Ted Nugent: When my time comes, Big Brother, butt out

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I lived in Michigan when the television news channels played the videos of Dr. Jack Kevorkian assisting his terminally ill patients nonstop, day in and day out.

It was clear, as the parties involved spilled out their hearts and souls in the most dynamic of intense emotions, that the good doctor was responding sincerely, thoughtfully, professionally and with deep compassion to those seeking to end their agony.

You will find no man who more than I is dedicated to the self-evident truth that human life is sacred.

I value, respect and completely cherish the precious gift of life that God has bestowed upon each of us.

However, quality of life is pivotal to autonomy, individuality and independence.

If ever there were a part of life that government should never tread upon, it is decisions we each make about our quality of life and the choices we make about extending or ending it.

The exhaustive shopping list of checks and balances, the thorough scrutiny that the patients, families and Dr. Kevorkian went through during those instances where he assisted in terminating their suffering, could by no stretch of the imagination constitute an indicator of a "slippery slope" toward convenient suicide.

Allegations to the contrary are in overt defiance of the facts and are pure hogwash. That a bureaucrat or another person would meddle in such personal choice is unforgivable and surely un-American.

We are all going to die. Get used to it. It would be a smart move for society to take the voodoo and cloud of fear and confusion out of the facts of life and death.

As the more intelligent among us discipline ourselves and our loved ones to provide for our quality of life, surely we have the right to manage the inevitable for our quality of death.

I would love to know who thinks he or she has any right to tell family members or loved ones just how, when or if they can compassionately end their suffering and meet their maker.

Talk about "minding your own business"!

When debilitating conditions ravage the mind, body and soul beyond one's ability to tolerate them, intelligent, loving comfort is the compassionate decision.

Preparation for dying should be a priority for all families, as the curse of probate court and disconnected strangers meddling in such decisions is unforgivable.

We should all have a living will so that such personal, emotional decisions remain in qualified, loving hands of our choosing.

That is what Dr. Kevorkian went to jail for — responding with professional care at the request of families facing the most difficult, painful time and decisions of their lives. No holier-than-thou, know-it-all bureaucrats were invited.

Only Oregon allows for assisted suicide, as it has since 1997. Through last year, 292 patients had utilized such services to end their agony, compared to nearly 86,000 who died from similar ailments without the use of prescribed barbiturates.

I've watched and embraced the tears and cries of the afflicted who agonized through the decision-making ordeal with loved ones and professionals. To interfere with such a procedure is cruel, arrogant and soulless. It prolongs unnecessary suffering by all parties involved.

Every state in the nation needs a law like Oregon's to allow individuals to end their suffering with dignity.

Caring doctors shouldn't have to go to jail for acting compassionately.

Ted Nugent is a Whaco-based musician and television show host.



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