Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bodies As Private Property

I wonder if the next political struggle will be over whether a person has the right to his body (in all its personhood). What and why would I think this is the next crucial discussion for America?

Traditionally, Americans have believed in private property rights and the division of the private and public. These rights/priviledges are what Americans define as Liberty. The government does not have the right to intrude into personal information or take one's personal property. The debate has been framed most recently around "taxation". But, what about other social issues?

If one is granted religious liberty, whether one chooses to worship a "Divine Being" and how, does it also not follow that a person should be allowed the right to choose what he does or does not do with and to his body? "Body rights" would grant the individual the right to make decisions about healthcare. Government could not demand or intrude upon one's personal decisions concerning one's body.

Assisted suicide is one social issue that concerns the terminally ill, and their right to decide not to suffer or put their families in emotional or financial crisis because of such an illness.

The issue about personal decision making is crucial because government would not and could not make a personal choice about value, as to quality/quantity in life choices.

The outcry against universalized healthcare has been based on such rationale, I think. Americans don't like to be told what to do with their lives. We are "independents". We have believed in liberty of conscience concerning religious concerns, should we not be entitled to make the choices about our own bodies, as personal property?

Bodies should be considered one's personal and private property. It should be no one's business what one chooses to do with healthcare concerns.

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