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Author Topic: USA Cuts and Runs from Drug War!
ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 10:10      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In Utah it's illegal to smoke within 25 feet of a public entrance (haven't converted myself over to metric for distance yet). This is fine with me because the smell does travel pretty far and smoking closer to the door would make the buildings stink. It bothers me, however, that in most places you can pull a big, stinky vehicle right up to the door and there are no consequences. Cars should be held to the same standards as smokers (or visa versa). Really, you probably get the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes out the tailpipe every five minutes.

Further, I don't think all of the scents at the stinky girly stores have been tested for carcinogens. They're actually INSIDE of public buildings. I say that if we must move the smoker stink outside then we should also put Bath and Bodyworks out on the street next to them. Also Victoria's Secret. I used to like Victoria's Secret because they beautified our television and magazine experiences advertising their wares but lately they've been marketing nasty, cheap smellies and they need to go away.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 10:14            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's not the (above alleged) carcinogens in fragrances that put me off, it's their stench. I hate perfume -- both the being overwhelmed by a smell, and that they all smell nasty. There are a precious few that smell nice, but they're an exception. Ugh.

Make-up is in many ways tolerable (the money, time and effort over nothing is far more bothersome than the look) but fragrance is not. And it's not just women -- male fragrances are just as annoying. The only "lynx effect" I hope they have is to trigger a lynx to feel hungry and eat up the perpetrator.

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ScholasticSpastic
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 10:36      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
uilleann:
It's not the (above alleged) carcinogens in fragrances that put me off, it's their stench. I hate perfume -- both the being overwhelmed by a smell, and that they all smell nasty.

If you forced all the smoking-ban proponents to reveal their REAL motivations you would hear the same thing. You can't smell or see the carcinogens that we are exposed to from cars, and cigarettes, and fire-retardent chemicals in our uppholstry and clothing, and fish, blah, blah. What sets people off is the smell and the visible component- usually the least harmful things going on. Diesel trucks are a great example: When they accelerate there's an appocalyptic noice accompanied by a great cloud of black smoke and an awful stench and we think to ourselves that surely, we've just inhaled a chemical death-warrant. But it's not true. We're really being killed slowly by the invisible, odorless crap that comes out of the diesel trucks. The smelly, ugly smoke is pretty much harmless. No one can prove that a diesel truck is any more harmful than a family sedan. (We should be clear, here, that I'm not claiming that the two vehicles put out the same tonnage of exhaust.)

People are equally stupid about how they react to cigarettes. They assume that, just because they can smell one, they're being exposed to second-hand smoke. Concentration of harmful particulates actually drops off really fast with distance, though. So at five feet distance (if you're not playing strip-poker in the closet or something) most of the carcinogens are too dilute to worry about. The smell, on the other hand, is still pretty bad and I don't blame anyone who would like to avoid it. I'd like them to pull their heads out of their nether-oriffices, though, and be honest about why they're bothered.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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Demosthenes
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 11:15      Profile for Demosthenes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
For smoking, at least, there are about twenty million people in the US with asthma who would have trouble with you indulging in their presence.

Y'know, I have lots of allergies. Really bad ones. I have to be responsible for the food I eat and medications I take, and I am (fairly) responsible for avoiding ingredients that might trigger anaphylaxis. So, do you know what I do? I keep my eyes open and avoid the things that affect my health. I don't harass people eating soy or taking amoxicillin in public.

You are responsible for your allergies and intolerances. If smoke bothers you, open your eyes and look around to see if someone is smoking nearby, and give them a wide berth. Don't assume that I can tell you're asthmatic from fifteen feet away, and even if I could, it's really not my problem anyway...nobody is forcing you to walk by me and my delicious lung cookies.

Mmmmm...lung cookies. /me rolls on outside to smoke one. [Big Grin]

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 11:27      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are two things I have a really hard time with: cigarette smoke and organic solvents. Both make me gasp and gag and some solvent smells burn in my nose. Cheap scents are horrible offenders in this regard, especially if the wearer doesn't know how to do it right. So, while I don't like seeing smokers treated as second-class citizens, I do enjoy the effects of smoking bans and wish they'd institute cheap perfume bans as well. I can't just avoid smokers or the perfume-soaked all the time, or even just position myself upwind all the time. I try, and generally I succeed, but when someone just lights up next to you or steps on an elevator doused in some crap they got off the 99 cent rack at Target, what exactly can you do?

