Should the Law have some control over what is done to one's own body?

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This is a question that has been bugging my mind every now and then, and is very recurrent in debates relating to drug-legislation and civil liberties. While past experiences and brilliant works such as Nineteen Eighty-Four have shown us that State-control over people’s personal lives is a very, very bad thing, I wonder if that is true in all cases.
It is generally stated that one’s freedom ends at someone else’s (this is grammatically correct, AFAIK) freedom. Thus, the population should be allowed to smoke crack and sell their own kidneys for profit. Seems ideologically perfect, right? I think so too. However, ideologies are problematic because of impracticality. Three are my objections:

  • If the person gets seriously harmed, the taxpayer-funded public health care will have to take care of the patient. Essentially, you are paying his treatment, because he decided to sell his own kidney and had post-surgery complications. Thus, his freedom trod into yours. I don’t know how the Health system works in the US, but in Brazil you can pick one of two options: Awesome expensive private hospitals, or the terribly-managed public hospitals.
    (A good counter-argument is that the amount of tax money collected from a drug would maybe be high enough to treat users, but what about the organ selling scenario?)
  • If the person is the parent of a young child, should he be allowed to irresponsibly put his life at great risk e.g. use heavy drugs?
  • What about the fact that some heavy drugs and alcohol-abuse have enormous potential to put humans in such a state that they are very likely to hurt a fellow human?

What do you guys think? Is having complete control over one’s own body more important than everything else? If not, where do we draw the line? What do you think about the specific scenarios I presented?

 
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Humans should be allowed to do whatever they want to their own body.

 
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Thanks for the fanatic impractical ideology-driven statement with no reasoning and counter-arguments backing it up.


It would be nice to see if someone can link this discussion if the fact that America is getting more and more obese each decade.
P.S. Edited the OP with another questioning.

 
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Originally posted by Hamsters_R_Boss:

Humans should be allowed to do whatever they want to their own body.

I agree, but they have to respect their responsibility.

 
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The problem with your example of smoking crack is that the crackhead will often go out and physically harm someone else.

Then there’s second hand smoke to consider.

 
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It depends, if you are deciding on a baby (another human being) I would say no, you shouldn’t have the power to extinguish another life. If however you chose to commit suicide, that would be your choice. If your actions tread on others rights, you become limited.

 
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Originally posted by jhco50:

ONE: It depends, if you are deciding on a baby (another human being) I would say no, you shouldn’t have the power to extinguish another life. TWO: If however you chose to commit suicide, that would be your choice. THREE:

If your actions tread on others rights, you become limited.

LOL,
ya can depend on ol’ jhco to make a “trifecta” of his special talents w/ only three sentences.

ONE: notwithstanding the hilarious fact that he unable to grasp the OP. Perhaps he might have gotten it were it to have been…Shoulld the Law have control over what one does to their own body?

But, he manages to compound his faux pas by bringing in his penchant to bang-the-drum for his concept of abortion. Which, by the way….he double-whammies it by using his # three below: treading on others rights. And yeah, he BELIEVES that an abortion is KILLING A BABY…therefore, rendering the woman’s RIGHT to control her own body null.

TWO: I’m gonna be silly and say that his ONE rational offering to the OP—that suicide most definitely should be severely limited FROM state restrictions—probably would be best if it were done BY A GUN. lol

THREE: I find his concern for the “rights of others” to be somewhat confusing since he is soooo willing to tread on the rights of Gays to have the same level of status for marriage as do heterosexuals.

Sure, we all have our own viewpoints on various aspects of life.
But, as the OP points out…the “strenght-of-validity” of how we can act upon these viewponts is subjugate by our (American) Costistution—our “rules” for fair play in how we go about our lives. Rules that do their best to see that ALL ppl’s freedoms are protected & promoted as much as is humanly possible when they are so prone to “bump into” those of others.

