Dying to get out of here

There are many important political issues of the day, and rational discussion of end-of-life options is probably not one of the most pressing of them—let’s compare it to peace, justice, economic equity, and a few such as that before noting that it takes a back seat to other more pressing matters—but it is important enough to allow us to think about classical problems. And Steve Lopez’s columns in the Los Angeles Times have been pointing to those issues repeatedly during 2011 and 2012.

His column for 22 January 2012, “Love, disease and a killing” is no exception. In it he explores the case of a man who suffocated his spouse. Would we say “murder?” If the partner was near death and suffering horribly, would we still say “murder?” Were the perpetrator not necessarily sure about the consequences of his action, would that mitigate his actions? What matters and what doesn’t matter?

In the case that Mr. Lopez presents some of these features are relevant. Other features I’ve mentioned here do not arise. But, again, what matters and what doesn’t matter.

Get a cleaner perspective than what I’m offering. Read Mr. Lopez’s on-line content here.

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