Monday, September 29, 2003

Oh, Florida! Will you ever win?

In one of the more flagrant examples of defying a stupid law with an even more stupid (and harmful and disgusting) protest, the Florida band Hell on Earth (whose music I can only assume is sub-par... Can you blame me? They're called Hell on Earth!) plans to include an onstage suicide in one of their performances and broadcast it on their website. The groups is attempting to speak out against a new law in their city of St. Petersburg that prohibits physician-assisted suicide.

Call me old-fashioned, but I take life pretty seriously. So seriously that I won't even eat a crab, who probably has the neurological capacity of my left thumb. Furthermore, I take quality of life pretty seriously. So seriously that I refuse to drink the milk of a cow who was treated like anything less than a valued house pet. Thus, and I do not belive I am contradicting my previous contention that all life is equally valuable, I respect a person's desire to end his life if he is truly in pain and has no desire to continue living. But, in keeping with that whole "life is valuable" argument, I think the option of suicide should be evaluated and ever so carefully scrutinized with a professional physician and the patient's family or friends. I think the state has a right to legally mandate that its doctors discourage suicide and refuse to assist death unless there is no alternative pain remedy. But a terminally ill adult should have the final say on his condition. Therefore, I think it's a dumb law with good intentions.

There are no good intentions, however, behind Hell on Earth's stunt. Death is tragic and, moreover, personal, not commercial or sensational. If the group genuinely saw injustice in their city's law, they could very well work with health care officials and local politicians, armed with research and first-hand testimonial, to revoke the law. Instead they have chosen to make a mockery of the pain of suicide.

In unrelated news, I had a fairly successful trip to the dentist today. (If any of you with Delta PMI need to find a dentist in the area, I'd highly recommend this one. Berkeley Hills Dental Care. On Telegraph and Woosley. Not in the hills.) I had the base filling for a crown put in after a good 30 minutes of drilling. If any inordinate pain or breakage occurs in the next two weeks, a root canal will be my ultimate fate. While in my mouth, Dr. Nikfarjam also noticed that I need to get at least one of my sprouting wisdom teeth removed. I can't wait.


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