incoherent as ownership by definition applies to external entities (a horse doesn't own itself and a chair doesn't own itself, they simply ARE themselves... likewise with humans). Ownership implies a contract between two parties or entities, whereas a self is just one.

 

 

 

It’s plenty logically coherent by definition: used with a possessive to emphasize that someone or something belongs or relates to the person mentioned.

 

We’ve had plenty of these arguments in the context of abortion and when life beings. Is the person corporeal or consciousness? Is a person merely the summation of their body and organs, or does it exist separate as self awareness? Are they less of a person if they lack an arm, or trim their fingernails? We seem happy to infer the notion of separation between human biology and personhood, so there is absolutely an external “entity”, and thus a contract to be recognized between the person and their body by such thinking.

 

However you see it, it is a good idea to recognize the right to one’s self, their body, as their own as opposed to someone else, or their own. Control freaks will complicate the matter, however, since it is conducive to their ends to do so.

 

Additionally, the concept of freedom is implicit in your position, and your freedoms stop when they impinge upon the freedoms of others (your liberty throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose). You assert that drugs and suicide don't harm others and so should be permitted. However, that premise is false. When one chooses to take drugs or commit suicide or make other similar choices in life they DO have an impact on society and others.

 

 

But, of course, this is the fault of society. The United States has 2.3 billion acres claimed as their own, via flag planting and imaginary perimeter drawing. The rest of the world of humans has done the same thing, such that no one can behave and live without their choices said to “impact society” somewhere.

 

So, what moral obligation do we have to limit an impact your societies have gamed to create? You have no moral high ground or ethical purity to appeal to, only greed and over controlling fantasies of centralized human coercion. You create your own imperative to control others by fabricating an inherent link in which to later appeal to as your right to control by referencing the link you produced. Nicely played.

 

 

Even if you appeal to the ultimate, unavoidable, natural link between all living things, you still have yet to argue how that creates the right to govern and coerce based on that observation. By that measure, behavior in India affects life across the globe, and therefore creates the right to coerce that country – and all life really. All of us, slaves to each other, built on the observation our behaviors and choices impact each other.

 

It’s a valid observation, but useless to freedom based governing. Appeals to societal impact serve all freedom deniers, including conservatives looking to deny marriage equality.

 

Most obvious is the overall drain on resources and healthcare that would also be an issue. Drugs also tend to lead to more violent anti-social behaviors and consequently higher crime, illness, need for additional services for housing or food assistance, lack of contribution back to the economy helping them in the first place, etc.

 

 

 

When someone buys a cheeseburger or pays to get their car washed, are they “draining” resources, or are they *participating* in a market? By your logic, the more people who engage in a market, the more the market is harmed. As if more people buying cheeseburgers somehow hurts the cheeseburger market. That is fabulously incorrect. The more people who engage in a market, the larger the market generally becomes, the more advanced it gets, the better it gets at providing the goods and services related to it. Look at heart surgery, M&M’s, macaroni and cheese, computers, smart phones…etc.

 

I think you mean non-payers that participate in a market. Again, another imperative society created itself, and then references back to it to dictate the behavior of others.

 

 

It goes something like…‘We insist on you getting healthcare even if you can’t pay for it. And now, since we do that, we have a right to dictate your life terms because you might take us up on that offer. We don’t know which of you will do that, so none of you can do whatever you want without our approval’.

 

Again, nicely played you benevolent authoritarians.

 

 

Further, you have not shown that drug use will “tend” to these things – only drug abuse. You’re invoking the same bias that police and prosecutors possess being exposed solely to the ill effects of drug abuse instead of acknowledging the greater responsible drug use and non-addictive enjoyment.

 

Anyone who drinks a beer, enjoys a glass of wine or smokes a joint is using drugs and you cannot show that they cause higher crime and illness – only abusers. And how much of that crime is related to and created by prohibition in the first place? (Which, of course, would be yet even more self created imperatives)

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Here in the Netherlands doctors are allowed to perform euthanasy, which means suïcide on request.

It was first available to people who has diseases that were incurable and/or were in great pain, iirc it got later expanded to anyone who wanted it.

 

One of the earlier experiences of one of the doctors was that, if he suggested euthanasy, people were inclined to say yes,

if he did not suggest euthanasy, they never(seldom?) asked for it themselves.

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Euthanasia is really for people that cannot commit suicide in the traditional ways, such as the disabled or hospitalized. Also average people considering suicide are generally not concerned with laws or convenience. The problem many have with euthanasia is the appearance of acceptance of suicide as a good solution to a problem. Honestly it is rarely discussed but euthanasia is legally, socially accepted and performed in the united states. In many "terminal" illness' that involve pain, morphine is used and slowly increased to deadly levels which kills many patients, the legal cause of death will be the root illness.

 

 

I would like to see good legislation for euthanasia but more than that I would like to help people improve life in general to where suicide is considered less often.

Edited by hd000
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  • 3 weeks later...

This person has great points and facts. I kind of agree with its the persons body and they could do what they want. But do you think a lot more people would get an abortion if it became legal in countries like United states and Canada?

Edited by HanaMead
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This person has great points and facts. I kind of agree with its the persons body and they could do what they want. But do you think a lot more people would get an abortion if it became legal in countries like United states and Canada?

 

 

AS far as I know abortions (within time limits and under the care of a physician) are legal in both the USA and Canada. Some of the more repressive and anti-woman states are further constraining women's choice and acting in a chilling manner - but I think still legal in all states

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This person has great points and facts. I kind of agree with its the persons body and they could do what they want. But do you think a lot more people would get an abortion if it became legal in countries like United states and Canada?

Abortions are legal in both the United States and Canada. In fact, as far as I can tell, the laws in Canada are even less restrictive than our own.

 

According to the CDC1, the abortion rate in the United States has actually declined from 2000 to 2009(the last year I could find a report for). Canada's abortion rate is actually lower per capita than the United States', depsite them being less regulated.2 In fact, the country with the highest abortion rate, according to the UN records, is Russia.

 

So I would say that the evidence suggests no firm correlation between abortion legality in North America and abortion rates.

 


1: See Pazol, K, et. al. (2009) Abortion Surveillance - United States 2009, available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm

2. Data from UNData Gender Stats Database.

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