News just in – Jerry Brown signed the assisted suicide law in California. It surprised a lot of people it even passed through the legislature (as did the pro-vax law, how come California can be sane when the rest of the country is nuts). But getting a staunch Catholic, even a former Jesuit seminarian to sign the bill is astonishing and total credit to his integrity.
I have no doubt Jerry Brown is a thoughtful and religious man. But unlike Kim Davis he put his job as governor of a large state ahead of personal religious beliefs and did what the majority of the people wanted. What a breath of fresh air! A person can have religious belief (and religious “freedom” as Jerry admits he considered the religious POV in his deliberations to sign or not) and still represent the people of his state. His personal views are second to his constitutional duty and so he does, exactly as the U.S. founders intended, put his oath to the people ahead of a personal view he might have tried to impose on others.
Now I’ve written about assisted suicide before, what I project will be the new frontier (and battle-line). Like SSM I expect it to win, but this time the money guys and the anti-tax guys will be cheering from the sidelines (don’t want to spend their money treating old folks). But once again the religinuts will parade their (very assorted and contradictory) beliefs as a requirement to force upon the rest of us, But I think this wagon is going to roll. Of course the rock-ribbed theocratic (and too poor to pay for us elders) states will resist, but this is going to be legal in most of American soon. And just in time.
Not anticipating my own death, quite yet, I recently instead got to deal with a family member. After considerable deliberation and the longest talk I’ve ever had with a doctor I (and as the legally responsibly person, and I, is correct, just me) placed the family member under hospice care (not a place I quickly learned, but a service that can be performed in many places). That’s a toughie – as much as it might seem the right thing to do (plus the family member’s choice) it’s still hard. And I managed to get that decision freely without some religinut telling me I’m committing their definition of mortal sin.
And you know what, good old Sarah Palin’s “death panels” – that scared enough Democrats that Obama had to remove it, simply a provision that a doctor can bill their services to Medicare (note, NOT Obamacare) for consultation to family members about end-of-life issues. My family member’s doc (name withheld to protect the innocent) jokingly told me it was irrelevant, she’d just put a different code on the Medicare billing and it was the stupidest thing around about the medical system and Medicare and one almost every doctor ignores. What an absurdity, some stupid bubblehead politician (and hardly even that) makes noise and millions of people who face a very real and serious decision are affected by campaign propaganda. What about families, Sarah, shouldn’t this be up to them instead of big government. I assume probably most of the Repugs ignore all this too, but oh the outrage just to make a stink and really try to kill medical care because they’re to cheap to pay for it.
So why can’t a single one of the Repugs (esp. The Donald, as he’s certainly no bible-thumper) stand up against this crowd like the courageous Jerry Brown did.