Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Human Rights

I think of strange things while driving in the car. Today I was inspired by a bumper sticker, but I can't remember what it said because I was too busy mentally composing this list.

I'd like to hope that someday we will be socially evolved enough to respect each other as we are, but I know it won't happen within my lifetime. I do not think I am a pessimist, I just have a Utopian dream. Human nature tends toward two extremes, cynicism and unthinking callousness. We either see the world for the mess it is or block it out and ignore the world to focus strictly on our own ambitions. In my utopia, all humans have the same inherent rights, but are perfectly free to be individuals. These rights are independent of government and belong to every human being on Earth.

Love -- You have the right to love the person or persons you are attracted to. It is recognized that love is not a choice, and the gender, race, age, religion, and any other defining factor of the loved is not relevant in the ability to love. Consummation of love between mutually consenting adults is a private matter not to be interfered with by others. Love between people may wax and wane, but it is not a trivial matter and love outside of the traditional male-female relationship is not seen as anything other than another variation of normal.

Bodily Autonomy -- You have the right to do what you wish with your own body. No one, including parents or guardians, has the right to alter your body without your permission with the exception of emergency procedures and reconstructive surgeries on minors. You have the right to make your own decisions about what goes into your body, what your outward appearance is, and what medical procedures are undertaken. Your body is yours and yours alone.

Health -- You have the right to receive and expect medical treatment for any injuries and illnesses sustained. Should you not wish to partake of any medical care, it should not be forced upon you and you have the right to refuse. At the end of your life, you have the right to comfort, respect, and dignity in your palliative care. It is your responsibility to make your wishes known to your next of kin before it is needed, and your next of kin should respect your wishes. You have the right to live without fear for your health due to inability to pay. The patient should come first in priority, and the payment should only be discussed after stabilization of the health condition

Life -- You have the right to live without fear of your life being taken by another. You should not be a victim of war or murder. Your life has worth and it is respected universally.

Sustenance -- You have the right to clean drinking water and enough food to meet your body's needs. Gluttony should never exist in one nation while its neighbors are weathering famine. You have the right to your appropriate optimum nutrition from the moment of your birth until the time of your death.

Environment -- You have the right to a clean world. You have the right to live on land, drink water, and breathe air free of hazardous chemicals and toxins. No corporation should compromise the safety of the people by utilizing chemicals in places where food is grown and water is consumed by humans, animals, or crops. You have the right for your health never to suffer as a result of environmental toxins.

Individuality -- You have the right to follow the path of your choice without coercion. You can choose your religious beliefs or lack thereof, your lifestyle, your career based on your skills, your spouse no matter his or her demographic, whether or not to reproduce, what consumer items to buy, who to vote for, and how and where to live.

Education -- You have the right to a comprehensive, unbiased education. Your abilities are taken into account and you may continue your education along the lines or your preferences and skills. Knowledge should not be hidden, costly, or unobtainable to any who wish to seek it.

Voice -- You have the right to be heard. Your concerns and ideas matter even if they are ultimately unobtainable. No one has the right to oppress your voice and keep you silent. Your voice is your greatest power. Use it if your choose, and let yourself be heard.

Choice -- You may choose whether or not to take advantage of these rights, but it is always your choice and your choice alone to make. You do not have the right to choose for others and others do not have the right to choose for you. Your life is your own to live, but do not expect others to choose to live your way.

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