Thursday, July 28, 2011

Euthanasia- By Allyson New

Providing assistance to one’s suicide, regardless of age, is a very controversial issue in the United States and in other parts of the worlds. While others disagree, under certain circumstances Euthanasia is a personal, dignified choice and should only be considered as a last resort option, when death is inevitable, and the suffering is too much to bear.
            When pain becomes constant in a person’s body and their quality of life is slowly wearing down, euthanasia can begin to seem like a reasonable solution. “The principle of mercy requires that pain and suffering be relieved to the extent possible.”(Battin, Margaret). Whether the situation involves a young, terminally ill child, or an elderly person whose every breath is dependent on a respirator, they along with their families are forced to realize their paths of life are soon to end. Although letting nature take its course, is the opinion of some on the issue of assisted-suicide and that doctors should not be at the hand of death, others believe “physician assistance in bringing about death is to be provoked just when the person voluntarily seeks it and just when it serves to avoid pain and suffering”(Somerville, Margaret). Death at the hands of a doctor can be unimaginable and some might even say it’s unethical. But, when life can no longer be lived, or for that matter enjoyed, why should physicians be criticized for being so-called murderers? They were respecting the patient’s wishes, and what was best for them was kept in mind. “A typical case might involve an irreversibly brain-damaged newborn, who, instead of dying as expected, lingers on, suffering terribly. In such cases, some doctors feel obligated to hasten death”(Magne, Charles).
            Infants are obviously not given a choice when it comes to the issue of assisted-suicide, and can’t defend themselves when euthanasia is presented as an option but, for older patients, they’re given a choice. “Proponents of assisted-dying point to autonomy and mercy. The principle of autonomy holds that people are entitled to be the architects, as much as possible, of how they die.”(Battin, Margaret). It is not always logical but, we live in a world today that allows it. Euthanasia “may feel like something the patient can openly choose…we live in a society that tolerates many obfuscation and hypocrisies, and this may be another we ought to embrace” (Battin, Margaret). Instead of recognizing the negative possibilities to assisted-suicide, “a better approach might be…developing quality palliative care programs that can address the holistic needs of seriously ill and dying persons as well as the concerns of their families”(Hamel,Ronald). Individuals don’t choose life but, they have a choice in how to live it. No matter how far they travel, when someone decides the end of the road is near, their paths should not be blocked by laws and ignorance.
            The financial costs of a long-term illness can be overwhelming and “leave people in debt. That makes ethicists fear that euthanasia might be requested for financial reasons”(Magne, Charles). Assisted-suicide is not the greatest solution for getting out of debt but, in the long-run, it can free up medical funds to help others. The life of a person should not be reliant on machines or constant struggles with disabilities. “The mere fact that a means was capable of sustaining life did not necessarily mean it was beneficial to the person” (Hamel, Ronald). Life is an incredibly valuable thing, and those who make it worthwhile are worth even more. But, what happens when the weak cannot get stronger and the sick can no longer get healthier? At that point, medical funds would be of much better use benefitting life, rather than sustaining one that can no longer be helped.
            On October 5, the Oregon law allowing doctors to prescribe lethal injections for dying patients will be challenged by the opponents who strongly believe it is murder. Although “most states…recognize a patient’s right to withdraw unwanted life support machinery”, they prohibit the action of hastening death (Lavi, Shai). Dying is a natural process, and many believe it should remain that way. A major concern for doctors injecting death is the abuse of power and it “risks undercutting the integrity of the medical profession”(Battin, Margaret).  When all the options have been weighed and debated on whether or not machines and hospitals should run the rest of what very fragile life elderly and terminally ill patients have left, it is no surprise to hear “institutional or social pressures might make people victims of assisted-dying they did not want”(Battin, Margaret). As euthanasia became more and more accepted in society, peer pressure became constant for the lives of patients who were consumed by the walls of the hospitals. With no way out for the terminally ill, they were unable to escape the words they tried so hard to block out. The walls of their hospital room transformed into a high school, full of pressure and the inability to decide for themselves.
            Not only does euthanasia end life, but, it manages to devalue humans in the process. Experiencing pain is part of being a person, so why should lives have to and want to end of something we were created to experience? Rabbi Michael Goldberg, a former hospital chaplain believes, “A great deal of the suffering at the end of life is either self-inflicted or inflicted by friends and relatives, it’s not due to disease.” The option of death appeals to patients because they may feel they do not want to burden their families. Lives should not end because the pain is persistent, and for lives to reserve the right to commit assisted-suicide, pushes the limits on freedom of choice.
            Whether or not doctors should inject lethal medication in patients who might or might not have requested it is a widely discussed topic, and will continue to be for years to come. There is no right or wrong, Euthanasia is a difficult decision, and when doctors, religion, families and hospitals are all a part of the discussion of assisted-suicide the choice becomes even more painfully difficult. Many forget patients are human beings capable of making life changing decisions and although the answer will not be easy for everyone to digest, the best thing to do is respect the last requests of their patient.

