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Madison: 'Does 'consent of the governed' imply 'informed consent'?'

by C/O Diogenes Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 8:01 AM

I found this posted over at Smirking Chimp and thought Madison made some good points. So, I lifted it and brought it over here as it is thought provoking.

Madison: 'Does 'consent of the governed' imply 'informed consent'?'

Posted on Thursday, May 01 @ 09:49:51 EDT


By Madison

Our president deceived us and talked us into invading Iraq by claiming Iraq had so many weapons of mass destruction that our lives and security were in immediate peril.

In his State of the Union address, George W. Bush enumerated Saddam Hussein's inventory of weapons of mass destruction as follows: 30,000 munitions, 500 tons of chemical weapons, 25,000 liters of anthrax and 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin. Furthermore, administration officials said they knew where the WMDs were

Bush put visions of "mushroom clouds" into our heads. He claimed we could not wait to secure UN approval before invading Iraq, because of the urgency of the threat to us.

So far, no WMDs have been found and the administration is currently expressing the thought that finding or not finding WMDs is no big deal. Some administration officials say it as just a matter of "emphasis"!

With apologies to our Founding Fathers, I offer: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to invade the country of another people, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to such invasion.

Is it okay when an American president deceives us to propel us into invading another sovereign nation?

When is lying okay in a democracy? My answer to that would be "Never, if the purpose of the lying is to deceive us into doing something we would not do if we knew the truth."

In past times, doctors used to perform medical experiments on people without ever telling those poor souls what was happening. But, eventually, laws were passed forbidding such willy-nilly experimentation -- no matter how worthy the cause -- unless the doctor first obtained written consent from the subject of the experimentation.

Later, even that proved to be inadequate protection from unethical experimentation on humans, and more laws were passed. The new laws require that doctors (or scientists) must first explain, in laymen's terms, the purposes of the experiments and the possible negative effects to the patients from the experiments. That is the concept of "informed consent." It requires the experimenters to be honest, thorough and forthright about the possible consequences to the patients of the experiments. "Informed consent" also means that doctors cannot experiment on those people who do not have the intellectual capacity to understand what they are consenting to.

In America, our democratic form of government relies on the "consent of the governed." Such consent was so vital to our Founding Fathers that they wrote into paragraph two of the Declaration of Independence: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Must we now amend our Constitution to require a president to Tell Us The Truth when he leads us into a war?

Should the Great Experiment of Democracy require the "informed consent" of its subjects?

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 24 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Taking it a step further... Diogenes Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 8:09 AM
5 minutes hate, anyone? Eric Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 8:51 AM
Polls Scmolls american Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 9:56 AM
Polls pollester Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 10:05 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 10:16 AM
TwoEyed Man CPK Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 10:23 AM
pollester POLE Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 12:19 PM
Observe... Diogenes Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 6:26 PM
dio stop really thats enough Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 7:37 PM
Either you are naive... Diogenes Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 7:53 PM
Pot, meet kettle daveman Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 12:58 AM
Federalist #10 by james madison systemfailure Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 2:07 AM
Vanity! It's my favorite sin. Satan Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 2:21 AM
obvious you have no idea what hubris means... systemfailure Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 2:51 AM
AS it turns out fresca Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 4:35 AM
Speaking Shills... Diogenes Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 5:26 AM
"hubris was used correctly" Satan Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 7:48 AM
Mr. Satan Ronald Reagan Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 8:35 AM
Gee thanks for the flattery guys. Diogenes Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 1:43 PM
All flattery aside Scottie Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 1:46 PM
Black Bloc anarchist Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 1:55 PM
anarchist=KOBE FASCIST KKKOBES ARE MORONS Saturday, May. 03, 2003 at 1:59 PM
Yes fascist fresca, the idiot did use "hubris" out of context systemfailure Monday, May. 05, 2003 at 4:51 PM
As for myself Smarmster Monday, May. 05, 2003 at 5:16 PM

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