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 11:29            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, that is not why I hate smoking. When I was interested in FireSnake, and she was still a smoker, this came to mind. Supposing that under the extremely unlikely circumstances that we lived together (unlikely from my side: she moved to Sweden to live with maswan after all) I'd have to live with a smoker.

I used to hang out with some smokers at university: I really didn't like breathing in all their smoke. By "second hand smoke" I really do mean sitting there breathing it or, at least, trying not to. And even when you think you can't, it's when you come home and notice that you stink of it that you realise that you were, after all.

But no, if smoking was a harmless fad, then I'd have simply had to put up with it it live with FireSnake. But no, it was the whole killing her slowly part that I didn't like. I just had a friend die of a heart attack for which smoking was quite possibly a part. It's not the smell that's the worst part, it's that it kills good people needlessly.

Note also that I never personally said that banning smoking was ever an isolated argument. I never argued in favour of all the other ills in the world. If I really wanted to list everything that was wrong with the world (even that I've not ranted about here already) I think my fingers would have been worn down to the bone and my keyboard would have long since gone through in holes before I was done.

But thankfully, FireSnake quit a couple of years ago or more and, hopefully with the help of maswan, will stay quit this time, forever, and live a long, fulfilling life.

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 13:27      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demosthenes:
I don't like being in the situation where it is legal for me to light up, but only in certain places, and nonsmokers on the street can feel perfectly justified in informing me that I smell bad and will die of cancer, or even worse, they cough their germy coughs right into my face. (By the way, if anyone on this board does this, I hope you end up with the hate joke of contracting lung cancer anyway. Seriously. It's rude and pointless and frankly just makes me want to punch things. [Mad] ) Don't tread on my deathwish and I won't blow smoke in your face.

That reminds me of what my brother says if someone blows smoke at him. "Look buddy, I chew tobacco. If you don't blow smoke at me, I won't spit on you." [Big Grin]

Seriously, I don't smoke, have never taken illegal drugs and I got the binge alcohol drinking out of my system at age 19. Do I think it's right that the government should prohibit or severely limit drugs and tobacco. Not just no but hell no. I do think what should happen is that people who use drugs and tobacco should have to be in a different insurance system than the rest of us, or have to pay higher premiums to cover their medical costs and if they lie about it that they can be denied coverage.

I may not like that people abuse their bodies but we have this social/political exercise we tried called prohibition and look how that turned out. If it's one thing that seems to be a constant it's that we fail to learn from history.

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Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 19:00      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who was honest about why they don't like cigarette smoke. Lying and saying that we're worried we'll get cancer is much more insulting than telling someone that the smell is bothering us. I'd also like to make it clear that I don't support smoking- I just think we ought to treat legal substances as if they were legal.

Demosthenes, I don't mean to pick on you, but it's a lot stinkier than you perceive it to be. I didn't realize how bad the smell could be until I quit smoking the first time. (Unfortunately, the smell wasn't so bad that I never had to quit again.) When we've become habituated to it it's not so bad and sometimes it even smells good (like pot). Trust me, that's not the case for the rest of us.

I'd like to back up CrawGator and his pinko-liberal assertion that we all have the right to kill ourselves. I also believe that we have the right to hire trained professionals to help us die if we want to. CrawGator also pointed out the hazards to our insurance systems that these freedoms can represent. I suggest that, rather than curtailing freedoms to defend our systems, we structure our systems to guarantee our freedoms.

Unfortunately we live in the real world and the people here seem to prefer paying lip-service to freedom. We get what we deserve when we do that.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 21:52            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, but look at it this way: how many of you are willing to look your parents, siblings, children and friends in the eye and tell them straight, that you intend to exercise your right to wilful self-destruction?
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2007 22:56      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You are missing one of the critical points about addictions uilleann.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 04:51      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Okay, but look at it this way: how many of you are willing to look your parents, siblings, children and friends in the eye and tell them straight, that you intend to exercise your right to wilful self-destruction?
Do you always eat your five a day? Do you take 30 minutes of exercise daily? Drink six glasses of water daily? eat 100% (not less, not greater) of your RDA viamins and minerals?

