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經濟學人:死亡的權力--安樂死(2)

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The similarity between the “euthanasia underground” that it describes and underground abortion networks is striking. The president of Compassion & Choices, a lobby group for doctor-assisted dying, once referred to plastic-bag hoods as “the end-of-life equivalent of the coat hanger”. Among those to have taken charge of their deaths were some early AIDs patients, their suffering immense, their fates fixed. Just having the right drugs, or knowing they could get them, seemed to make many of these young men feel better, recalls the more likeable of the two doctors.

書中所描述的“地下安樂死”與地下墮胎網絡之間有驚人的相似之處?!按缺c選擇”是一個提供醫生協助死亡的的游說團體,該組織的主席曾提到,用頭套塑料袋結束生命就“相當于用衣架墮胎”。那些對自己的死亡負責的人中有一些是早期艾滋病患者,這些人經歷著巨大的痛苦,他們的命運已經注定。兩位醫生中比較討人喜歡的一位回憶說,僅僅是有了合適的藥物,或者知道自己可以得到藥物,似乎讓許多患病的年輕人更好受一些。

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Henry planned to kill herself with the Mexican drugs in her bathtub, but fretted that she would soil herself and that her house would smell. Dignity—in life and death—seems to preoccupy her and others above all. Even more than a bad death they fear a bad end to life, in which they are no longer themselves. A desire for autonomy runs through their stories like the thin veins of some of the characters.

亨利打算服用從墨西哥買的戊巴比妥鈉,在浴缸里了結生命,但她擔心這樣會弄臟自己,還會讓家里有臭味。生死存亡之際,尊嚴似乎是她與其他想要安樂死的人最關心的問題。其分量甚至重于他們害怕的惡終(糟糕的結束生命會讓他們失去自我)。對自主的渴望就像人的靜脈一樣貫穿于他們的故事。

Yet this is not a right-to-die manifesto. The author’s own ethical doubts are among the book’s strengths. She writes compassionately of her subjects’ struggles, but is more reserved about the motives of some of their helpers. She remains torn about what is perhaps the hardest question of all: euthanasia for victims of dementia. Rather than passing judgment, she presents facts. About half of Americans think patients do not have enough control over end-of-life decisions. Existing laws often have arbitrary effects.

然而,這并不是死亡權利宣言。這本書的長處之一在于作者本人基于道德的懷疑。她富有同情心地描寫了主人公的掙扎,但對一些幫助者的動機卻有所保留。她仍然糾結于可能是所有問題中最難的問題,即癡呆癥患者的安樂死。她沒有作出判斷,只是陳述事實。有大約一半的美國人認為癡呆癥患者對臨終決策沒有足夠的控制權?,F行法律往往具有任意效力。

After the drugs arrived from Mexico, Henry’s house was raided by police. She had discovered the concept of the “Completed Life”. “That’s when you feel that your life is shaped and finished. And the direction thereafter is down. I did have a complete life. It was a great life ,” she told a friend. Soon after the raid she was found in her bathtub, having drunk the poison the police had missed. The note she left had a postscript: “If I have fouled the bath in death, please please be kind to wash it down.” She provided the disinfectant.

戊巴比妥鈉從墨西哥運來后,亨利的家就遭到了警察的突襲。她發現了“完滿人生”的概念。她對一個朋友說:“就是當你覺得你的生活被塑造和完成的時候。你此后的生活會走向下坡。我確實擁有了完滿的人生。我之前的生活很美好?!本焱灰u后不久,人們發現了因喝下警察遺漏的毒藥而死在浴缸里的亨利。她留下的紙條上有一個附言:“如果死去的我弄臟了浴缸,請把它清洗干凈?!彼€提供了消毒劑。

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重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
autonomy [ɔ:'tɔnəmi]

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n. 自治,自治權,自主

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poison ['pɔizn]

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n. 毒藥,敗壞道德之事,毒害
vt. 毒害,

 
ethical ['eθikəl]

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adj. 道德的,倫理的,民族的

 
similarity [.simi'læriti]

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n. 相似,類似

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immense [i'mens]

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adj. 巨大的,廣大的,非常好的

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dignity ['digniti]

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n. 尊嚴,高貴,端莊

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judgment ['dʒʌdʒmənt]

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n. 裁判,宣告,該判決書

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striking ['straikiŋ]

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adj. 吸引人的,顯著的
n. 打擊

 
manifesto [.mæni'festəu]

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n. 宣言,聲明 vi. 發表宣言

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arbitrary ['ɑ:bitrəri]

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adj. 任意的,專制的,武斷的,霸道的

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