Not in Defense

Via Kevin Baker I came across this quote from Robb on the subject of libertarian “ideological purity” which stems from a post Ambulance Driver put up where he recounts a tale of getting a suicidal person put under evaluation. This caused someone to get their Godwin suit on and go to town. You can hit this link and read Ambulance Driver’s reaction to that here.

I’ve been married to a 911 Dispatcher for over a decade now, and one of the reasons we’re not coworkers is not that I don’t want to make the boucoup bucks, have the big benie package or get the kewl Work ID that gets me out of speeding tickets, it is that I don’t care enough about my fellow humans. When she first started working for “The Man”, and would come home with her daily tales of adventure, I frequently wondered why the state goes through the trouble of evaluating these people and instead, so as to save time, money and to control the health hazards caused by rotting carcases, just have their call receivers ask where the body will be found for pick-up, say thank you and hang up.

Despite all that, what AD did was the right thing to do, for the simple reason that suicidal people don’t go around announcing their intentions. The truly suicidal just get on with it. A goodly number of them don’t even bother with a note.

No, only drama queens in search of fresh attention go flapping their lips about their potential self-inflicted deadness. The emotional vampire that AD came across had very likely drained his current crop of victims to the point where they wouldn’t bother with his ramblings any longer and he had to seek greener pastures.

AD’s job boils down to that of a care taker. He could be twice as ineffectual towards people as I am and he still would have had to do what he did. If a person truly understands emotional vampires then they’d realize that he did exactly what the guy wanted him to do, no matter how much the guy pretended to protest.

This post is not in defense of AD. Mostly because he doesn’t need others defending him. This is, hopefully, the only knock on the gourd some purity testers needed.

So to those who sturm and drang about how AD is gooschlepping us all to a totalitarian state: Are you really sure you want to defend the right of an emotional vampire to not get exactly what he wants?

And please don’t come around here acting like I’m some sort of newbie, bleeding kidney, middle-of-the-road, political windsock. I’ve got nearly a decade into this metal affliction they call blogging. If assisted suicide were truly legal (and not the “Death with Dignity” bullshit we have here in Washington), I’d be spending weekends running my own business catering to those who prefer the quick and painless method of gunshot to the head. I’m so Big-L that I believe the Libertarian Party makes too large of concessions and is too mainstream, and I refuse to join. The fur for my Wookiesuit was harvested from home-grown and home-slaughtered Cashmere goats and stained tan by the dye on the tear-soaked food stamps that I ripped out of the hands of mothers and their hungry, mewling children. Ron Paul is a pro-pork project piker and anyone who’d waste their vote on someone with so juvenile a foreign policy as his is a fool.

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7 Responses to Not in Defense

  1. Davidwhitewolf says:

    True dat. The only thing I’d add is the cautionary example of how it just takes one set of bad apples to poison the whole bunch: Psychiatric Institutes of America/National Medical Enterprises’ Orwellian-sounding “Sector One” fleet of involuntary-commitment kidnap-for-profit ambulances. “You’re sane when the insurance money runs out.”

    See: http://www.amazon.com/Coronary-True-Story-Medicine-Gone/dp/product-description/0743267540

    I worked on the one of the many civil cases against these monsters, and the documents were truly enraging.

    Not to say Ambulance Driver’s engaged in any of that, but I’m just pointing out that the paranoiacs aren’t completely off base.

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  4. Gerry N. says:

    Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

    Gerry N.

  5. Phil says:

    Well, of course they’re out to get you, Gerry. That is what gov’t does and why you want as little of it as possible.

    However, my point was that a medic who is helping an obvious attention whore get exactly what wants, hopefully good and hard, is not part of the problem.

  6. ruralcounsel says:

    There’s a “slippery slope” argument here that causes some concern. When “words spoken” is justification for “liberty taken/force imposed”, the devil is in the details. What words, how much liberty/force? And who gets to decide? No one gets to be my age without realizing the power of government coercion and the torrents of generally well-hidden corruption that power our real political system. I don’t much trust anyone who wants to make those decisions.

    AD falls back on rationalizing based on his state law – which is a nice safe CYA explanation. Which honestly, I would do as well. No one likes to think of themselves as a cog in the wheels of injustice, however minor a bit part one plays. His plea to “Not. Get. Me. Involved.” if someone wants to off themselves would be fine, except given his chosen profession, it is pretty much an oxymoron. He has chosen a profession of “Call. 911. To. Get. Me. Involved.” You chose this kind of public service, you don’t get to chose your clients. And some of them are going to be emotional whack jobs who don’t know what side of the grave they want to be on. Our fellow citizens are not all rational beings. (Including the absolutists who criticized AD.) It comes with the territory. Whine all you want, but I don’t care.

    But methinks those absolutist “L”ibertarians who took him to task are calling in an airstrike on the wrong position. (Though his sensitivity to their criticisms suggests to me he recognizes the thin thread of truth they proffer, but then maybe he just needed something to blog about.)

    Perhaps the real question in this case is why should government be allowed to criminalize suicide? Or use it as a justification for imposing their physical will on someone with involuntary civil commitments? Whose life is it anyway? Why should voicing an intent to kill oneself cause any kind of public response at all? (Other than a referral to a do-it-yourself suicide website that tries to reduce collateral damage.) What, we don’t have enough crazy people wandering around that we have to save each and every one like they were an endangered California condor? (Here’s where I would normally discuss the fact that there is no such thing as “saving” lives, only prolonging them. In the long haul, deaths=births. Sorry AD, but you are really in the business of making survivors feel better.)

    AD makes the point that the non-crazy suicides don’t call 911. So maybe the correct response is not to send EMT’s to the 911-calling crazy ones. Send the SWAT team instead, for wish-fulfillment purposes. Something tells me the Libertarians won’t like that one either.

    In some grand cosmic scheme, AD may have some trivial culpability as an enabler of Statist non-Libertarian policies (as do we all), but the right place to focus criticism is on ourselves. We elect the self-righteous busybody a$$holes that pass these laws. The laws that treat each life as if it were part of the State’s inventory and that suicide is a form of theft of public property.

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