Thursday, 15 October 2020

Dogs v people

 “Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.”

          ~ Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.



  1. OK, so following the logic to its end: people make euthanasia choices for dogs - the dogs do not have any say in the decision. How would you apply this analogy to people? Who would be empowered to "euthanize" a given person? Under what circumstances? Etc?

  2. The choice is the person's own. That is made perfectly clear in the Act being voted on. But you know this, of course.

  3. I know nothing - I am in USA not following your politics, but enjoying this blog. If the person chooses, then the dog analogy is a poor one, agreed?

  4. Stephen.r.c.hicks@gmail.com19 Oct 2020, 08:21:00

    To pl.: Analogies compare dissimilar things. To notice only the dissimilar elements is to miss the point.

    1. I am not missing the point at all: I think making such a decision for a dog is fundamentally different than making such a decision for a person, let alone the practical realities involved with implementing that decision.

    2. I think you are missing the point, completely - because the question is not whether one person should be allowed to end the life of another person ( as one person can end of the life of the dog). The answer to that is of course no. It's whether one person should be allowed to end their *own* life, if the suffering becomes too much.

      The analogy is that in both cases we should leave that decision to the owner of the life. With dogs that's the human who cares for it, they being the best one to judge how much the dog is differing. With humans it's the person who's suffering, who can clearly communicate their desire to end it.

    3. OK, let me be more clear on my thoughts than I was: yes, in theory, with no messy practical realties intruding, an able-minded person should be able to decide to end his own life. But if he can't (or won't) do it himself, this is where the mess begins. Among many issues: who is charged with determining if that was really his wish? If he was of sound mind? What about the person(s) who are asked to do the killing? Even if the laws seem clear and they seem to be protected, it could be challenged afterwards. What if the person(s) who are asked to do the killing think they are fine with it but when the time comes, they can't follow through - then what happens? What happens if the person(s) who are asked to do the killing end up emotionally damaged or destroyed by doing it. What about nefarious motives? Possibly a relative might have ulterior motives for killing off Dad before he spends all his money on end of life care?

      I could go on and on, but the dog analogy is just completely lacking. Dog euthanasia is not morally controversial to most people; assisted suicide is morally messy.

      Personally, I am in favor of it in concept, but have not come to a conclusion on the best way to make it work in practice.


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