2 days ago, Edmund Brown, Governor of California signed into law a bill that legalizes physician assisted suicide (PAS) in his state. California is the 5th state to legalize such a law. The reasons people favor or oppose PAS are often complicated, yet Governor Brown’s stated reasons for supporting PAS are troubling.
He published a brief letter to the California State Assembly which outlined his process of making a decision. It’s a very short letter and I recommend you reading it. His conclusion is that “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”
This moral reasoning is incredibly disturbing. The governor of the largest state in America (by far) simply said that because he’d be comforted by the option of committing suicide, it should be legal. Think about that for a second. He said that because having murder as a live option available to him would be comforting, it should be legal. When in the world did the therapeutic value of a given decision give it moral or legal validity?
Let’s press this line of reasoning a bit further.
“I don’t know what I would do if I lost my job, but I would at least find it comforting to know that I could punch my wife and kids when I got home. And, I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”
“I don’t know what I would do if I found out my boss was lying to me, but I would at least find it comforting to know that I could slash his tires. And, I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”
“I don’t know what I would do if my kids were terrorists, but I’d at least find it comforting to know that I could rob a bank. And, I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”
You may have any number of objections to the cases I just mentioned, but the point is this: what you would find comforting is wholly irrelevant to whether or not PAS should be legalized or not. You may find chocolate candy comforting during stressful situations. That says nothing about whether or not it should be legal. You may find mass murder comforting during stressful situations. That also says nothing about whether or not it should be legal.
For more on the moral revolution that is taking place, you might want to check out Al Mohler’s comments on this issue – it’s only about an 8:00 clip. When forming law, which instructs morality, the standard cannot, it must not, be based on my personal preferences. When that standard is embraced, we find ourselves debating moral issues by saying, “You like chocolate, I like murder.” And, neither of us is wrong. This is madness.
Whatever your position on PAS, you should be horribly disturbed by the lack of moral reasoning on display from the political leaders of our country.