Because if not, you're not going to live as long as you could, and you are "exercising your right to wilful self destruction" If you choose to live in Cornwall, you would die younger due to the radiation in the rocks. Apparently for every tube stop along the lines from the center of London, life expectancy drops by a year.

I'm not arguing cause and effect, but the fact is you've got to die from something. The way you live your life is a choice, and what you do to your body affects how long you live, whether smoking, eating, exercising, exposure to harmful radiation (including the sun).

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 07:29      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Demosthenes wrote:
You are responsible for your allergies and intolerances. If smoke bothers you, open your eyes and look around to see if someone is smoking nearby, and give them a wide berth. Don't assume that I can tell you're asthmatic from fifteen feet away, and even if I could, it's really not my problem anyway

So... should I take back my statement that I doubted you would go out of your way to smoke around someone who couldn't tolerate it?

You asked why your vice is worse than others. I offered a logical reason *shrug*.

To put it in different terms: I would say that, for other people, it's far worse for them when I eaten too much hummus and fart a lot than it is when I drink a lot of soda and belch. I like both quite a bit (and with both I'm a veritable cornucopia of sound and scent...), but if I were to give one up, it's obvious which one everyone around me would want it to be.

littlefish wrote:
Drink six glasses of water daily?

It's eight glasses of water. Not that it really changes your argument.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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catgoddess
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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 11:39      Profile for catgoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An interesting point was touched on by Crawgator and SS... if we make drugs and smoking completely legal, are we going to make suicide legal, too?

Personally, I've never understood why it's a crime to kill yourself (for whatever reason and in whatever fashion).

The problem with picking and choosing what to make legal and illegal is there is almost always a line to be drawn. Where do you draw it? Do we allow all drugs to be legal? Do we then allow suicide or assisted suicide to become legal? Do we allow child pornography to become legal? Do we allow people to kill other people legally?

Where do we stop? Or do we stop?

The problem with the "drug war" is that it's still picking and choosing. There is no single solution that will appease the masses. Most masses are comprised of hypocrites anyway, so are they really the best "judges" of what is right or wrong (legal or illegal)?

We can point the finger at the government, the drug manufacturers (legal and illegal), or the laws themselves... but when will we start pointing that finger at ourselves?

Until we become a society where personal responsibility and accountability become the most important "judges and juries", we're not capable (as a society) of much of anything involving pure personal freedom.

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"I love humanity but I hate people." Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 12:08      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Y'know, no one goes to jail for commiting suicide. You go to the hospital if you're caught attempting suicide, but there are no criminal charges. Your religion might have other views on the matter, but that's between you and your god(s), not the law.

Doctor-assisted suicide is another story. In the eyes of some, helping someone kill themselves equates with murder, and that's why in most states it is not allowed and in Oregon there are some very strict guidelines involved. I personally believe that in the case of terminal illness you have the right to pick your poison, but the ethics of dying are another topic altogether.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 12:37      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Generally, committing suicide isn't illegal. It's the attempt to commit suicide that is illegal in the few places that still have those laws.

The original idea behind those laws was that a criminal charge was useful to get the suicidal person in front of a judge who could then order them to be placed under psychiatric care. We have ways to do that without putting criminal charges on the person's record. As a result, most states have repealed those laws and the few that still have them don't use them.

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catgoddess
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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 13:12      Profile for catgoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Y'know, no one goes to jail for commiting suicide. You go to the hospital if you're caught attempting suicide, but there are no criminal charges. Your religion might have other views on the matter, but that's between you and your god(s), not the law.

If you attempt to kill yourself, I'd like to know a single state that doesn't at least have the 72 hour rule strictly enforced. Almost every single state (and I believe it is still every state, but I don't know that for 100%) has the legal right to commit and hold a suicidal person for 72 hours without their consent... or anyone else's.

Sounds a whole lot like "jail" for a "crime" to me.

