By Dave Andrusko
I’ve been meaning for over a month to get to a pro-assisted suicide editorial written by the New York Times. And I will do so, finally, as the last post for today.
We’re talking about “Offering a Choice to the Terminally Ill,” not because the Times offers any original thinking. They were just trying to catch the wave of pro-assisted suicide proposals that had come crashing into a number of legislatures–all subsequently defeated, by the way. That and the publicity that surround WAMU radio host Diane Rehm’s vocal support for assisted suicide.
Let’s first look at a gigantic concession– finally acknowledging a truth–which the Times employs to prove that they are the side of “responsible” advocacy. Still, it’s one I never expected to read in my lifetime:
Meanwhile, some medical professionals argue that the practice is at odds with their mission as healers and worry that it could be abused. Unfortunately, many Americans associate the issue with Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a notorious advocate of assisted suicide who was convicted in 1999 of murder and who aided dozens of patients, many of whom were not terminally ill, in ending their lives.
All of a sudden, Jack Kevorkian–“Dr. Death” and a celebrity in the eyes of the Times– is now “notorious,” a man who “aided dozens of patients” (the number was more like 130!) “many of whom were not terminally ill” (yes!!)
As always, assisted suicide advocates, like the Times, attempt to marginalize critics (see “some medical professionals”). “The right-to-die movement has strong opponents, including the Catholic Church, which opposes any form of suicide,” the editorial tells us.
What “Offering a Choice to the Terminally Ill” doesn’t tell you is that the success opponents have experienced could not have taken place without the strong voice of the Disability Rights Community, which knows people with disabilities are in the crosshairs of the assisted suicide movement and the organized medical community.
To the Times the answer is transparency–meaning legalizing assisted suicide. By taking it out of the shadows, the Times tells us, we can eliminate “wink and nod” assisted suicide, which “put patients and doctors on dangerous terrain.”
Legalization does nothing of the sort. Legalize assisted suicide for any group and advocates will race into court to insist that “denying” assisted suicide to any group is blatant discrimination.
“Safeguards”–those having to do with expected life span, medical condition, age, mental competency–aren’t worth the paper they are written on because (1) proponents are completely insincere; and (2) as noted, courts will strike them down as an infringement of equal protection.
But still, how about that? Jack Kevorkian as renegade. In the pages of the New York Times.
Who would have ever thought…?