Cults in our Society- by Allyson New

    On November 18, 1978 the need to escape society, that consumed the minds of more than nine-hundred people, quickly became a reason for mass suicide. A reason the world would never quite understand. Millions of shocked people around the world would forever question as to how the power of one man convinced a village of mothers and fathers to kill themselves along with their innocent children. The mixing of cyanide in fruit punch brought the dreadful end to this small community and raised awareness around the world about cults and their deadly effects on society. Cult leaders will search for the weak and lost souls and soon a plan of control and power will start to play out. When the desire to fit in and the need for control over society are combined, dangerous cults and their leaders appear out of nowhere, hungry for power and preying on the young and old who are lost in a society where happiness feels out of reach.
            “An estimated three-thousand destructive cults now operate in the United States, involving as many as three million people” (Hassan, Steven). Cults are a society built by a city of small, powerless people with the exception of their leader of course, such as Jim Jones and the ever-so famous “Jonestown”. “In this type of society most people behave like little children who do not dare express their feelings because of their fear of a terribly punitive father”, says University of Miami Psychologist, Jose L. Lasaga. His cult members never became powerless or fearful of their leader because they never had power to begin with. Their biggest fear was ending up alone in a world they could not understand so listening to a so-called leader such as Jim Jones, was a part of their everyday lives. Jones would constantly air long speeches over an intercom as a form of brainwashing to his people, making sure they would never leave his cult, as this was the only way to assure this pathetic and sick man still remained in control. The brainwashing that was inflicted upon the minds of these cult members “caused in many cases a problem of cognitive dissonance ( a state of tension caused by conflict between one’s attitudes and behaviors”, says Jose Lasaga. Sooner or later followers would be converted into full blown believers as a result of this. Ways to join cults have been the same for years. No one goes seeking to join a cult, instead the members go searching for the innocent minds and youthful faces hoping to bring back a fresh pack of members before the day is over. “One type of cult recruits members and exposes them to psychological and social processes that cause major shifts in perception, attitudes and beliefs”, cults are the new way of kidnapping and holding hostage the minds of willing and able-bodied participants.
            Any intellectual and seriously committed cult leader knows the way to seduce the minds and hearts of potential followers is to separate them from the pack. Cult leaders must be the only influential person in the lives of their followers and it is impossible to be such a leader when family and friends are a constant threat in the capturing of their next victim. It becomes impossible not to ask how one person can leave everything behind and “no single theory could possibly explain the many complex and related issues that led the members of the People’s Temple to leave family, friends and church communities to take residence in the jungle of Jonestown” , says Archie Smith Jr. (Hatfield, Larry). The word “cult” is not appealing to the ears because of the negative publicity it carries with it, so it is only normal for destructive and even satanic like cults to use their creative thinking a produce a more attractive word. This creative idea has more appeal to the adolescents of today’s society. Teenagers are constantly searching for a place to fit in, going from one group to the next until they find people that won’t reject them. They easily become susceptible to the deadly arms of cult leaders for the simple fact that their undeveloped brains connect with the falsely caring elder and buy into their every word about feelings and being forgotten and angry. Not only must cults form a type of bond with their recruits but a cult also “has to have original revelations, a new twist on reality that no one else has”, Tal Brook, a former follower of the Indian Guru cult (Charles, S. Clark). These outrageous ideas do not come out of nowhere; they come from the minds of sick individuals who are desperate for attention and power. As individuals leave their lives to join these unknowingly dangerous cults the “friends and families of people who join cults have watched many of them abandon their jobs and turn over their savings to a newfound family” (Charles S. Clark). One popular example of this type of manipulative and dangerous cult is Marshall Applewhite whom convinced his followers to turn over all their money in order to use it to pay for their housing and also for internet sites the infamous cult had created that told the world aliens were coming.
            From extra-terrestrials among the human race to the satanic cults who commit crimes such as killing their family dog, the extent of unhealthy teachings and practices of cults comes to no end. When comparing the unhealthy teachings and practices of different cults, not many can stand up to Jim Jones. The activities that would ensue at the Guyana campground were humiliating and dangerous to say the least. Although it shouldn’t come as any surprise knowing the mastermind behind these rituals just happened to be a drug-addicted, mentally unstable man. According to members from Jim Jones’s cult, he would have members remove their clothes and proceed to have them compete in boxing matches. Another ritual that is the most haunting of all, were the frequent suicide rehearsals Jim Jones would have members practice. Sirens would blare as all the members would gather and they were told to expect death at any minute. Jim Jones kept his cult members on their toes at all times, as a sure way he would never lose the power of instilling fear into brain-washed human beings. “Destructive religious cult members claim special exalted status or powers, manipulate and exploit their members, do harm to others and use mind-controlling techniques”, this was exactly how Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite ran their dangerous cult for years. When members of cults disobeyed, severe and sometimes deadly punishments were put into effect one such “case involving the beating to death of a thirteen-year old boy” (Charles, S. Clark). “Corporal punishment within cults has been reported regularly by former members for years” (Charles, S. Clark). As well as controlling all aspects of an individual’s daily activities and lifestyle, Applewhite took a more personal and evasive path when he forcefully “made all the male members (including himself) go through castration to suppress their sexual desires after they had all decided to become celibate”(Hewitt, Bill). 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Life- Just now thought of this :)

