So there I was — just seconds ago — when I ran across a headline that read, “Supreme Court upholds Kentucky’s use of lethal injections“. My first reaction was to read the headline out loud, so as to evoke a response from my fellow co-worker Joan (who completely ignored me, by the way).
Just the other day, Joan and I were discussing the difference between euthanasia and the right to reject medical assistance. For some reason, I immediately thought that the headline referred to euthanasia rather than capital punishment.
Upon catching my error, I realized that I was finally losing my mental agility, that I was going soft and should immediately refrain from anything remotely resembling multi-tasking. Then I thought about it again. Why was I confused? Maybe I am not losing my mind. What is the difference between assisted suicide by lethal injection and capital punishment by lethal injection?
Both involve the taking of one person’s life by a third party. The difference with assisted suicide is that there is consent and the act is performed below the radar of the law. The difference with capital punishment is that the act is performed by the law.