Wednesday, October 25, 2006

One of the themes of the Amendment 2 proponents is that medical decisions should be made by families and their doctors, not by politicians in Jefferson City.

This is an appealing argument, echoing the effective Who Decides? pro-choice argument. And it sounds good and makes intuitive sense.

But think about how this type of argument would be applied in other contexts:

  • Soldiers on the ground should decide what methods of warfare are acceptable, not Washington politicians.
  • Cops in the streets shoud decide what methods of search are reasonable, not self-important people in black robes in stuffy chambers based on what some guys in powdered wigs wrote over 200 years ago.

This isn't how we do things. We are proud of the men and women in the armed forces, but we still believe in civilian control of the military. There is some benefit to a bit of emotional distance in determining the best guidelines; those guidelines should not set exclusively by those committed to achieving goals that the guideline would interfere with. They should have a say, but not the final say.

To strain an analogy, it's best that these decisions be made by chickens rather than pigs.
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