My life is like a swinging door, you walk out on me, you walk right through that swinging door, it comes back to hit me in the face, reminding me of everything I did wrong to make you leave, to make you not want to stay, to make you never want to see me again.
 My life is like a swinging door, it doesn't stop swinging as soon as someone walks through it, it keeps going, back and forth, back and forth, getting slower and slower as the person who walked through it becomes a spot in the distance, never to be seen or heard from again. 
  My feelings represent a swinging door, my emotions go back and forth, back and forth, unable to decide who deserves to be in my life, who really wants to be with me or who just wants to pull my strings back and forth, back and forth until my feelings and emotions are in their control. 
   I stand too close to the swinging door, too desperate to turn my back on the ones who turn their back on me, not afraid of getting smacked in the face, yet too afraid to leave the swinging door, in case they ever decide to walk through it again. 
  Why can't I leave? Why can't I turn around and walk away like everyone else in my life has done? Why can't I move on from the past, meet new people, let my guard down in hopes that one day my door will stop swinging and I can finally lock it and throw away the key? 
    I stand to far away from the swinging door, too timid and frightened of who is gonna walk through it next. Could it be him? Could it be her? Will they stay for a while and knock me down some more? Or will he leave me again, with the promise of seeing me very soon?
  My life is no longer like a swinging door. You walk out on me, don't you ever come back because whatever made you leave in the first place is always going to be there and it's always going to be apart of me. My door will slam and lock right behind you so don't you dare think about turning around, about saying your sorry. My forgiving days are over and you will never again take advantage of my vulnerability, of my shyness. 