 
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Why do babies deserve more rights than the rest of us, jhco?
No matter what, they have no real value, but to be emotional baggage until they learn to communicate effectively.
Don’t forget, your animal instincts are what drive you to have compulsion to protect babies. It is your animal wants that force you to behave, and hold irrational views. It’s important to note that we are hard wired to protect our offspring, and they are built softer than other animal offspring for the shear purpose of us to focus our attention on nurturing them and their development. Your animal urge that makes your blood boil when a baby cries, and you suspect fowl play. Your animal urge to push to console a baby in distress. Our confirmation bias based on emotional cues, can skew our perception on the value of a baby to such proportions it can be unfathomable. Sometimes we falsely look to protect things that our vestigial emotional cues have no purpose to the expanding future of better self-control, increased awareness, and above all, knowing when emotions are falsely leading us astray.

 
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What do you guys think? Is having complete control over one’s own body more important than everything else? If not, where do we draw the line? What do you think about the specific scenarios I presented?

Yes/no, people should have complete control over their own bodies provided that exercising that control does not negatively affect others and they accept full responsibility for their actions.

e.g. in the case of the organ seller… fine, sell your kidney… post-op complications? Tough, use the money you raised from the sale to get treatment privately.

e.g. want to smoke crack (or even plain ol’ cigarettes)… fine, so long as you can do so without forcing others to inhale your second hand smoke and fund your habit legally (nb I’m assuming such drugs become/remain legal in this scenario to reduce/eliminate the criminal imperative associated with drug production/procurement).

Fine as long as you’re paying for any medical conditions arising from your choice of poison… Fine as long as, if you have children, you’re not endangering them through neglect/whatever and/or are paying for their upkeep should they be removed from you because you’re no longer able to care for them. If that means losing your house/car/possessions/freedom (debtor’s prison) so be it, that’s part of the price you pay for your choice.

 
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They don’t deserve more, but they deserve the chance they were given for life. I am ask about the difference of opinion I have on the death penalty and abortion. Then I have to explain the differences between being guilty and being innocent. Now please explain the lack of value for babies? You were a baby once, and for all I know, you are probably still quite young. We start somewhere, right? You could say it is animal instinct if I strive to protect my own and I would agree to that to an extent. However, unbeknownst to people like Karma, I do have compassion for my fellow human beings. Children represent life, another human being, and deserved to be protected until they are able to survive on their own.

You think I hold irrational views and I have the same thoughts about you. So who is right? I value life and you don’t. Does that make me irrational? If you were in danger of losing your live, would you want me beside you or someone who thinks life has no value like Karma? Maybe you hold the same view as Karma and you are willing to sacrifice your life because you have no value as a human being. In the case of nurturing, has it occurred to you that the emotion of a parent might be important? My kids won’t even discuss this issue because they are so against the issue of abortion.

But you and Karma digress by reading into my post. I gave you limits on a persons rights over their own bodies and that was all. You could have left it there, but of course karma has to do his usual ignorant posts against mine because he is afraid. He is afraid that he and those who follow him cannot survive on their ideals alone….and truthfully, they can’t.

Maybe you should think about your belief system. You could be woefully wrong and it may come back to haunt you.

 
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Empathy is great. But when it becomes an obsession. I think some re-evaluation needs to occur.
Especially when empathy skews into other emotional realms, which are unhealthy for any single individual.

Jhco, I also want to say. One view is not the right view. Hold many views on a subject. It’s how we grow. Juggle the ideas around, look at the different perspectives of that issue. Maybe you will start to finally see it from more interesting angles. I know it’s tough, but nothing good ever came out of no effort. It takes not a bit of effort, but a lot. :)

 
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Originally posted by jhco50:

But you and Karma digress by reading into my post. I gave you limits on a persons rights over their own bodies and that was all.You could have left it there,,,,,

Hmmmm….I guess we aren’t allowed to discuss & challenge what he presents?
Interesting concept.
LOL
.

but of course karma has to do his usual ignorant posts against mine because he is afraid.
OH…gawd.
There he goes again with his “afraid” crap.
Well, I guess if ya’re much at all familiar w/ his “C-4-C” (capacity for comprehension) of simple ideology….then his evaluation “system” will be demonstrated by such things as confusing fear & concern.

And, rather than actually SHOWING WHY//WHERE my post are ignorant….he merely just insults them,,,which is something he constantly whines about how other posters are doing it TO HIM.
LOL
.

