Monday, June 26, 2006

Anne Lamott Friend Killer Extraordinaire

Steve Wagner links to Anne Lamott's attempt to defend assisted suicide in the Los Angeles Times. Anne tells the story of how she assisted in the suicide of her friend Mel by getting pills, crushing them, mixing them in apple sauce and feeding them to him.

Usually defenders of assisted suicide will focus on the unstoppable pain a person might be in or how our government shouldn't interfere in the relationship between a doctor and their patient. Lamott does neither of these things. She notes how her friend with lifelong depression couldn't hike anymore and "space(d) out a little more often." As Steve notes, "she makes no argument, except to assert the will of human beings as the primary concern in end-of-life situations." Her previous defense of abortion was likewise bereft of anything resembling a logical argument.

An excerpt from Lamott:
We had discussed a story in the paper once, about a local man who gave his wife an overdose, and then sealed her upper body in a plastic trash bag with duct tape. Then he had done this to himself, and they died holding hands. What love!

I don't know where Lamott gets her concept of love but for someone who claims to be "Jesusy," her concept of love certainly doesn't come from Jesus and her view of life seems to be anchored less in Christ and more adrift in the sea of trying to defend and rationalize one's actions.

I find it intriguing that she never says that she prayed about this decision. I can't imagine a Christian author assisting in the suicide of a friend without praying for advice. But if assisting in someone's suicide is comparable to helping someone get an incomplete at "Earth school" then why ask the principal for advice? And when her friend first tells her that he wants to accept her offer, she's not comfortable. Lamott writes, "I couldn't take someone's life. I'm not at all that sort of girl." But she does and she is.

What sort of person in Lamott's view assists in the suicide of another? And why did Lamott think she wasn't of this sort?

Maybe it's because some people can talk a good game about thinking it's ok to kill another person if that person asks for it but it takes an entirely different sort of person to actually follow through with it and intentionally take the life of another human being. That sort of action is usually left to a group of deranged persons like Michigan's Jack Kevorkian or Australia's Philip Nitschke.

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