Home / General / Shorter Douthat: From My Privileged Position as a Healthy, White, Heterosexual, Wealthy Male, I Think People Having Control Over Their Own Bodies is Outrageous!

Shorter Douthat: From My Privileged Position as a Healthy, White, Heterosexual, Wealthy Male, I Think People Having Control Over Their Own Bodies is Outrageous!

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Douthat applies the same tortured logic he uses to discuss abortion and gay marriage to euthanasia, promoting state sanction and imprisonment for those who would engage in assisted suicide without providing any concrete reason why. That he talks proudly about how Swiss doctor Ludwig Minelli would be in prison if he operated in the United States, he completely fails to note that like abortion and gay marriage, legalized euthanasia never leads to the moral decline of a nation like its critics claim in their jeremiads.

But as a 30-some year old rich white dude with no widely known health problems, Douthat believes he has every right to control what people do with their bodies. Not only does this put the lie to his columns about the problems of government regulations in other sectors of society, but it makes him both the ideal Republican and the ideal Beltway insider.

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  • Aws

    without providing any concrete reason why.

    Wait, ‘Because,shut up!’ isn’t a reason?

    You have collapsed the foundation of conservative debate. Somehow, i think they will not notice.

    • BigHank53

      Mullah Douthat doesn’t need a reason. God’s word is God’s word.

  • Warren Terra

    Does this post mean that you read Douthat? I mean, his mother will be pleased that someone, inexplicably, does read him, but I’m surprised it turns out to be the new LGM blogger.

    • astonishingly dumb hv

      I know! And before he is off his probationary period, too. Bold.

  • soullite

    As a poor person, I don’t care. This was the kind thing people like me could have cared about a decade or two ago, and even been on your side. Now? It looks like the elite whining about some random issue in a laughable attempt to distract us from the real problems this country faces.

    Nobody is going to care about the pet causes of the liberal elite so long as the economy is this bad. Nobody cared much before the crisis, because things were bad enough for real people then. People are really, really not going to care now that things have gotten even worse.

    If you’re rich and over-privileged, you have room on your plate for all kinds of outrage. If you’re not, you have to learn to prioritize.

    • Bart

      We’ve been over and over such calamities as TBTF, Endless War, loss of civil liberties, idiot candidates, etc., that sometimes a fellow needs to turn to matters of life and death.

    • MPAVictoria

      “Nobody is going to care about the pet causes of the liberal elite”

      That word… I do not think it means what you think it means…

    • mark f

      Poor people certainly never get terminally ill!

    • The new progressive slogan: “What’s in it for me?”

      • Furious Jorge

        Just a half-step away from “fuck you, Jack – I got mine.”

        • Death with dignity: “I can’t see it from my back yard.”

      • Scott Lemieux

        The arbitrary division between class and “cultural” issues is also completely clueless. It ain’t wealthy suburban women who won’t have access to abortion if Roe v. Wade is overruled, and being forced to carry unplanned pregnancies to term in fact has very substantial economic implications.

    • Ironically, didn’t Kevorkian say at one point that “assisted suicide” was available only for the rich and the poor had to shut up and suffer?

      • cer

        Absolutely. Without money to hire a lawyer to draft documents and enable you to select your medical providers you have virtually no control over your end of life choices which can create crippling debt and a complete loss of personal autonomy.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          But at least we’ve saved Americans from those death panels!

        • Or, just the opposite could happen, and people who need and want additional life-saving treatment won’t get it.

          For reasons that have nothing at all to do with the cost to the hospital, nosiree.

      • witless chum

        That quote is bouncing around the web, but it’s pretty hard to find as to a source.

        This site quotes him as saying pretty much the exact opposite.

        A transfer of money should never be involved in this profound situation. Although illness is profound, too, but medicine’s a business today. It’s a business.

        Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jack_kevorkian.html#ixzz1OXCuMgle

    • dave3544

      Soullite, I know what you mean. My 36 yo brother is dying of cancer and we were talking about end of life stuff – memorial service, cremation, burial, you know – and he brought up the idea of assisted suicide because he didn’t want to die in a hospital or in pain.

      Believe you me, I lit into him. With the economy in the dumps like it is, I couldn’t believe he wanted to talk about some rich, over-privileged, elitist bullshit topic. It was all I could do to walk out of the room without giving him a good thumping.

      And he being a poor, therefore real, person and all! Unbelievable.

      • Hogan

        I hope that leaves a mark.

      • danbu sama

        that was 1 big hot cup of stfu

        • PhoenixRising

          Are you running around the internet serving from a STFU cart, or will you need to apply for a cafe license? Let me know so I can kick in on the permit fee.

      • Stop the fight, ref!

  • DrDick

    Douchehat thinks assisted suicide is icky. Nobody is ever allowed to do anything that he thinks is icky.

    • firefall

      So, no sex either then

      • Charlie Sweatpants

        Certainly not if it involves touching another person’s leaky parts. That’s just gross. Properly Victorian decorum dictates frottage or nothing.

        • Ed

          Douthat is down with sex as long as the woman isn’t using birth control, or doesn’t tell him that she’s using birth control. That takes all the fun out of it for him.

