Sunday, September 25, 2005

Suicide

Do our relatives have the right to take their own lives?

Do they have a responsibility to talk to us first, to ask our permission, to listen to our arguments?

I wonder. I have always thought that, in fact, each of us has no real control over anyone else except our selves. We do have ultimate control over how we choose to live our own lives. Oh, I know,there is argument over what is part of our conscious mind and what is an unknown part of our psyche over which our consciousness has no control. And just how powerful is that unconscious part of the self? Well, that's not part of this discussion today.

Let me define the issues. Does my relative have the right to act in such a way so that his body will not be able to survive?

You think I'm talking about sky diving, don't you?

Well, I'm not. Not today. However, I can imagine that my feelings are probably the same as folks whose relatives choose to sky dive. Or drive too fast in cars that have no crumple zones and whose steering columns act as leathal weapons in any head on accident.

No, I am talking about a relative of mine who gave up his job which in the USA means giving up his health insurance. This relative is a diabetic. He needs medication in order to keep his insulin and blood sugar in balance. He is one of those adult onset diabetics, actually. But, he is not a heavy weight who eats chips.

Nope, my relative is a skinny, marathon running adult who now, because he has no health insurance and therefore no money to pay for blood work and therefore no access to medication because no doctor will give him a perscription in the USA without the blood work, is unable to get the medication that will keep his blood sugar/insulin in balance.

I suspect he is not the only adult American who can't get medical care because he has no health benefits on the job. What kind of a national policy is that, anyway????....

But, back to the issue, does he have the right to give up his job if he knows that no health insurance means death?

And what is my responsibility? Should I pay for his health insurance so that he has access to medication?

He says, "NO!"

I say, get a job that has health benefits.