Obviously if you succeed, they can't charge you with a crime because you're dead... but what they can do is deny you the right to any insurance policies you may have and deny payment of any funds to your family if you take your own life.

Why is that?

Because it's still considered "a crime."

--------------------
"I love humanity but I hate people." Edna St. Vincent Millay

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 13:55      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Xanthine:
Doctor-assisted suicide is another story. In the eyes of some, helping someone kill themselves equates with murder, and that's why in most states it is not allowed and in Oregon there are some very strict guidelines involved. I personally believe that in the case of terminal illness you have the right to pick your poison, but the ethics of dying are another topic altogether.

Doctor-assisted suicide is wrong. Doctors should always strive to preserve and improve life. When doctors become involved in the death process it creates incredible stresses for both the doctor and the patient's family. I never said doctors should assist with suicide- I said trained professionals. A good doctor is, by definition, a lousy killer. Doctors should only be allowed to prescribe death for patients who desire it or are no longer able to make that choice. Then the patient or family member (or executor of estate or whatever) could take the prescription to a qualified killer for follow-through. Killers should be rigorously screened and monitored to ensure that they are providing the best possible death experience. Euphoric drugs and massive doses of pain-killers would probably be a good idea- dying hurts.

If we did, as a society, decide to use doctors, they should definitely be specialists. We could call them Mortologists or something like that. People would probably freak out if we just called them killers. It would also make it difficult for them to date.

quote:
catgoddess:
Personally, I've never understood why it's a crime to kill yourself (for whatever reason and in whatever fashion).

There should be penalties for parents who attempt to commit suicide without making arrangements for their children. Parents are not their own people- they are the property of their progeny until such time as the children reach the age of eighteen.

quote:
still catgoddess:
The problem with the "drug war" is that it's still picking and choosing. There is no single solution that will appease the masses. Most masses are comprised of hypocrites anyway, so are they really the best "judges" of what is right or wrong (legal or illegal)?

There are two problems with the drug war: 1) It is impossible for a nation to declare war on another entity that is not sovereign. Wars on drugs or terrorism or whatever are just semantically and legally flawed in every respect. 2) Our choices about which drugs should be legal and which should not have never enjoyed the benefit of scientific review. It's perfectly allowable if, as a society, we seek to limit the expenses incurred by individuals. When we attempt to do so by blindly casting about and making arbitrary decisions, however, the inevitable result is injustice. So now we see that the war on drugs has been used as a tool to stratify society and fill our prisons with minorities. Our government's unwillingness to review the drug laws in light of new pharmicalogical information is a strong indicator that they are conscious of the injustices perpetrated in the name of the war on drugs and would like their soldiers in the DEA to keep up the good work.

--------------------
"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2007 14:02      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
littlefish wrote:
Drink six glasses of water daily?

It's eight glasses of water. Not that it really changes your argument.

Eight piddly, tiny American "glasses" of water. in good 'ol British glasses, it is six.

Confused? That just adds to my argument. And your tons weigh the wrong amount. And people's weight is in stones, not pounds. And their are 12 zeros in a a billion, and....

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 05, 2007 17:44      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by catgoddess:
An interesting point was touched on by Crawgator and SS... if we make drugs and smoking completely legal, are we going to make suicide legal, too?

Personally, I've never understood why it's a crime to kill yourself (for whatever reason and in whatever fashion).

I don't think it is considered a crime to kill yourself. However, it is considered mentally ill.

quote:
The problem with picking and choosing what to make legal and illegal is there is almost always a line to be drawn. Where do you draw it? Do we allow all drugs to be legal? Do we then allow suicide or assisted suicide to become legal? Do we allow child pornography to become legal? Do we allow people to kill other people legally?

Where do we stop? Or do we stop?

The problem with the "drug war" is that it's still picking and choosing. There is no single solution that will appease the masses. Most masses are comprised of hypocrites anyway, so are they really the best "judges" of what is right or wrong (legal or illegal)?

Well you see we basically have to draw lines with every law that is made. The problem with laws is that you can not legislate morality. You can only punish people for behavior that is considered unethical by the standards of the law. There also must be a proverbial line drawn in the sand otherwise there would be no point of having laws. So in essence all laws pick and choose, the system is not perfect because it was created by imperfect people.

quote:
We can point the finger at the government, the drug manufacturers (legal and illegal), or the laws themselves... but when will we start pointing that finger at ourselves?

