Not to feed the trolls …
Gotta say that I’m fascinated that this debate (on this blog at least) has immediately gotten down to the brass tacks of the legal and economic issues involved.
Bruno did a great job laying out the Utilitarian / Liberal / Libertarian arguments in favor of I-1000 (or death with dignity initiatives generally). It does not infringe upon my personal liberty if someone else chooses to take his or her life.
Personally, I have a hard time reducing this one to a strict Utilitarian analysis. There’s a more emotional connection to this issue for me, and one that precludes me from making a strict economic analysis of the issue. To me, it comes down to the definition of “life”. It seems reasonable to me that conditions that prevent an individual from enjoying certain basic human freedoms — let’s say “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” — don’t really constitute much of a life after all.
Admittedly, there’s a slippery slope in here. But why not take that to its conclusion? We’d do just as well to criticize the unjustness of a regime that subsidizes all kinds of self-abuse (smoking, poor fitness, bad diet), but then seeks to regulate the final act.
I’m still undecided as to whether or not I-1000 is a good bill. But I’m convinced that the the general principle is correct.