      • Clearly, you’ve read about the chunky Reese Witherspoon incident…

        • astonishingly dumb hv

          But that one was her fault, right? Being interested in Santorum is quite rightly regarded by all participants as un-sexy.

  • j_h_r

    Jack Kevorkian, who died last week of natural causes, a hero to many millions of Americans

    Huhbuhwhatnow? Millions? I would never call him a hero any more than the vet who put my dog to sleep after she was hit by a minivan. (Yeah, that’s an insensitive comparison, but per the OP, that ain’t nothing on Douthat’s column) I think Douthat needs to 1) google dictionary.com and 2) search for a definition of “strawman”. Although he’s probably done something similar in the past, after which he stomped his foot and whined, “But that’s not FAIR.”

    • I dunno.

      My mom died earlier this year. She was a supporter of the Compassion And Choices group, and essentially committed suicide over the past four years: refusing her medicines, ignoring the doctors’ advice, and creating a DNR so restrictive I had to get the family lawyer involved in order to get her water so she could take pain pills.

      She thought he was a hero. It wouldn’t surprise me if one-third of one percent of Americans did, which by definition would make it “millions”.

    • Murc

      Kevorkian isn’t SPECIFICALLY a hero to me, but the work he did getting end of life issues and, specifically, pain management issues into the national consciousness was valuable enough that I can see how he WOULD be a hero to people.

      I know that the work he did was sufficient to get my great-grandmothers GP to do a one-eighty on both those issues in the mid-nineties, such that when she enterred her final painful months she was able to pass with much more comfort and dignity than she otherwise would have. So, you know, he indirectly helped my family out. I wouldn’t call him a hero, but if someone raised a glass to him I’d drink to that.

      • DocAmazing

        Let’s hear it for pain control.

        I have worked with an outfit that opposes euthanasia (they helped keep my hospital open; you can’t always be choosy about your allies, and from their point of view, death with dignity was a cat’s-paw for the insurers), but they were strong advocates for adequate and abundant pain control–they would cite stats suggesting that most people who wanted to be euthanized changed their minds once adequate pain control was provided.

        The part that burns me about types like Douthat is that they are almost always the same ones who mouth off about “drug-seeking” and addiction, and who keep the DEA breathing down the necks of physicians who seek to keep patients as pain-free as possible. Anybody who opposes both assisted suicide and medical marijuana should be mocked mercilessly.

        If it weren’t for the Final Exit/Derek Humphries/Jack Kevorkian crowd, most docs would still be fretting about addiction in end-of life patients, so I’m drinking with Murc.

        • Holden Pattern

          The part that burns me about types like Douthat is that they are almost always the same ones who mouth off about “drug-seeking” and addiction, and who keep the DEA breathing down the necks of physicians who seek to keep patients as pain-free as possible. Anybody who opposes both assisted suicide and medical marijuana should be mocked mercilessly.

          Conservative moralists aren’t really doing their job unless the principles they advocate cause someone else to suffer. It is the suffering of others which they believe ennobles them and anoints with the holy oil of purity of purpose their thoughtless cruelty.

          • DrDick

            Pain is good for your soul. Not mine, mind you, but definitely for yours. You should therefor do as much suffering as possible, while I indulge myself in the maximum imaginable comfort.

        • If it weren’t for the Final Exit/Derek Humphries/Jack Kevorkian crowd, most docs would still be fretting about addiction in end-of life patients

          Good point.

        • redrob

          The part that burns me about types like Douthat is that they are almost always the same ones who mouth off about “drug-seeking” and addiction, and who keep the DEA breathing down the necks of physicians who seek to keep patients as pain-free as possible. Anybody who opposes both assisted suicide and medical marijuana should be mocked mercilessly.

          Amen to that. My mother died of cancer of the spine. At one point her doctor told me they had to wean her off her regular dose of morphine to perform surgery because she was taking enough to drop a large horse on the spot and it wouldn’t be safe to perform the surgery with that much in her system. If she was “addicted” to morphine at that point, so effing what? By the time she died, about two years later, she was in such pain when she wasn’t doped to near unconsciousness that she couldn’t carry on a lucid conversation anyway. The horrors of “addiction” seemed kind of moot to the family by that point.

      • witless chum

        I think Kevorkian was an admirable crank. We need cranks for society to progress.

        I tend to have great admiration for the three Michigan juries who nullified the state law against assisted suicide before they finally found 12 who’d convict.

  • Tom Allen

    Please don’t put “Douthat” and “position” in any proximity to my Monday morning. TYVM.

  • c u n d gulag

    Does Mini-Bobo still write for the NY Times?
    And, why, exactly?

    I wouldn’t read him on a bet.

  • As always, I find myself wondering how far down the slippery slope these muddle-headed wanks are willing to go.

    Are advance directives bad because they allow someone to effectively say: If I reach diagnosis X, leave me the hell alone? Should we outlaw hospice care?

    But I’m assuming Douchehat even knows such things exist, so never mind.

  • legalized euthanasia never leads to the moral decline of a nation

    Sure it does, if they’re foreign nations.

    • herr doktor bimler

      See how Switzerland has lost its status as a super-power?

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