Religious Responses to Brittany Maynard
Before I get into this post, I would like to extend this sentiment to Matt Walsh of TheBlaze.com, the main subject of this post:
How dare you. You sound like Mother Teresa talking about making her patients suffer by withdrawing pain medication so they can be closer to god as they lay dying.
Matt Walsh recently wrote an article condemning the actions of a young woman in Oregon who has a brain tumor and has opted to end her life in the manner that she wants to. The article is just laden with so much narcissism and Christian Supremacy that you can just about taste it as you read.
He spends the entire article attempting to show how this will personally affect him and his children as well as trying to make it seem like people are belittling other cancer patients by calling her brave. The only thing he offers this woman is to say a prayer for her, which basically means "I feel like shit that you're dying and I'm staying alive so here have a magical wish so I feel like I'm doing something useful and I can not feel like shit anymore about you dying." This is after he admits that he has never had terminal cancer. Well, no shit sherlock. I think that's about the stupidest statement in the entire article.
His article acts like people are advocating for mass suicides across the country, not that if someone wants to commit suicide you can really stop them unless they give you the chance. As if in the near future we would get home, eat dinner, and talk about who killed themselves that day. This woman is speaking out and has always worked for making it an option for people to die the way they want to instead of succumbing to a horrible end. Fuck her right.
Then he goes into basically bashing atheists and calling those that do not subscribe to an afterlife as "radical nihilists." He forces his view of how Atheists think and then proceeds to answers what he thinks are valid questions for this discussion for Atheists, which is utter bullshit.
How does this affect him / you personally
It really doesn't affect you at all. The ultimate goal of any major religion is kind of like the end goal of Highlander... "THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!!!!" That is how this situation affects Matt and other Christian's personally because it's against the Christian Doctrine on a multitude of levels, which he goes through. She's not abiding by his religion so of course he has to belittle, criticize, and use her as a vehicle to push his religion on others.
Matt do you seriously think that anything will stop her from ending her life? Are you going to force her to live in pain... pain that she doesn't want just because you have this preconceived notion about how people should die. People commit suicide everyday, I didn't see you bitching about it before she started advocating for a specific set of people.
He misrepresents her activist efforts as advocating for suicide just all around. What she advocates for terminally ill and those approaching an age where they are unable to take care of themselves. I don't know about anyone else, but if I'm facing the end of my life unable to wipe my own ass I'm not sure if I want to keep going, but that's just me and shouldn't be taken as a condemnation of anyone that does decided to keep living (thanks asshole for making me think about putting this in here because of how you love to twist words).
Mutually Exclusive Bravery
He tries to force the position that calling Brittany brave as belittling those cancer patients that choose to fight such cancer conditions. First of all, any decision made by a cancer patient, whether it be to fight with whatever treatment is suggested or to die with dignity, is very brave because it's not an easy thing to do in either case. My wife and I have to constantly remind our son what bravery exactly is:
"Doing what you need to do even though you're afraid."
This is completely subjective and if you try to insert your own definitions into this for someone else, you're just an asshole.
Brittany is doing what she feels she needs to do and I would bet that she is scared about it. To belittle her decisions is just low and disgraceful.
I'm sorry, but are you fucking stupid? Here is the current Hippocratic Oath:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug. I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery. I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God. I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help. —Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.
You didn't even do the slightest bit of research did you. You just have this little preconception as to what the Hippocratic Oath is and you open your mouth didn't you. I bet you didn't even know that the original oath called a whole bunch of god's into it. God's that you are atheistic about by the way.
Original Hippocratic Oath
I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:
I also bet you didn't know that "First do no harm" isn't even in the Hippocratic Oath, which is what you're referring to in your article.
Doctors have a duty to their patients to provide the best medical care. Not just to their abilities but also the abilities of others because it is in the oath. More importantly though, no doctor is required by law to adhere to this oath or even take it. 98% of American medical students swear some form of oath, while only 50% of British medical students do 1. I'm not even a real author or reporter and I have done a better job than you.
Questions, Questions, Questions
He asks three questions right around the time he basically calls all atheists "radical nihilists"
What is life? Why are we here? What’s the point of it all?
Here are my answers to these questions:
What is life? Life is the electrical impulses that flow through living things. Energy flows in, transformed, and flows out again in various ways. This cycle of energy over time is life and when that cycle stops, so does life. That goes nowhere to say that life is meaningless.
Why are we here? We don't have a purpose for being here. We are a consequence of reality. We were statistically bound to happen. There is no larger reason behind it all. That isn't a bad thing, it's just an honest answer.
What's the point of it all? We make our own "point" in life. If you don't make your life have meaning, someone isn't going to do it for you. Even subscribing to a religious faith is you making your life have meaning. My point in life is to be a good father, husband, and be true to myself. That's my point... that's my meaning in life. Why does it bother some Christians so much that people like me don't need an invisible man to dedicate their life to.
Value of Life
Modern civilizations do value life. I'll give you that one but you reduce my position to a point where life is meaningless because that's the only way you can perceive suicide as "ok." You're also treating valuing life as the single pillar that western civilization is built upon and it's simply not.
I value life. I value my life, my wife's life, and my son's life. I value the lives of others as well but I also value the rights of other people as well. Would I stop a person suffering from depression from killing themselves? Yes I would because it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I have depression myself and have contemplated suicide. I have thought about what it would be like to hold my son for the last time or to kiss my wife goodbye. I always end up crying for at least half an hour, so don't you fucking act like this decision came lightly for Brittany. Don't act like you know what it's going to be like for her in the end because you fucking don't. I don't either but at least I'm not presumptuous enough to make decisions for her or criticize one of the hardest decisions she has ever had to make.
His post continues on giving his personal spill about god, christianity, and life. If you can stomach the read, I would.
Think Skeptically and Stay Godless.