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I love my body.
I’ve lived in it for a long time.
It freaked me out when I found out I don’t own it. Seriously. Looking at what’s going on in our world, this is what I’ve come to realize: my body isn’t mine. This physical me, it’s not ME. When I’m out cold, head in the stars, dead to the world, unconscious, –flatlined–… it belongs to the man. It belongs to the law. It belongs to you if you’re the one who finds it first.
I live in it. I singularly take care of it. There’s no mortgage on it, and I didn’t buy it at a store, but… the government, and our society, tell me it belongs to them, not me. How so? How can this most fundamental of personal objects belong to anyone other than its only occupant? What do international human rights charters and decrees have to say about -that-?
Looking through history, and in some skanky places in our world today, we see that human bodies have often been bought and sold as goods. Slavery in our western history shows that clearly. The Egyptian pyramids were most likely built by slaves. Oarsmen on longboats centuries ago: human chattel. Cotton pickers in the Deep South, an unscrupulously obvious example!. We even had slaves in Quebec; Marcel Trudel wrote about it in 1961, “Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Centuries of Bondage”.
But ¡today!… in ¡North America!… in north northern North America!… your body ¡–isn’t– yours?!, how can that be?!!
Are we not living in enlightened times?
Let me see if I can clear that up for you…
Do you have the liberty to choose to let your life end as you wish? That’s a pretty hot topic these days, isn’t it. But, it goes further than just MAID (medically assisted dying, www.dyingwithdignity.ca).
What about if you’re a perfectly healthy person and you have a heart attack? Who decides what happens to you? If you’ve heard of DNR directives, you probably think that you’re in control, right? You think the DNR protects you from involuntary resuscitation, right?… wrong!
What if you tattooed “|DNR|LET-ME-DIE|DNR|” on your chest? You’d think the ambulance workers would take that as a crystal-clear message, right? Wrong!! They’re calling it ambiguous, unfounded, illegitimate, unsupported – and current legal opinion is on their side.
Through recent experiences and research, I’ve learned that emergency medical personnel (EMTs) –aren’t– obligated to respect your Do-Not-Resuscitate directive (DNR)… and the question of, “who owns this body?”, leapt with passion and vigor into my mind! EMTs, and according to Good Samaritan law, any citizen, including you, –must– try to save you to the best of their ability… and it’s punishable by law if they don’t.
How does that make you feel?
How does it make you feel…
– that the mass of living cells that you share with no one else,
– that the system of organic tissue that supports your head and your thoughts,
– that that breathing, sweaty, warm lump that you consider to be you… is owned by the papa-dawg?
How do you like knowing that your body is n’t’ch yours?
DNRs are another modern fairy tale. Another form of illusory device. Like the civil laws governing texting-at-the-wheel, and respect-pedestrian-crosswalks, DNRs are treated as suggestions by the world around us.
Have you ever tried filing a complaint against someone who almost ran you over? or who was reading their phone while driving? I have. The Desk Sergeants summarily tell me that those laws cannot be enforced unless a police officer witnesses, and chooses to cite, the transgressions – they’re not criminal acts, so no private citizen can get any action started on the people who do that. They’re part of civil law. And with our police force working to-rule, forget seeing civil law enacted on our streets. Administrative laws are pure horsewater.
We have too many phony-baloney laws.
They don’t protect us.
They just make it look like everything is under control and tidy.
I don’t own my body.
You don’t own yours.
And unless we get hit by cars, drivers only have to watch out for the cops, not the people the laws were created to protect.
Look both ways before you cross the street!
And, if you’re going to have a heart attack, maybe you should have it someplace tucked away and quiet so no unwitting do-gooder notices… unless of course you really want to continue living half brain-dead from oxygen starvation.
OWN YOUR BODY!
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Text: © ToplessJohn, toplessmontreal.com . All rights reserved by the author.
Image: © Jonathan Wojcik at bogleech.com!, All rights reserved by the artist.
Rights to publish (both digital and hardcopy) have been granted to Vanier College, Montreal, Canada, 20170209