Until we become a society where personal responsibility and accountability become the most important "judges and juries", we're not capable (as a society) of much of anything involving pure personal freedom.

I am all for personal responsibility. Unfortunately I doubt humanity will ever create a society that can live based on personal responsibility and accountability and even if you could you would still need laws otherwise you would have nothing whith which to hold the person accountable.

quote:
If you attempt to kill yourself, I'd like to know a single state that doesn't at least have the 72 hour rule strictly enforced. Almost every single state (and I believe it is still every state, but I don't know that for 100%) has the legal right to commit and hold a suicidal person for 72 hours without their consent... or anyone else's.

Sounds a whole lot like "jail" for a "crime" to me.

The state can hold people for 72 hours on suicide because they are to be considered mentally ill and dangerous. Most people who try to commit suicide when stopped change their minds about it after. I think it is reasonable to give someone some time to talk to a mental health professional/counselor and think if they really want to go through with it. After all, once you do it you can't change your mind.

quote:
Obviously if you succeed, they can't charge you with a crime because you're dead... but what they can do is deny you the right to any insurance policies you may have and deny payment of any funds to your family if you take your own life.

Why is that?

Because it's still considered "a crime."

Actually the suicide is not the crime. It is a matter of defrauding and voilating the terms of the life insurance contract.

--------------------
Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 06, 2007 12:40      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
Doctor-assisted suicide is wrong. Doctors should always strive to preserve and improve life. When doctors become involved in the death process it creates incredible stresses for both the doctor and the patient's family. I never said doctors should assist with suicide- I said trained professionals. A good doctor is, by definition, a lousy killer. Doctors should only be allowed to prescribe death for patients who desire it or are no longer able to make that choice. Then the patient or family member (or executor of estate or whatever) could take the prescription to a qualified killer for follow-through. Killers should be rigorously screened and monitored to ensure that they are providing the best possible death experience. Euphoric drugs and massive doses of pain-killers would probably be a good idea- dying hurts.

If we did, as a society, decide to use doctors, they should definitely be specialists. We could call them Mortologists or something like that. People would probably freak out if we just called them killers. It would also make it difficult for them to date.

I agree that if we would ever have people who would be in the practice of carrying out the death of a person, then they should be some kind of specialist. I would think that if a person would feel that they want to hire the services of a "Mortologist", they would have to undergo a psychiatric eval that would certify that the person was able to understand what they were doing.

The obvious people who would need these services would be people who are terminally ill and/or in pain so severe that medicine cannot treat it. People who deal with severe depression might want it too but I question the ethics of providing this service to someone who can be treated with medication.

The Mortologist services would probably not be cheap, and I doubt insurance companies would cover it considering they are in the business of providing insurance for good health and if one dies then they can't collect any more money from that client. Maybe there could be some kind of "death insurance" but then the same problems are there.

Perhaps life insurance could change so that people who wanted to commit suicide could be paid out half the present value of the principle and interest of the investment. After all, the insurance company has to get something for their trouble and make money otherwise they can't stay in business. It would be prudent to have a casket and plot paid for or a prepaid creamation so that the death would not be a burden to the family.

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Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 06, 2007 12:41      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry for the double post.
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 06, 2007 13:20      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CrawGator wrote:
The Mortologist services would probably not be cheap, and I doubt insurance companies would cover it considering they are in the business of providing insurance for good health and if one dies then they can't collect any more money from that client.

Are you kidding? They'd jump at the chance to do it for the more expensive patients. Take, for example, the two and a half years I spent on dialysis. It cost my insurance company roughly 30x my annual salary (not just my insurance premiums). I'm sure my death would have been quite cost effective for them.

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted February 06, 2007 13:36      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
True. I guess it would be more cost effective than not for health insurance companies to cover death. Although I doubt whether someone would choose death over dialysis but stranger things have happened. So I guess yes the health insurance companies could be easily persuaded to cover death.

Hmmm you possibly could also get them to cover part of the services too considering they would still be saving money.

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