Dear Dr. Theodore Baehr,
I agree with you that murder is not excusable, but euthanasia is a completely different situation. Clint Eastwood’s, “Million Dollar Baby”, is not a Neo-Nazi movie about glorifying suicide, or murder, or saying ‘death is better than disability.’ It is simply a tragedy about an individual who rises up from poverty to become a champion. It is a story about a young woman making a personal decision between life and death, and a man who is faced with a moral dilemma.
When Maggie is punched out and permanently disabled, she loses a life of physical triumph. She goes from being a champion boxer to a “head in a bed.” This change is so dramatic because she loses something she truly loves and you can see why she would want to kill herself. Nobody can say Maggie’s choice for death is glorifying death over disability. The situation she goes through is completely different than one who is born disabled. When a child is born disabled, they do not know a difference. They are raised with a disability and adjust like with all milestones in childhood. When someone lives life to the fullest and then looses it all by becoming a quadriplegic, it is very different. The life they once knew is gone and they have to start a new and most people do not want that huge change.
There is no form of murder in this story. When Maggie asks Frankie to “pull the plug,” he is not willing to do so. It is not like he jumps up and turns off her life support right then and there. He gets very upset and tells her to stop talking about it. While she is in the hospital, Frankie goes to church and talks to his priest every day. He is awfully troubled about if he should end her for live her, but he loves her and knows she does not want to live in the prison her body has become. After he sees Maggie bite her tongue and suffer with terrible bed sores for over two months, he knows he has to let her go. It is not murdering her because if she had the ability to kill herself, she would. Frankie is only performing an action based on her living will and consent. It is the power of attorney and she is asking him to act on her behalf.
Personally, if I was to end up in the state of a quadriplegic, I would not want to live. I live an exciting life of physical activities, whether it is hiking 14,000 foot mountains, climbing rock faces, or surfing waves. If this type of lifestyle was taken away from me, I would have nothing left. I would kill myself whether it was by receiving voluntary active euthanasia or biting my tongue. Nobody can stop that. Nobody can choose my life decisions. I have no idea why people try to get involved with others lives. Life is a personal choice and I think people need to mind their own business. If you would not want to die in a situation of quadriplegia, then do not ask for euthanasia. But please do not try to stop others from making this personal life choice.
Neo-Nazi asserts a malicious intent; a decision to eliminate another without consideration of their personal liberties and freedoms. Euthanasia is not a Neo-Nazi act because the patient is asking for it. Life is a natural human right that everyone has. This choice should not be taken away. “Million Dollar Baby” is just a movie about the unexpected problems that happen in life and how some choose to act on these problems. It is not trying to persuade anybody to do anything, it is only a story.

Sincerly, Daniel Moorehead