Anderson Cooper on CNN had an amazing interview with Kevorkian last night. Here is one of my favorite exchanges. They were talking about one particular suicide Kevorkian assisted, and Cooper asks:
Cooper: "Did you find it sad?"You can't on the one hand interfere with God when it comes to bacteria, viruses, cancer and heart attacks (God created those, right?), but then claim that when the end of life is near, we have to stop interfering with God. Either you interfere, or you don't. Either you're eschew medicine completely like some conservative Christian Scientists, and don't accept any medicine at all, or else you're thwarting God's will your whole life.
Kevorkain: "Well of course! You don't like to end a life. ... If someone has cancer of the hip, you don't take the leg off ... because you want to do it. ... Nobody says, 'I can't wait to take that leg off.'"
Cooper: "But a lot of people say that you're playing God ..."
Kevorkian: "Isn't the doctor who takes a leg off playing God?"
Cooper: "Your saying doctors play God all the time."
Kevorkian: "Of course! Any time you interfere with the natural process, you're playing God. God determines what happens naturally. That means that, when a person's ill, you shouldn't go to a doctor, because he's asking for interference with God's will. But of course, patients can't live that way. They want to live as long as possible. And not suffer. So they call a doctor to help them end the suffering."
Cooper: "If you had a terminal illnes, and were in pain, would you take your own life?"
Kevorkian: "If it was unending pain, and there was no cure, of course. ... It's my natural right, it's in the Constitution. ... I have a natural right to do what I want with my body."
When your father, mother, son or daughter is suffering terrible pain, and death is inevitable, when they're in their time of greatest need, is it really right to abandon them to "God's will" when you've been thwarting God's plans for decades?
Judeo-Christian attitudes toward doctor-assisted suicide are hypocritical, and it's time for America to rescind all laws that interfere with a patient's right to choose all end-of-life options.
For further reading on this topic, you might enjoy The Death of a Dog, The Death of a Man.