Warning: High chance that this letter will go same direction as I did during the visit.
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Oh, I am writing this at my worst time possible. One O'clock at night is my prime time for my sarcastic to manifest and override my almost-non-existing social manners. I am doing my best to control myself from being rude.




Dear Sister Mary Rose
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Look at this kid, he's so excited about Euthanasia.


Hello, as you can see, my name is Jongseung. If it helps, I was the young man who asked lots of question regarding to Catholic's point of view on Euthanasia, next to another young woman who questioned you about the ordinary measure and extraordinary on your left side. Well... Mr. Geib posted my picture, so that will definitely help you remember. That being said, I am very grateful that you came in and talk about Catholic point of view in euthanasia; It is always nice to hear from the people than from a long document. I would like to provide a brief road map of where this letter will head. First I will talk about the Catholic point of view of life as valuable at all state. Then I will talk about Allison Davis with similar tangent of no euthanasia. After Alison, the letter will switch to completely different view of euthanasia is a right. And this view will extend to the national level at the Dutch point of view. After analyzing all these point of view, my opinion will follow.

From my understanding of the Catholicism, all life, regardless of the what stage of life they are in, is valuable. And the definition of "life" extends to people in deep coma, or other permanent brain damage. So no one, not even terminally sick person, has right to actively take away life. One has to wait the painful time until the disease run its course and finally result death.

However people do have right to refuse "extraordinary measure" that keeps them alive. I am still not fully sure that I understand the concept of the extraordinary measure. The definition of "extraordinary measure," from my understanding, includes medical procedures that cannot be commonly accessible to the general population. And as long as the withheld of the medicine and treatment do not directly result death, people can refuse such treatment and die from "natural" cause i.e. starvation.

The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Declaration on Euthanasia, written by a person with red robe Cardinal, declares that the human life is "a gift of God's love." Therefore, nobody can violate the other's fundamental rights and the gift of the god. Which translate to the point that everyone has the duty to lead his or her life in accordance with "God's Plan." (Nobody knows the plan, but we all know euthanasia ain't one). And the sacred text commands the people to perceive the last wish of the sick for death as "an anguished plea for help and love." I do not believe in ignoring other's words and interpreting in own way is the right way to approach this situation. However, historically speaking it has been that way. Pius XII warns that "it is not right to deprieve the dying person of consciousness without a serious reason," meaning that people needs to be awake and suffer to be part of the "god's saving plan." And it ends with Matthew 25:40, "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." That reminded me of the death of Jesus, and disciples giving a sour wine (which is terrible painkiller). Catholic church is definitely following the scripture in this doctrine.

Now moving to more personal/secular level, Alison Davis, a lovely lady with myelomeningocele spina bifida, speaks about the right to the handicapped.When she was born, the doctors told her parents to " go home and have another," suggesting the "no worthwhile quality of life" of the handicapped baby over the healthy baby. She argues that she is the proof of that people with bad outlook can live the life at fullest; therefore, there should not be a notion of loss of "value of life." And like many other handicapped, Alison believes that the euthanasia would result a slippery slope and result de facto and "Hitler's Germany." She is fighting for herself to protect herself, born and unborn with disability from being "allowed to die" by fighting against euthanasia and a bill to let the handicapped babies to die untreated. I find her admiring person for fighting for the future babies with disabilities and living the life at fullest.


While, Alison Davis wrote her essay to prove her life is worth as much as the normal people, Chris Hill wrote his letter before his suicide to resolve the after effect of his death. Chris Hill was enjoying his life at the fullest before his hang-gliding accident. he rode "a motorcycle at 265 km/h on Japanese race track and up to the 5000 meter snowline on an Ecuadorian volcano" and 'had fantastic sex life.' After the accident, he was paralyzed chest down. No control over his body, whatsoever, beyond that point.

Movement was not the only thing he lost. he lost "my dignity and self-respect." He could not "shit or piss," which meant "sticking a 30-centimeter-long silicon tube up his willie four times a day" and "sticking a finger up in his arse every second day to dig out the shit." He still had a reason to live for ... a woman, but thought of "she would inevitably be a nursemaid in a million different ways," stops him. He does not want to be burdensome to his sole reason that he is alive. The idea burns in him being burden overwhelmed his brain. And in addition, thought of "being a sexless wooden lumps" next to a person he loves hurts his ego more than anything. He believed he gave his best optimism in life, but he failed to see a reason to continue life. He argues his right to kill himself and ends the letter with statement that he decided his death under "normal, rational state of mind" and he refused to be resuscitated.

In Netherland, Chris Hill's belief is the national standard. Death is the basic right for men. And people can choose to die with dignity. The Dutch consider the euthanasia as "an act sometimes required by them [responsibilities]." However, even after years of the practice, there is no sign of "slippery slope." On the contrary, the active voluntary euthanasia has improved the relationship between doctor and patients. Patients know that they can count on the doctor when they need them the most. Patients wants their right to say "enough is enough."