He is afraid that he and those who follow him cannot survive on their ideals alone….and truthfully, they can’t.

I have a “following”?
Damn….and I didn’t even know I was a “leader”.
LOL
.

Maybe you should think about your belief system.

LOL
Fuck the “maybe”….he SHOULD think about HIS belief system.
.
You could be woefully wrong and it may come back to haunt you.
Yup…that ol’ sword cuts BOTH ways.
 
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I am all for people doing whatever they want to their bodies, until they expect the NHS to pick up the tab.

Self inflicted health problems (issues from smoking, drinking, drugs, eating till you can’t walk etc) shouldn’t be covered by the NHS, and normally people with serious problems caused by these things tend to have difficulty doing/finding/keeping a job, thus don’t pay taxes and maybe even get support money. I dislike that my wage goes to paying for the NHS to try and help people who chose to be ill, A&E and helping people who didn’t choose to become ill with my tax money is fine, I will expect the favour back should I fall ill, but all the self inflicted illnesses are destroying the NHS and forcing up the health budget, and thus taxes and other cuts to cover the costs

 
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And here I am trailing along.

If the person gets seriously harmed, the taxpayer-funded public health care will have to take care of the patient.

Alternatively, they don’t. An absence of public health care, or full fiscal responsibility on anyone one recklessly and willfully compromises their health.

If the person is the parent of a young child, should he be allowed to irresponsibly put his life at great risk e.g. use heavy drugs?

Ultimately, I can’t justify the abuse of a dependent. Now, let us tread lightly for a moment. I do not accept that the use of heavy drugs qualifies as abuse of a dependent, in and of itself. So, should children be seized from abuseful and neglectful households? Certainly. Do I feel that makes a moral case for drug control? No.

What about the fact that some heavy drugs and alcohol-abuse have enormous potential to put humans in such a state that they are very likely to hurt a fellow human?

I find that potential pretty fictitious, it’s little more then a boogeyman. It’s also pretty suspect in a chicken and egg line of reasoning. Further, I don’t condone limiting the rights of the responsible to behave reasonably, on account of those who do.

What do you guys think? Is having complete control over one’s own body more important than everything else? If not, where do we draw the line? What do you think about the specific scenarios I presented?

Your super emphasis on complete control versus everything else makes me a bit squeamish. But, sure, it’s really important. The only line I can really think of drawing is reckless physical endangerment of another, beyond that, they can do what they want to themselves.

It would be nice to see if someone can link this discussion if the fact that America is getting more and more obese each decade.

Certainly! and also an interesting facet, good insight. It is in vouge right now for the state to be directly intervening in nutrition/food options. Such as New York’s (Tyrannical!) Mayor trying to ban sugary drinks. Such (Hubris!) imposition makes me rabid. There are many who feel that the obesity epidemic entitles them to control others treatment of their own body. I certainly do not agree.

The problem with your example of smoking crack is that the crackhead will often go out and physically harm someone else.

Never been attacked by a crackhead myself, known quite a few. People Who Play Sports on the other hand, are a fucking menace. Should ban the whole enterprise.

Goodie, another thread devolving into jhco and karma bitching at each other.

Well don’t just stand and point Issen. Say something on topic! Geez!

DD70,

I agree, but sometimes things get grey. There was a controversial study here in Canada that had a somewhat counter intuitive finding. Now we have lots of smoke taxes, and lots of public health. Many felt that they were paying for others self inflicted smoking harm. That would suck, fair enough.
But, it’s not quite true. The study found that smokers on average consume less public health dollars. Are they more likely to get sick? Yes. Are they more likely to get like, prematurely terminally sick? Yes. Are they more likely to, just, generally, die? Yes. Which is precisely why, they cost less money. Extended hospital care to prevent loss of life tends to be the most expensive period in a persons medical history. They try very hard, for as long as possible, spending a bunch of money, to keep you alive. But smokers, die. Their tendency to die sooner rather then later, as opposed to go about wasting away forever, saves the public money. All the tobacco tax aside.

 
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I would say that these actions should be possible but they should be taxed to the level that the total damage of these actions can be recouped from those who partake in them. This means that if 100.000 drug users cost a total of 100.000.00$ then each drug user has to generate 100$ in taxes in order to pay for the damage he might cause.

