The American Constitution and Your Right to die ……

6 Aug



America remains one of the few countries in the world with a written constitution.  It was adopted on 17 September 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in eleven states.  It went into effect on 4 March 1789.  It was written with the intention of offering protection to individuals against interference by ‘the state’.  I think it is fair to say that its authors intended it to follow not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law.


In the implementation as demonstrated on many occasions to interpret the constitution shows a clear contempt for the spirit of the constitution……


Examples of Political Manoeuvring……


In the post 9/11 era some of the most fundamental principals set out in the Constitution have been redefined to suit the ‘Patriot Acts I & II’ and the ‘Homeland Security Act’.  In both of these examples some of the fundamental principals set out in the Constitution have been broken in the ‘War on Terror’.  The principal of Habeas Corpus, which is one of the corner stones of law, has been suspended for those considered to a ‘Terrorist Threat’, removing the rights of the individual to face their accusers and here the evidence against them.  This situation is further complicated by the questionable practice of holding them in Guantanamo Bay’, a place in which the legal and political protections of the Detainees are rendered null and void by the geographical location of the prison.


Other Examples of Political Connivance……


In a Supreme Court ruling over a individuals right to choose when to die in light of an irreversible and deteriorating health condition, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was used to deny the right of self-determination of the individual to choose to end their life and, gain help from the Healthcare Professionals in doing so, was decided due to the statement that all citizens had the ‘Right to life, liberty and property’.  When this article was written for the constitution it is clear that the intention of the writers was to make clear that the right to life, liberty and property, was to inhibit the right of another to deprive them of such by forceful means, other than through the courts.  This was sited as the reason for the illegality of an individual’s right to self determination in death.  The right to life was intended in reference to a third party to remove it without due process and never intended to limit the choice of the individual.


The Supreme Court has chosen in this case to follow the letter of the law rather than its intended spirit and has left many suffering individuals with options which may prove distressing to themselves, their families and friends.  In the 21st century any caring person can see through this bureaucracy and manipulation of a constitution which was set up to provide its people with protection from ‘The State’.


The Right to Self Determination has been removed by the Supreme Court’s decision to implement a decision bases on outdated linguistics which were never intended to be used in this way.  I only hope that somebody with a competent legal team can expose this miscarriage of justice and reach a more practical solution.  The sooner, the better; although in a country which now condones the use of torture, carries the extra-judicial execution of foreign nationals in sovereign territory without any due process, I find this hard to imagine……




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