by Jon Davy
Here’s another wild idea . . .
As we lay the foundations for the new civilisation we are creating and as the foundations for any civilisation comprise the basic agreements between human beings as to what and what is not desirable (pro survival), let’s establish the following basic principle:
(1) a human being owns his or her own body.
(2) whether that body is a hundred years old, a decade old, a year old, a month old (post birth) or still in the womb (dependent on its mother for life-support while the body develops its own systems), the owner of that body is the being himself or herself.
This applies whether one considers the being to be the spiritual entity in the body’s pilot seat or some sort of aggregate of chemicals that somehow brings about an identity and awareness.
(3) the being owns his or her body and no other being has the right to borrow, hijack, or knock about the body it owns.
(4) if it can experience pain, pleasure, hunger, confusion and so forth it is alive, however you personally define ‘alive’.
While there is still some confusion and disagreement as to exactly when a child in the womb becomes a living being and as we do not wish to risk needlessly harming or killing a living human being, we will err on the side of caution and define the moment of conception as the moment the being comes into existence.
Every man or woman has the right to refrain from conceiving a human being. But once a human being has been conceived and from there on out the fact of having conceived, it DOES NOT give them (or indeed anyone else) the right to kill it, just as the fact of having once helped a person to live does not give one the right to kill them later on.
(5) every being has a duty to behave responsibly in the matter of managing, directing and attending to the good repair of his or her own body and we all have a duty to help one another in that regard.
If we wish people to behave responsibly in regards to their own body then it is necessary to establish from the outset that they can be and are responsible for it and not to undermine inhibit or negate that causative position or their sense thereof.
No-one else has the right to inflict pain upon the body or subject it to surgery, the removal of its various bits, drugging or any other damn thing without first gaining the owner’s INFORMED consent.
(6) NO OTHER BEING – not the mother, the father, the doctor, priest or anyone at all, has the right to override or bypass the determinism and rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of the owner of a body for any freakin’ reason whatsoever.
(7) The ONLY exceptions to the above are:
- the rare case where medical treatment of some kind is needed to keep that body physically alive and well on the owner’s behalf, where the owner is as yet too young or inexperienced or uninformed to express an informed and rational choice in the matter.
- the rare case where there is an medical emergency in which a pregnancy must be terminated to save the life of the mother. In such a situation the mother has the right to decide. Sadly she would be in the hideous predicament of having to choose between her own life or the life that is still reliant on her life support. This is a terrible position to be in and whether the mother chooses to live at the cost of her child or to let the child live at the cost of her own life, the decision is hers and hers alone and must be accepted and respected without recrimination.
(8) This would require that we agree upon an age of consent, the age at which the being is deemed, by our agreement, to be sufficiently experienced to make an informed choice. This would of necessity be a somewhat arbitrary age as every individual is different so there may well be other criteria that we can put in place, such perhaps as intelligence level (IQ) or some such thing. Whatever criteria we add to the age of consent, the age of consent remains our inviolable basic. For now, I propose we set the age of consent at 14.
Let’s imagine someone is proposing to circumcise a child or make some other physical alteration. It requires the consent of the owner of the body. If the owner of the body is too young per our agreed age of consent, the surgery is not done or even proposed. When the age of consent is reached, and assuming any other criteria we set are satisfied, the being can then be asked if they want to have the medical procedure.
If they reply – after being given the time and resources to research what is involved (pain, risk, side effects and so forth so far as such are known) and take into account their own personal convictions and religious beliefs and so forth – that, yes, they would like the surgery, drugging or medical procedure or whatever to go ahead, then it can go ahead.
Let’s make a fresh start and establish from the outset a civilisation that does not kill, abuse or hurt its children.
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