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Sanctity

The circle of life is a phenomenon most everyone who eats understands. The live eat the dead, even if someone else kills it, and life continues on its merry way. Eventually, the live become the dead, and another eats them. (Please refrain from reanimation scenarios, at least for now.) In an ongoing struggle to prove sentient species are superior to all others, the human race assigns human characteristics to other animals. What is odd? They do not do the same to humans.

Not For Me

Mandarin "no"

No.

Have you ever looked into someone’s window and thought, There is no way I could walk a mile in their shoes, much less live like that permanently.? Chances are good you have thought it at least once. Whether the person was holding on through heartache, physical pain or alternative living conditions, you knew you did not have the patience, tolerance or wherewithal to survive under those circumstances.

Likewise, chances are good you have thought it about groups of people. Was it disastrous weather, famine, abject poverty or epidemic disease? Although we have our own brand of suffering, we still have the ability to know our limitations for strife.

Non-Nazism

At some point, which is different for every person, we deem life not worth living. Some people take the bull by the horns and kill themselves. Others take the painful choice away from those who love them by executing a living will and a DNR. There are many who never decide what that point is for themselves, leaving family or the court to decide when life is no longer viable.

Conundrum

Voice Your Choice

Free to Download and Share

Without definitive choices, we are left to guess:

  • The level of the pain
  • The tolerance to the pain
  • The probability to overcome the pain

Why? When we see an animal who is suffering from disease or injury, we are quick to put it out of its misery. We call it the humane thing to do. Why are we not so with humans who are clearly suffering?

Merriam Webster Logo

Click for definition.

The answer is not so difficult. Sanctity is:

1. :  holiness of life and character :  godliness

2 a :  the quality or state of being holy or sacred : inviolability

plural :  sacred objects, obligations, or rights

Since sanctity is clearly a religious concept, even though not ascribed to any particular religion, to meddle with it would seem to be taboo, as we mere humans are certainly not deities. We view making such decisions for others as “playing god”.

Raspberries

If life is holy and inviolable, why do we constantly tinker with it? Have you ever done any of the following?

  • Whitened your teeth or gotten dentures, caps or fillings
  • Had surgery
  • Gotten stitches to heal a wound
  • Been to a therapy session
  • Changed your appearance (weight, plastic surgery, piercing)

Not an exhaustive list, still each of these things are tinkering with life. Each changes the body housing the soul, the sentience, the person. Even the cosmetic things we do alleviate the pressure of societal judgment and provide penance for self-incrimination.

If life was inviolable, we would do none of these things; life would be perfect as it is delivered.

Why do we do them? To make life better, more bearable, longer. We do them to assuage our personal brand of suffering. Why do we geese then point at the gander as an abomination when he chooses to end the life no longer worth the effort of attempting to make better, more bearable, longer? Why do we choose to sanctify such life and demand suffering continue?

Love?

Love never wishes harm on another. When we say we love someone, yet refuse to accept circumstances may be unbearable, we are being selfish to impose our wishes of longevity on them. Worse still, we impose our beliefs on someone not inclined to believe as we do.

Have we all come to believe the television version of the Hippocratic oath? Would you be surprised to know it says it will not invade the body even when disease is known, not even for bladder stones – the longest-recorded surgery known to modern medicine? Why do we believe living is inviolate?

War

Our history proves we do not believe life is inviolable. For millennia humans have gone to war for this god or this political tour du jour or this narcissist or this need of land/resources/port access to make life better.

Let that sink in for one full minute. Ticking Clock We choose to end life in order to make life better for those who remain living. Are we callous enough to think this is different than choosing to end one life merely because we do not know the identity of the masses we send to slaughter? Or do we simply not take responsibility for those who act in our stead to make such decisions?

Ever disrespected your parent or an authority figure? Yet another example of life failing to be inviolable. What of those who benefit on the backs of the sacrifice of others? That infringement of enjoyment, health and stability of those who sacrifice is the violable life, specifically not sanctity.

Oath

If we stick to the part of the Declaration of Geneva (current incarnation of the Hippocratic Oath), I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, how can any of us choose to prolong the suffering of anyone else? Were we as holy as we masquerade, we would allow death as the rite of passage it is, even if we cannot agree on passage to what.


What makes us believe in the sanctity of life? Do you believe your life is inviolable? Do you know where your point is?