The Netherland extends the right of euthanasia to people with unrelievable and unbearable pain. I would like to give two example: Carla and Esther. Carla had series of treatment to cure her cancer. However, each time, the tumor regrew. As a devoted Catholic, Carla made an unexpected requested to end her suffering reasoning, "God could not have wanted this." The hospital went through procedures to decide if her wish should be granted or not. The family member, after private discussion, decided to accept her wish. Then the medical professional and Roman Catholic Chaplin decided after long discussion to respect the patient's wish. Unlike the Catholic church of interpreting cry for euthanasia as cry for love, the Dutch has process to value the patient's wish. To Catholic's point of view, she was murdered by a lethal injection by an Anesthetist; however, the Dutch believes that the anesthetist was "morally proper to help Carla die." The Dutch respected the patient's autonomy, not "impose their values and their understanding of pain or suffering on the patient." The Dutch also believes that it is inhumane to do passive euthanasia, as patient die slowly and painfully without dignity. Where as the active euthanasia ease the patient painlessly and fast. Because of that, the Dutch believes that active euthanasia as "the last dignified act of terminal care."

Esther was a young patient with MS (multiple sclerosis), which was not yet terminal. She executed the living will indicating that she does not wish to be kept alive if she were no longer able to communicate. Esther's wish of active euthanasia was not stopped by the staff psychologist. As soon as the psychologist mentioned "green pastures, blue skies, and butterflies," Esther asked to leave her room. The anesthesiologist performed a unlawful voluntary euthanasia before terminal phase, but the Secretary of the Dutch Medical Association declared that the case was an example of "good medical care." This law case extended the rights of euthanasia to "patient who seeks release from a medical condition that imposes unrelievable and unbearable suffering." And even after that case, there has not been a slippery slope yet.


Before I start about my opinion, I would like to point out you used many of the logical fallacy to prove your point. You used "the slippery slope" argument on how legalizing euthanasia would create a devastating effect, by connecting extreme hypothetical situation and without using proper relationship. Also when I asked the example of these devastating effect, you answered with "Oregon, lots of bad thing is happening in there." First of all, that is not really an answer to my question. I do not know what you mean without specific examples of statistics. Second, even if Oregon has bad consequences from the euthanasia, you are using composition logical fallacy , by stating one part of the situation to the whole. Also this can be count as the Texas sharpshooter as you are choosing the statistics that benefits your argument (I would have used the same fallacy, if I stated that Netherlands had successful outcome from the euthanasia; therefore, euthanasia is beneficial.) And to sum everything up, using "appeal to authority" (the god, pope, etc) and "appeal to nature" seems to be the basic foundation of the logic, but they are logical fallacy.

Moving on. As a secular humanist, I believe that euthanasia is a right that everyone should have. I am not advocating death to the people, but freedom. People should have freedom of deciding their death. It is not moral to bound people to prevent an act that does not harm anyone else. However, to prevent "the permanent solution" for a "temporary problem", I believe that the decision needs to be checked by different medical professionals and family/friends. I do not advocate for full right to death in any circumstances. Rather, the circumstances should be limited to the conditions that is not going to improve. Who are we to judge people and their belief in the value of their life, when we are not them. Only people themselves, can estimate their value of (or lack of) life. No matter how empathetic we can be, we will never feel the feelings Sanpedro, who would rather die than live in the wheel chair. We will never feel the grief of person who lost their family and friends. We will never fully feel the same emotion. However, we can understand the motives and the feelings. From that understanding, we should able to provide the means that people can have their end peacefully.

To minimize the controversies and conflicts, I believe everyone should have some form of Advanced Directives that can be used in the court. Without the advanced directives, people could be euthanize like Schiavo case, without being certain that that is what the patient want. It may be as confusing and difficult to write for the college application, but just like college application, the advanced directive will help the people in the long run. I am full advocate of the advanced directive and I believe in the support for the autonomy of the people. I believe that the people's consent is the most important aspect in this ethical issues.

Speaking of the people's consent, I believe that Kevorkian did the fantastic job until the last case. Without having any proper lawyer, Kevorkian ruined the liberal cause by being arrested and sent to jail. If he had not been caught, he could have been the driving force of the liberals. It was not necessary for him to be a such arrogant person that ruined the entire liberal cause to keep his pride alive. However, before his downfall, Kevorkian, in my opinion, was the best thing one could do under the rules of the federal laws. Kevorkian received the justice as soon as he went beyond what people believe is correct. And he was punished for that. However, I give Kevorkian a credit for making a Euthanasia a huge moral issue.

Another medium was used to highlight the necessity of euthanasia from the movie, Million Dollar Baby, the movie is both condemned and praise as the movie take a position on the Euthanasia. I am taking a side that the movie was great medium to spread the idea of personal autonomy and people's right to have euthanasia. I can see that Maggie did her best to try to live her life as quadriplegic and she finds out that she cannot live in such condition. I fully support Maggie's decision as Maggie tried to live a normal life under such terrible condition. Compared to Sanpedro's case of not even using wheelchair for decades, Maggie did her best in her short period of time. Maggie believed that her life was not worthwhile, after trials. I believe that there is no right logical reason to stop her from taking her life.


Thank you for reading this letter.

Sincerely,
Jongseung