Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

The German Cannibal

Rate this topic


woschei
 Share

Recommended Posts

A Frankfurt court sentenced Armin Meiwes, a German convicted of killing another man and eating parts of the body, to life in prison today in a retrial of the so-called cannibal case. Meiwes, a computer technician, met victim Bernd Juergen Brandes through the Internet. Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, expressed his desire to die and be eaten by another person via e- mail, Meiwes had told the court in the earlier trial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A suicidal altruist, a cannibal, and a court of injustice. Herr Kant, thy kingdom has come.

A similar verdict would have occurred in an American court, since assissted suicide isnt legal there either. On a sidenote, Ayn Rand apparently wasnt convinced that euthanasia should be legal, so she may have supported this. From here:

"Euthanasia is more complex, because the life of another person is involved. If a man makes arrangements stating that he does not want to feel unbearable pain, and it can be proved that this was his desire, in principle I'd say it is his right and the doctor's right to perform euthanasia. But it would be difficult to put this into law, because of the safeguards needed to prevent unscrupulous doctors in cahoots with unscrupulous relatives from killing somebody who is not dying and in pain (...) I would not advocate euthanasia as a law.""

- Ayn Rand Answers (page 16)

(for the record, I strongly disagree with this)

Edited by Hal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Rand is making a distinction between euthanasia and assisted suicide. She seems to be talking about 'mercy killing' in the absence of an explicit request by the patient to do so. I don't think it would be too hard to work this into law, given that many people draw up living wills and DNR orders every day, and these are legally interpreted as the desires of the incapacitated patient.

-Q

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Rand is making a distinction between euthanasia and assisted suicide. She seems to be talking about 'mercy killing' in the absence of an explicit request by the patient to do so. I don't think it would be too hard to work this into law, given that many people draw up living wills and DNR orders every day, and these are legally interpreted as the desires of the incapacitated patient.

What about incapacitated people without a DNR or a living will, when someone close to them claims they'd have wanted to die?

That's where I see the difficulty. If the patient is conscious, he will tell you what his wishes are. No problem. Likewise there is no problem when there's a living will or a DNR. Otherwise, what is the right thing to do?

I hesitate to bring up the Schiavo case, because it doesn't really apply. With that much of her brain destroyed, she could not be classified as being alive in any significant sense. Still, a livinig will in that case would have put an end to it many, many years ago.

One possible solution, would be for people to confer on someone whose judgement they trust, power of attorney for medical decisions in specific cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One possible solution, would be for people to confer on someone whose judgement they trust, power of attorney for medical decisions in specific cases.

Which would be equivalent to a living will. Such POA would have to be bestowed by document, anyway, so there'd be some kind of documentation supporting the representative's decision to euthanize. As for a total lack of such kind of documentation, where a loved one with no legal right to control the medical treatment of the incapacitated patient claims the patient would have wanted to die, I think it's clear that euthanasia would not be any kind of legal or moral option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

expressed his desire to die and be eaten by another person via e- mail,

How do you eat someone via email? That gives new meaning to the word "attachment".

PS: I figured I'd better clarify that I was being slightly sarcastic... sick cop humor.

Edited by RationalCop
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which would be equivalent to a living will.

More than that. There can be situations in which your life isn't in immediate danger, but you're unconscious. In such cases, your designated person would make the decision for you, rather than your spouse, parent, brother or third cousin.

Such POA would have to be bestowed by document, anyway, so there'd be some kind of documentation supporting the representative's decision to euthanize.
That would be best.

As for a total lack of such kind of documentation, where a loved one with no legal right to control the medical treatment of the incapacitated patient claims the patient would have wanted to die, I think it's clear that euthanasia would not be any kind of legal or moral option.

Except for cases of extensive and irreversible brain dammage, such as the Schiavo case, I agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...