Editor’s note. The following appears on the blog of Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, at Some of the media in the UK have become the cheerleaders for the legalization of assisted suicide and the suicide lobby.The article in the UK Sunday Times and reprinted world-wide.
It is interesting that the media considers an actor commenting on assisted suicide to be newsworthy. I guess selling newspapers is more important than finding an objective and educated response.
The reports fail to present the issue accurately. Legalizing euthanasia and/or assisted suicide create a right to be killed or allow a physician to actually cause or be involved with causing your death, it is not about a right to die.
There is another issue with the complicity of the media in promoting euthanasia and assisted suicide cases in their reporting. The reality of the copy cat suicide effect is well known and that is why the World Health Organization established a set of guidelines for the media to help prevent suicide.
People, like Patrick Stewart, do raise legitimate concerns about the care of people who are dying. These concerns are properly dealt with by a society that improves the care of the dying, improves the care and attitude towards people with disabilities, maintains an effective suicide prevention strategy and understands the scourge and the need to prevent elder abuse.
The sad reality is that the media does not consider a position of opposing euthanasia to be newsworthy because it promotes the “status quo.” I challenge the media to focus on people and organizations that care for others and help them live comfortably and with dignity rather than killing them.