Friday, December 31, 2010

Depression- How to Cope

     Among the various problems teenagers are faced with today, Depression has become the most common. A disorder most often over-looked yet, it can have deadly side-effects if gone untreated. From socially withdrawing to self-inflicting pain, depression is an emotional roller coaster, especially in adolescents. The main issue of teen depression lies in the opinion society has placed on it, from being ashamed to admit the need for help, to implying how embarrassing it is to be on anti-depressants. With all the stress many teens are already faced with, asking for help should not be one of them.

Fiction-Striving for Skinny

   The lunch bell sounds and the hallways become crowded with restless students rushing towards the front of the line. I however, quickly search for a way out, desperately trying to avoid the questions as to why I am not eating....again. How could I? My fear of food and gaining weight had finally surfaced as a result of my insecurities. I've struggled with my body image since I was fifteen, always noticing the skinnier girls that would pass me in the hallway; despising myself for not being that pretty. Little did I know how quickly my obsession with body image would become an eating disorder that consumed my life.
  It was like a drug to me, just one time and I was hooked. Just one time, and I was purging at every opportunity I had. Overeating and always excusing myself after dinner, it's normal to believe my parents would question the odd habits I had quickly developed but, they didn't. My deadly actions were going unnoticed at my house and I was relieved. Weeks went by and I was excessively dropping jean sizes, and my shirts became less fitted. Sadly though, I had viewed this as an accomplishment in my life. My problems were never about my body or the size of my thighs. My issues were much deeper and they continued to grow until they reached the surface, making it much more difficult to conceal with a smile. I was changing my outside in hopes of becoming the happy girl I used to be on the inside.
   I was finally able to look in the mirror and sustain from shattering the image that stood before me. I was pretty and for the first time in my life, I could say that with confidence. Although soon, having the figure I had always wanted, silenced my words, as I struggled to keep my addiction below the surface.
   I told myself I would stop as soon as I hit the weight I wanted and the figure I could stand to look at but, I didn't. I continued binging and purging, becoming powerless and weak in the arms of this deadly addiction.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


     I've been writing since I was in grade school. Whether magical fairies or experiencing the joy of christmas through a little girl's eyes, the stories I wrote were the thoughts and ideas I couldn't say aloud. I created different worlds with odd creatures and, the best part was I could choose the ending! My imagination was on the run. That is until, reality put it to a hault. Upon entering high school, the daily stress I faced, forced me to put away my creative writings. The thoughts of a fifteen year old girl were forced to become spoken, while the eyes of my peers were glaring back with judgemental faces.
    There was no where to run, no where to hide. This was high school and whether my ideas mattered or not Communications and English class didn't care. I was giving speech after speech, slowly realizing my barely spoken and shaky words meant nothing to my peers. I needed a way for my voice to reach others on the issues that were important to my generation. I needed to become a journalist.
    The way thoughts and ideas can be transformed into words that flow on paper is fascinating. It is a talent meant not to be wasted. A talent I quickly discovered I held in my possesion.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Somebody Else