Hashtags: #sanctityoflife #choice

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© Red Dwyer 2014
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17 Comments

  1. You might guess this hits close to home today. It is done now though and it is hard.
    valentine logar recently posted..Not EnoughMy Profile

    Reply
  2. I believe that sanctity of life stems from our selfish nature. When we are unwilling to let others go, against their own wishes, we are being selfish because we don’t want to experience the loss. How many people have spent thousands of dollars trying to save a pet, only prolonging their suffering for a few extra days or months? This lack of letting go extends way beyond the death of a loved one or pet though. It permeates our relationships, our jobs and our past. Too many people never move on because they cannot/will not let go. They are selfish.
    As for life being inviolable, that is craziness. At any point any one of us can be violated, corrupted or destroyed.
    I don’t know my point. I haven’t reached it yet.

    Reply
    • I have a sneaking suspicion when you read it again, you will see directly where it was going. xxx

      Reply
  3. I don’t think I’ve ever (as an adult) considered life inviolable…
    But while I don’t want extraordinary measures in a hospital, Im not quite ready to leave yet either.
    El Guapo recently posted..Travelin’ Man – Stupid Is More Than Just A WordMy Profile

    Reply
  4. A loved one suffering asks I find a way to end it. I do not understand needless pain and would want to help. It is not yet legal here to do this.
    My biggest problem is there always exists the possibility of abuse of this power.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Flash in the Pan – MotorcycleMy Profile

    Reply
    • Sadly, it is not legal in most places based on the same oath. Tess, I do not believe there has ever been a concept of mercy which was not abused at some point by a psychopath. Ironically, we treat the psychopath more humanely. Ugh.
      xxx

      Reply
  5. We can be humane to animals but not humans. That makes perfect human sense. The biggest problem with the right to die is making certain it cannot be used against people.
    Binky recently posted..Nature of Existence Part IMy Profile

    Reply
    • Forced euthanasia in our current culture is murder, or something larger based on its scale. See my suggestion below to Pren. It would be far more effective than some other solutions I have heard.

      And yes, this is a typical case of human (non)sense.
      Red recently posted..Saturday Evening PostMy Profile

      Reply
  6. They are trying to bring in euthanasia here in the UK, but the people asking for death are dying while the law is dodging the issue.

    At the moment you cannot assist a suicide without being charged with murder, so doctors cannot provide fatal doses of medication OFFICIALLY.

    It’s a pit of vipers, but people are still accompanying loved ones overseas to die at the hands of Dignitas and, despite facing legal threats of imprisonment on their return, most do not face charges.

    When it goes to debate they trot out the same fears of the elderly being obligated to die before their time because they are a drain on resources.

    And so the circle goes on… 🙁

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Good news!My Profile

    Reply
    • The arguments grow tiresome. Why not make money from it? Let the state sell licenses. I will never understand. Never.
      {HUGZ}

      Reply
  7. When the quality of life tanks I’m going home. I might take the bus (stepping off the curb in front of one) or have Tracy take me to the vet.

    I do need a living will and a DNR, we all do because a living will and DNR are our script, not theirs. My life belongs to me and is not negotiable — ever.

    I do believe that life is eternal and that we are here in our physical bodies as a kind of vacation — “welcome to Great Adventure – please do not feed the animals (or we’ll beat your ass). But if I’m wrong about the eternal life then we’re all in for one hell of a nap when we die.

    It’s taken me a lot of years to begin to learn how to write my own script and it feels great. Man cub, on the other hand, already knows how.
    John McDevitt recently posted..The Stranger on the Park BenchMy Profile

    Reply
  8. Over complicating everything in our world is mans way but some things need not be so problematical, sometimes common sense has to prevail and where life is no longer viable, someone has to make the right decisions.

    Not based on a somewhat unworkable hypocritical oath, but a compliance with nature, prolonging life where the fundamental temperament is no longer present is at best cruel, humankind do not allow this to continue in our animal kingdom and yet the human race suffer daily, with only the mercy of the law to intervene.

    Yes a life is complex, precious but simplicity in actions when required would be welcomed by many. In reality the circle widens and so euthanasia is left as a rather taboo subject.

    Have a wonderful day Red 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    Reply
  9. First, thanks for the McCartney video.

    I agree with Tess.

    Human nature as it is, the problem will be too many who believe they should decide who’s to live and who should die.
    Margaret recently posted..Winter Snow WarningMy Profile

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