 
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•If the person gets seriously harmed, the taxpayer-funded public health care will have to take care of the patient. Essentially, you are paying his treatment, because he decided to sell his own kidney and had post-surgery complications. Thus, his freedom trod into yours. I don’t know how the Health system works in the US, but in Brazil you can pick one of two options: Awesome expensive private hospitals, or the terribly-managed public hospitals.
(A good counter-argument is that the amount of tax money collected from a drug would maybe be high enough to treat users, but what about the organ selling scenario?)

i think everything should not be outright banned, but we should set the conditions on which it can be done. as such, tarifs or insurance might be required for a person to do whatever he wants to do, and those should be made to cover such expenses. in fact we essentially do this with a lot of things, like tobacco and extreme sports. so this is not really an issue.

•If the person is the parent of a young child, should he be allowed to irresponsibly put his life at great risk e.g. use heavy drugs?

two seperate things: a person’s right to choose for himself; and a person’s obligation towards his own parenthood. if he accepts his own parenthood, he also accepts responsibility. nobody should be forced what choice to make, but we can stipulate the options. being a parent has conditions.

•What about the fact that some heavy drugs and alcohol-abuse have enormous potential to put humans in such a state that they are very likely to hurt a fellow human?

we can ban those, or limit them, or raise tariffs, as appropriate on that basis.

these are good things to think about when implimenting such policies, but in no way does any of them defeat a person’s right to choose; the “freedom up to another’s more significant freedom”.

 
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I agree that people should be able to do anything with their body, but there should be limits.

A good example is a tattoo. I honestly wouldn’t go through the pain to get a tattoo, and I don’t always like the look of them, but I would get one if it was something very personal to me.

Another aspect is piercings. I can’t stand them unless they are on the earlobe, but having it on the tongue or the nose is a bit far. But why do people think it is too far? Simply because of their opinion. For some, it looks good, for others, it looks horrible, disgusting or it doesn’t suit the person.

 
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Just a teensy bit. Like, for a really good reason. People should be responsible for their own body.

 
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Originally posted by HolyLasagna:

Thanks for the fanatic impractical ideology-driven statement with no reasoning and counter-arguments backing it up.


It would be nice to see if someone can link this discussion if the fact that America is getting more and more obese each decade.
P.S. Edited the OP with another questioning.

Actually, his exact words were their own body. That is, if it affects someone else, they shouldnt do it.

What means, according to my interpretation, stuff along the lines of abortion, or smoking in public places, shouldnt be allowed. As it would actually be harming someone else. Taking drugs may be allowed, but if the drugs are strong enough to trigger a violent behavior, also not, because again, you would be risking the lives of others. Etc. etc. etc…

To me, personally, that seems like a very reasonable explanation

Originally posted by Draconavin:

Why do babies deserve more rights than the rest of us, jhco?
No matter what, they have no real value, but to be emotional baggage until they learn to communicate effectively.
Don’t forget, your animal instincts are what drive you to have compulsion to protect babies. It is your animal wants that force you to behave, and hold irrational views. It’s important to note that we are hard wired to protect our offspring, and they are built softer than other animal offspring for the shear purpose of us to focus our attention on nurturing them and their development. Your animal urge that makes your blood boil when a baby cries, and you suspect fowl play. Your animal urge to push to console a baby in distress. Our confirmation bias based on emotional cues, can skew our perception on the value of a baby to such proportions it can be unfathomable. Sometimes we falsely look to protect things that our vestigial emotional cues have no purpose to the expanding future of better self-control, increased awareness, and above all, knowing when emotions are falsely leading us astray.

How do we have any real value, then?

 
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I wonder how abortion hurts anyone, seeing as before the third month there is no possibility of suffering or awareness. Nobody but the parents is emotionally attached to the fetus, and they are the one that need the abortion to happen.

 
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Didn’t abortion become illegal the other day?

 
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Originally posted by AllStarDominatio:

Didn’t abortion become illegal the other day?

If it happened in the U.S. it was the quietest controversy the media didn’t cover.

 
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Yes. Your body, your rights.