As a teacher, I have encountered some playgrounds that have fenced-in areas next to main thoroughfares. There will always be balls that escape these boundaries. Is it wise to stop students from retrieving them? I think most would agree. Even though there are some mature, reasoning and capable older students who could safely navigate the traffic hazards, a less mature student might try to copy their example with disastrous results, so the answer needs to be, “No.” Tragedies can and do happen.
This is an illustration for another dangerous boundary. Will all families with aging dying loved ones treat them with dignity, or will some push for doctor-prescribed-death so that they might gain inheritances or be free of caring for the elderly? Will every doctor be ethically responsible, and can he/she be sure an illness will lead to death in six months? How will opening this Pandora’s Box affect people with psychological problems?
Palliative care can keep terminally ill people free of misery. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) opposes physician-assisted suicide. Why should Vermonters veer from their experienced advice? Do Vermonters think they are better informed than NHPCO or just more able to get the playground ball that went into the street? Is it really safe to remove this boundary? If we leave the gate open, someone can get hurt. We don’t need physician-assisted suicide. Leave the boundary line as is — it is clear — moving them creates obscurities.