I posted something to Beck’s post of yesterday, already, I know. But personal events, caused me to revisit the issue.

I asked, yesterday, “How do they know?”

Look, even exclusive of right to die arguments, (Which I think you’ll recall, I’ve pointed up as being valid) how do the cops know they’re not dealing with outright murder? (Which, I think we’re dealing with in this case.)

And don’t tell me about her supposed husband having he final say in the matter without such a document; I think we both can come up with spousal abuse/spusal death cases which under that scenario, which wouldn’t be treated as murder. Lacy Peterson, anyone?

Billy’s complaint is, as usual, government intervention. His complaint is valid, but he’s missed the cause of the problem, I’m afraid.

Society, you see, and the government that serves it, make certain assumptions. In an ideal situation, the assumptions they make are alligned with the values of the people within that society. As such our laws, and our legal processes, our very way of thinking, assumes life is of the highest value. A look at the handsprings we must go through to enact a death penalty in response to a crime, and that such punishment is only used in cases where the criminal has taken someone else’s life, tells the whole story; Our society holds life dear. Oor legal system is designed to err, if it errs, on the side of life.

So it is that such absolutism as we see in Beck’s comments, regarding right to die cases in general, and in the Saivo case in particular, does not fit, does not serve justice.

For what it’s worth, Billy, I agree that such law as Reynolds and Hobbs suggest, are offensive. Yet, the problem becomes how to draw the line then between murder, and normal death, particularly if we’re using the Shaivo case as the standard? I don’t see much alternative to their proposal.

A couple admittedly less than spot-on examples…

If the husband, for example, had absolute say over the life of the wife; we’d then not have Scott Peterson in San Quenton, today. It would never go to trial, much less conviction.

If we make suicide and the aiding thereof, legal, how do we know it IS in fact a suicide, assuming the amount of evidence collected in he Shaivo case… IE; the one pulling the trigger saying “That’s what she wanted”.

So without a (signed) statement, stating the wishes of the parties in question under given conditions, how can the government know if our death really WAS our wish, or a crime perpitrated against us? Clearly, it can’t.

Here it is; The kind of conflict we’re discussing right now, is what happens when that underlying societal assumption is challanged; in this case, the assumption of life.

Government grows because we can no longer depend on that assumption of erring on the side of life. With the assumption of life, such documentation wouldn’t be needed. Without it, we’d be dealing with legal murder.

And yes, I think it has come to that.


It’s been noted that both the Republicans and Democrats have fallen out of their traditional roles over all of this; The Democrats have discovered States Rights, whereas the Republicans have discovered in a limited way, Federalism.

The reason behind this flip-flop is exactly what I’ve said here…. that the basic assumptions on which this case would usually rest, as in, the assumption of life, have been turned upside down? Why is it such a shock then, that the uses of government by the respective groups, have also reversed?