   I was simply trying to fit in. Trying to be the girl everyone wanted to hang around. I had spent the past two years of high school incredibly alone and, I was determined not to relive that nightmare. Shedding my innonence was easy, or so I thought. As I quickly learned the consequences to my actions, my life went spiraling out of control. Dangerous thoughts and rebellious ideas consumed my mind.
   It was the one shot of vodka that led to the regretful nights of my past mistakes. The pressure from my peers to constantly lie that buried me in a whole so deep, my relationship with my mom slowly withered. Who was I? I was somebody. I had friends. I laughed and I cried with them, drank and snuck out with them. I was so desperate to escape my life (to shed the good-girl image constantly lagging behind me) I suddenly became obsessed with changing myself.
   My friends never knew the real me. They never had the chance too. I was constantly lying, hiding under laughs and stupidity, too terrified to take off my mask. What would it reveal? Nothing. The real me wasn't important to these so-called "friends", at least that's what I told myself.
   I'm smart. I overthink everything, and never trust anybody. My past was a mystery to them and I tried my best to keep it that way. I was always acting stupid and saying things that would make my friends laugh. I forced myself to do everything I could just so they would notice me. Pathetic? I would say so. Here I was finally fitting in but, I was just a fake, starving for attention.
   There was no turning back now. The minute I reached for that shot of vodka, who I was quickly drowned. Only to be replaced by an insecure bitch that would hurt too many people. As much as I want to, I can't reverse my past, can't change what happened or the people I hurt. The only thing I can do is learn from what I've done and move on to new experiences and different hardships. Move on to discover who I was and what I've done doesn't have to determine the rest of my future.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Never Perfect

As I silently gazed upon the hill where my house once lay I began to ponder why I had even returned to this deslolate place. Even though the landscape is full of greenery, the place feels hollow and dead. This is the feeling that overcomes my body. A feeling so strong that 20 years is not near enough time to forget the events that occured inside this place I used to call hell. My own personal hell. I don't remember my first bike, or the first time I was able to ride a bike without training wheels. My memories are the nightmares I wish to escape. Even thinking back now, I'll never understand why pain was the only thing she ever gave me. Every slap in the face, and shove into the wall, was just a reminder of the perfect daughter I would never be. I was beaten down so many times, I knew she would eventually end my life. In fact, I prayed every time she was waving her fists, that this punch would be the last. It never was. I suffered bruise after bruise. Broken bone after broken bone. I was her punching bag, not her daughter, not someone she would couldn't live without, just another object painted with her anger. She broke a vase over my head when I was 16. I never saw it coming, even though day after day I came home in fear of the abuse she held over my head. Constant threats, whether verbal or the shaking of her fists, she terrorized and teased me. I never knew when an impulse would overcome her, forcing me to succumb to her fearful fists and frightening eyes.

Lost Without Him-Creative Fiction

            Before I was able to crawl to my knees, one final blow to my head and the room went spinning as I silently asked God for the end to come on my eighteen years of life.
             I met him when I was 16, a junior in high school to be exact. He had me starry-eyed and weak in the knees the first time he asked for my number. Unfortunatley, the moment I handed back the piece of paper with those ten numbers on it, that's when my nightmare began. Cameron wouldn't stop calling, wouldn't stop texting. Soon his high school crush quickly became an obsession, spiraling out of control with every move I made. Not spending time with Cameron was unacceptable and I soon learned that the hard way. I never expected him to follow me on my way to work; but, then again, there were alot of things I never expected from him. The first time he slapped me as I stepped out of my car never felt real to me, just a faded memory pushed out of my mind again and again. There is one memory however, that left its mark. The moon-shaped scars on both my wrists. Constant reminders of the perfect girlfriend I would never be. I begged for him to let go, screamed out in pain while the sight of red was appearing underneath his nails. When Cameron thought I had had enough, he released his grip and told me now I'd always remember how pissed off I could make him. Tears streamed down my face as I silently screamed, for he had taken away the voice I used to have. Weeks went by (dreadfully I might add) and slaps in the face soon turned into punches. I hated myself for making Cameron so upset, so angry. I released a demon inside of him, a demon I knew I could rid from the soul of Cameron. I did everything I could. Cleaned, cooked, and I was constantly buying him jewelry I couldn't afford. I was slowly digging a hole straight into financial debt but, losing my money was much better than losing him. I believed I was nothing without him. Worthless and stupid. I had someone who loved me so much,that he would do anything to keep me from looking elsewhere, even if that meant taking my life. I was staring at the devil everytime I looked into Cameron's eyes, soon realizing his hunger for control was taking him over...and he would do anything to stay in power even if that meant