Friday, July 31, 2009

Hospice Auspices

That was fun wasn't it Dave? Writing a 3500 word story about a deeply personal incident in your life, sending it off to strangers with an implied, "Gee Mister, would you print this? It's about really important things!" Yeah, that was fun wasn't it?

Ummm, HELL NO! Writing for publication is about like being a piano delivery guy.

Any english speaker's conversation is full of redundant words, regional idioms and metaphors not widely understood. That's fine, but effective writing requires an entirely different skillset than effective talking. Added to that, when we communicate verbally we're aided (or sometimes hampered) by eye contact, vocal signals, body language and yeah even odors. Most of that stuff doesn't even register in the conscious brain of the listener, but the data is recorded and is part of verbal communication. So being able to keep one's fishing buddies in stitches does not automatically render one the next Mark Twain.

Well thanks for sharing Dave! Now I have a harder question. Is it immoral to be a hospice volunteer? Consider this. A person qualifies for Hospice services by refusing any further life extending treatment. So they've decided to stop trying to live. Isn't that a passive form of suicide? Granted, one's motives could be noble, like they're bankrupting the family as odds against survival grow higher. Or the motives could be very human, like weariness of getting poked with needles and being carved up like a turkey every few months. I have sympathy with both motives.

But isn't the point of objective morality that an act is either right or wrong, and motive is irrelevant? So is passive suicide morally right? Nope, I don't think it is. And while each individual has freewill and so ownership of their moral choices, extend that to outsiders who aid them.

Formal participation in an organization that facilitates passive suicide. Doesn't that confer approval of the dying person's decision? I'm not convinced that objective morality permits a distinction between passive and active. Hospice volunteer, Dr. Kevorkian, receptionist at an abortion clinic.

Well you're not a hospice volunteer anymore, so you don't have to think about it. Oh, but you will won't you? That little weasel brain of yours gets ahold of something and it's like conjugal visit day at the Big House!

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