It is 3:30, for some weird reason, I cannot fall asleep and I have no intentions to play a game until I get tired, so what do you do? You start looking a little more intense at twitter and that’s how I got into the twitter tweets with a Human Rights Lawyer. Now, I am all for human rights, were it not for that pesky HRA at times, but that is not the issue. There actually is no issue. You see the tweet that got this all started was :
The issue given was “I, for one, have always been somewhat bemused by the concept of a right to life. What about the young girl who tragically dies of leukemia? What happened to her right to life?” To be that made sense. You see, I am not against a right to life at all, I just wonder how you can set a phrase like that to law. You see, I have been on the other side of matters, so the right to life as seen as a concept where it is not under scrutiny of capital punishment, war, abortion, euthanasia and justifiable homicide is very much the core of the matter, The one part some add, mainly ‘public health care‘ is not in question in this case (it should be a given right no matter when, how or who). I am not against capital punishment and war allows for the situation where lives are lost, hence the right to life is not a given here. I feel different about abortion and euthanasia. You see, I do not agree with either pro-abortion or pro-life. They are stigmatised and polarised opposites of different currencies at time. Pro-lifers are all willing to hang an abortion doctor at the nearest tree, whilst pro-abortion seems to see it as a solution for unadulterated sex (read: exaggeration for dramatic effect), which is how I see these two players. In my view the truth is in the middle.
There are clear cases where abortion needs to be valid, yet I feel uncertain on the wisdom to where the line should be drawn, on the same issue, I see that pro-life doesn’t always have a clear case beyond their conviction. That view tends to be smitten with parts of religion and natural law, yet the full acceptance of both cannot be maintained, so a blanket pro-life abolishing abortion as a whole is equally unthinkable to me.
The best term is the worst classification
You see, for the most I am not against the concept of right to life, but the title itself is unrealistic in a few ways, making me side with the member that started ‘House of Lords member is unsure about a legal right to life‘. You see as stated, my issue makes the ‘right’ almost null and void. In that same setting, the quote “An obligation on its members not unnecessarily to hazard the safety of others” comes as a light in the dark. For the most, we have an obligation not to endanger the lives of others, we get this for the most when we consider the military. They get to endanger themselves and defend that life by taking the lives of those who endanger that life. In this age of terrorism and extremism (like that place you can find on historical maps, namely Aleppo).
A pro-life polarisation cannot survive, and as such the right to life comes under attack and whilst the attack on it might seem correct, the sentiment itself should never be under attack. We all have a right to life and at some point some people throw that right away and the blanket ‘right to life‘ cannot correctly deal with that situation, which is why the House of Lord member makes perfect sense. Yet telling all this in 144 characters was never a possibility, which is why today is all about that tweet.
The strongest opponents in all this is Capital Punishment and Euthanasia. At times I have had a much polarised view on those proclaiming justice here. You see, from my point of view, those who cannot hand out the death penalty might be hypocritical cowards. This is way too strong an expression, so let me explain this (I think I did in a much older blog). You see, we all adhere to the law. Now let’s say that we have a rounded 70% lawful and 30% criminal population, the law will take care of that, and for the most, all laws, even those who have no death penalty do that. I am fine with that. Yet the crime part is not 30%, within that group is a 0.000001% sub group that is so extreme, so willing to take the lives of others (like terrorists) that the law can never properly deal with them. So we either wait for that person to get in a court of law (which could be after the death of many more lives). So where was the right to life for those victims? We have a duty to hunt those extreme cases down and put them to death if need be, either by death penalty or by targeted killings. Now consider the number I gave. On this world, that would amount to 8,000 people. When you consider that as per last year 2,984 were on death row in the United States, the number I grasped at is not that far a reach. You see, when we holster the ‘right to life’ and the Crimes Act as golden calves onto our field of vision, worshipping that principle beyond all, is it not fair to say that these people are willing to set the victims of these extreme criminals as human sacrifices? How is human sacrifice seen in view of a right to life? As for Euthanasia, how much suffering should a person endure until he is either constantly drugged or died from pain and suffering? I am not stating that I have the wisdom, but I reckon that at times physicians need to be able to offer such an option, especially when there is no option to manage the pain or outcome.
In this regard I now need to address the issue that some call ‘justifiable homicide’. You see, just like ‘right to life’ I have an issue with that term. I am all for targeted killing, because it comes with a switch. Targeted killing is not the same and I am not sure if ‘justifiable homicide’ is legally acceptable as homicide is a clear crime in the 1900 Crimes Act (or other Common Law equivalent). You see, the term comes with this dictionary explanation: ‘the killing of a person in circumstances which allow the act to be regarded in law as without criminal guilt‘, that could apply to the act of a Sociopath or a Psychopath. Some could proclaim: “homicide is justified when it prevents greater harm to innocents“, you see, we now get dangerously close to Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven where we hear: “killing an infidel is not murder. It is the path to heaven“, which is not the only quote, I reckon that Ridley got part of one characters dialogue from Pope Urban II, who at the Council of Clermont in 1095 is witnessed to have stated: “Deus lo vult! – ‘God wills it!’“, which is my issue, as religion needs to stay far away from today’s Laws. I just feel too uneasy on something that can be ‘justified’ especially when a militant mass comes with hate speech and offs people to safe others. Targeted killing is not like that and as far as I can tell, from my legal point of view, ‘Justifiable Homicide‘ should not be allowed either. The fact that a valid action (like that of a policeman) resulted in the death of a person would always be investigated and the officer would either be prosecuted or be cleared from prosecution, these events have clear mechanics and when we resort to targeted killings, that too comes with a machine of checks and balances. Justifiable homicide could theoretically avoid some of these checks and balances and I really have an issue with that.
So as we are splitting hairs on murder versus killing, we are not digressing from the right to life, I am establishing (or trying to do so) that there is a right to life, yet people can act in ways to negate that right. This is why the member of the House of Lords struck a chord within me. I find myself in the same situation when I consider ‘right to family life’, to which I have had an issue or two in the past. I agree that a person should have the right to a family life. Yet in the same way as he/she has that right, he/she can also squander that right. It could be squandered through abuse, either sexual, physical or psychological, which now gets me on my issue with the HRA. You see, if the HRA was a piece with teeth, then there should be a majority who would allow for domestic abuse to be set within article 3 (torture) as it is a clear form of physical and psychological torture. The fact that this will not happen (and is unlikely to do so) makes me wonder why we have an HRA (or at least one lacking teeth under certain conditions), which might clearly be a short-sighted view and position from my side, yet as I saw my mother getting beaten to death when I was young, my sentiment remains to be on the right path as I personally see it.
All these thoughts resurfaced as that one tweet hit my eyes. Now, I have been following this Human Rights Lawyer and he makes great cases and sets the bar of Human Rights realistically high and it is always a delight when he has a go at everyone’s favourite piñata in the UK, Grayling.
So, I still feel that the tweet as exposed has an issue and I personally feel that I remain on the side of the member of the House of Lords, yet merely in the fact that the sentiment on right to life should exist, but I am not sure if that is what we should call it and in addition, we need to realise and accept that this right can be lost by the actions of the person who lost it. It has nothing to do with a child suffering from Leukaemia as stated, but from the acts of a person who does not respect the right to life of another, or the sanctity of a family without harm or suffering. Both laws, humane, yet I feel too humane and therefor I found them personally to be flawed.
I needed 7429 characters more than the 144 twitter offered.