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Minimal government means maximal protection of life

My friend John Hill is a bit upset at state Sen. James David Cain for his introduction of SB 40. I think he’s creating a tempest in a teapot.

Essentially, the bill makes the denial of food and water for those in a terminal and irreversible state medically unable to procure it themselves and to communicate impermissible aside from medical exceptions or the explicit wish of the person involved that no such sustenance be given when that person is in that condition. Or, as its text neatly describes:

It is the policy of the legislature that human life, including those individuals with disabilities, is sacred and should be afforded dignity from birth to natural death. When a person's condition is terminal and irreversible, any ambiguity should be interpreted to err on the side of life.

John argues that this bill exemplifies government meddling as part of “one of the new battle cries from some in the religious right” which “will be, in effect, injecting politics into the a patients' treatment rooms, which should be as private a sanctuary as one's own home.” But state government already does that – extensively, which this law tweaks.

If government is going to “inject politics,” a great place to do it is when the state as the power of life and death over an individual as in this case. And let us never forget that “politics” itself is what governments choose to do or not to do, so when government chooses to respect life in a world where it is so disrespected (with abortion on demand being the lead indicator), that can only be positive.

To make this intervention even more effective, government can promote efforts to execute living wills such as the one John describes. Already, at the federal level states are required to make available, in the provision of certain services, voter registration cards, so why couldn’t Louisiana also have available this form at these venues?

Minimal government always is preferable (which makes humorous, if not hypocritical, objections to this bill when far greater expansions of government into areas it has no constitutional authority occur with nary a peep) and it the true purpose of its existence. Thus when involved are the least of us who cannot speak for themselves, who have not stated a different intent previously, government’s obligation is to protect one of the things the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence identifies as integral to man and supremely obligating government to provide – life.

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