Ironic Freedom: Personal Choice, Public Policy, and the by Judith A. Baer (auth.)

By Judith A. Baer (auth.)

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Is it fair to deny today’s patients the right to die while we promote change? Assisted suicide and compassionate care are not mutually exclusive. The perfect should not become the enemy of the good. Pain control is not available on demand, even for patients who retain the power to communicate. 39 Good care can ease these concerns, but “dependency workers” are not always competent or reliable. Since these workers are badly paid and inconsistently trained, the choice is often between inadequate care and no care at all.

39 When Is Freedom Ironic? The following paragraph articulates a clear ironic freedom argument: “Right now contract motherhood is still considered a rather outré thing to do, and women often have to talk their families into it. But if it becomes a socially acceptable way for a wife to help out the family budget, how can the law protect women from being coerced into contracts by their husbands? Or their relatives? Or their creditors? ”40 Katha Pollitt first wrote these words in 1987, in response to the notorious “Baby M” case in which a birth mother unsuccessfully sued for custody of a child she had conceived through artificial insemination by donor.

DRAFT is unique among my ironic freedom arguments in one respect. 12 Although the Thirteenth Amendment prohibits slavery or involuntary servitude except as punishment for crime, military conscription has been legitimized. 14 Reinstating the draft is not a popular cause. Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) has gotten little support for the bills reinstating the draft that he has introduced in every session of Congress since 2003. ”16 The second of these statements is not an ironic freedom argument but an argument about secondary consequences.

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