Often when someone nears the end of life, they begin to contemplate their lives and recognize that of all the things they've accumulated, all the accolades that have been bestowed upon them, nothing is as valuable as life itself: there is nothing that should be protected more than life itself. But if it's the most valuable thing we possess, whose responsibility is it to protect it? Is it the responsibility of the individual that possesses it? Is it the responsibility of the society in which that individual is a constituent? The answer most likely lies somewhere between those two choices....
As the Declaration of Independence restates, people are endowed by our Creator to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are not supposed to be taken away from people. Nowhere is it stated that the State is required to provide those things to people. And while liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be restored if taken away, life is the one thing that we can’t really give back. My father died of lung cancer this spring. He could have chosen to fight to the last, using every bit of medical science to battle the consequences of his lifetime smoking habit; even though it would have only BOUGHT him 3 to 6 months increasingly pain-filled, restricted to a bed or chair, life. Estimates were anywhere from...
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