Wednesday, March 11, 2009

TV Review: "Millennium"


This one-hour series was produced, not surprisingly, near the Millennium's beginning, from about 1998-2000. It is probably too intense for the sensitive, as it takes a scorpionic look into the twisted minds and motives of killers.
In one episode, the audience is encouraged to think about a most important subject: Does a person have the "right to die" in dignity rather than suffer through years of pain and agony? Even more to the point, does any doc have the right to assist a person to leave this world?
The star of the series, the character called Frank Black, comes down on the side of the establishment. Frank is a profiler for the fbi, and uses his psychic gifts to fill in the blank areas. The "criminal" in this case is a former doctor, a young African American blessed with a beautiful and wonderful vision of the eternity of life, and its continuity after death into other "planes." He is filled with both
compassion and faith, but these spiritual powers are being abused; he is interfering with the rights that others-- several old and suffering people-- have to make their own life-and-death decisions.
But as noble as his motives might be, Frank correctly points out that his actions, in helping people to find blessed release from this world, are legally (and morally) "murder." When a cop refers to this doc as "a saint," Frank replies, "Or worse."
Although of course, everyone must leave this planet, this must always be a personal decision; it must never be made by one person for another. This is, in fact, the one datum that transforms the otherwise beautiful and loving act into murder: Some of the older people whom the doc tries to "help," although in great pain, might not be ready or willing to leave, for whatever reasons. And they are given this right by the universe.
Like this doc, many of us share strong feelings about the "right to die with dignity." Still, we must never impose these feelings upon others; no one has that right. This activity is often called "playing God," and it is ironic, for it is actually God (Love) "playing human." But, still, the action of intervening and taking another sentient life violates all the rights which any living creature has. It bulldozes over their rights and ignores their value as separate and independent
It is therefore immoral, no matter how fine the motivation might be. (In this story, the doc himself suffers from a terminal disease, and clearly wants to take advantage of the option for selfeuthanasia.) This too, is illegal, for our entire culture and society are terrorized by death-- to the point where many will not even discuss the "horrific" subject. This is obviously an unhealthy extreme, as is the other extreme of assuming that anyone has the right to make this intensely personal decision for another.

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