Molotov Cocktail, American Style

TRUMPTINI!

Perry: Trump Offers ‘a Toxic Mix of Demagoguery and Nonsense’

Read more at National Review Online 

 


As Assisted Suicide Laws Spread, Cancer Survivors, Disabled Object

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As citizens from California to Kentucky push for dying rights, advocacy groups for people with disabilities question whether physician-assisted suicide should be legal.

Danielle Ohl reports: Doctors told Chasity Phillips in 2002 that she had a 50 percent chance of surviving surgery.

“The risk of mistake and coercion and abuse are really too great.”

— Diane Coleman, founder and CEO of Not Dead Yet, an advocacy group that informs and lobbies on behalf of the disabled

She suffers from chondrosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer. It had begun to affect her heart, ribs and spinal cord. Her choices were certain death, her doctors said, or surgery to remove part of the tumor.

“There’s a certain freedom that comes with dying. You really don’t have to deal with your annoying cousin. You really don’t have to go on that family trip. You can eat ice cream for breakfast.”

— Chasity Phillips, Cancer patient

She chose the surgery. Still, the return of her cancer was likely. Doctors told her she would have six months to a year before it grew back, requiring more risky followups.

But 13 years later, Phillips is 38 years old and thriving, despite two very severe medical conditions. She also suffers from lupus. The state of her health has made her somewhat philosophical about her own mortality.

“There’s a certain freedom that comes with dying,” said Phillips, who lives near New Orleans. “You really don’t have to deal with your annoying cousin. You really don’t have to go on that family trip. You can eat ice cream for breakfast.”

Her prognosis was not unlike Brittany Maynard’s. But Maynard chose physician-assisted suicide after doctors diagnosed her with terminal brain cancer on Jan. 1, 2014. Before she died less than a year later – on Nov. 1, 2014 – at age 29, Maynard had become a prominent advocate for the “death with dignity” movement, which has triggered legislation in 25 states.

She was one of 1,327 people who took advantage of Oregon’s 1997 Death with Dignity Act, the oldest and foremost such law in the country, by obtaining the life-ending medicine. Maynard was one of the 859 people who actually chose to use it.

But as citizens from California to Kentucky push for dying rights, advocacy groups for people with disabilities question whether physician-assisted suicide should be legal.

“The risk of mistake and coercion and abuse are really too great,” said Diane Coleman, founder and CEO of Not Dead Yet, an advocacy group that informs and lobbies on behalf of the disabled. Read the rest of this entry »


The Power of Hidden Law

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Don’t interrupt the conversation of civilization

“…there’s a strongly held view in Hollywood and D.C. that says that without the government in Washington American society would descend into anarchy almost instantaneously.”

Jonah Goldberg writes: Hidden law was a term coined by Jonathan Rauch, who basically updated a lot of ideas familiar to readers of Burke, Hayek, Oakeshott, and Albert Jay Nock. Calling himself a “soft communitarian,” Rauch put it very well so it’s worth quoting him at length:

A soft communitarian is a person who maintains a deep respect for what I call “hidden law”: the norms, conventions, implicit bargains, and folk wisdoms that organize social expectations, regulate everyday behavior, and manage interpersonal conflicts. Until recently, for example, hidden law regulated assisted suicide, and it did so with an almost miraculous finesse. Doctors helped people to die, and they often did so without the express consent of anybody. The decision was made by patients and doctors and families in an irregular fashion, and, crucially, everyone pretended that no decision had ever been made. No one had been murdered; no one had committed suicide; and so no one faced prosecution or perdition.

“The enemy of hidden law is not government, as such. It is lawyers.”

Hidden law is exceptionally resilient, until it is dragged into politics and pummeled by legalistic reformers, at which point it can give way all at once. The showboating narcissist Jack Kevorkian dragged assisted suicide into the open and insisted that it be legalized (and televised). At that point, the deal was off. No one could pretend assisted suicide wasn’t happening. Activists framed state right-to-die initiatives, senators sponsored bills banning assisted suicide, and courts began issuing an unending series of deeply confused rulings. Soon decisions about assisted suicide will be made by buzzing mobs of lawyers and courts and ethics committees, with prosecutors helpfully hovering nearby, rather than by patients and doctors and families. And the final indignity will be that the lawyers and courts and committee people will congratulate themselves on having at last created a rational process where before there were no rules at all, only chaos and darkness and barbarism. And then, having replaced an effective and intuitive and flexible social mechanism with a maladroit and mystifying and brittle one, they will march on like Sherman’s army to demolish such other institutions of hidden law as they encounter.

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The enemy of hidden law is not government, as such. It is lawyers. Three years in law school teach, if they teach nothing else, that as a practical matter hidden law does not exist, or that if it does exist it is contemptibly inadequate to cope with modern conflicts. The American law school is probably the most ruthlessly anti-communitarian institution that any liberal society has ever produced.

Read the rest of this entry »