By Dave Andrusko
Anyone who is even the least bit neutral about physician-assisted suicide understands that increasingly we live in an Orwellian world where the language is not English or Spanish or Russian but Newspeak.
I had meant all week to address a story that appeared Monday in the Washington Post, a typical cheerleading peace for the “right to die” cause, in this case in nearby Maryland.
The ringleaders are the usual, usual crowd, led by the people who gave you legalized physician-assisted suicide in California by using the death of Brittany Maynard and legislative legerdemain as a battering ram. That would be, of course, “Compassion & Choices,” which, in its more honest days, went by the name The Hemlock Society.
Ironically, a correction to the online version of Ovetta Wiggins’ story is hugely revealing:
Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said advocates are holding “house parties” that offer information about health-care options when people are severely injured or become terminally ill. The parties only provide information about end-of-life options for the terminally ill
This campaign is not about palliative care or finding resources for people who are gravely injured. This is a campaign to obfuscate and hide and dissemble, starting with changing assisted suicide to “aid in dying” and poison to “medication.”
Wiggins’ story reads like a lattice of euphemisms, crisscrossing and overlapping to give the appearance of truth. But it also illustrates why C&C is so formidable. We’re told that is Donna Smith is a field consultant Compassion & Choices.
So what you ask? The idea of assisted suicide, Wiggins writes, is
anathema in parts of Maryland, a strongly Catholic state with a large African American population, which traditionally has been slower to embrace assisted suicide than more secular, mostly white communities.
Smith, who is African American, said one of her goals in Maryland is to change the widespread perception that assisted suicide is an issue that affects only wealthy white people.
Of course this is utter nonsense, at one level, spot on in another.
Look at any of the videos proponents use and overwhelmingly the target audience is white and secular. This “right” will be extended, however, because there are other forces at work besides the insistence on autonomy, although that is very important.
Columnist Kirsten Powers used the Wiggins story as the jumping off point for her column in USA Today. Powers observed,
“I think that this is a national wave,” Maryland Del. Shane E. Pendergrass, D-Howard, told The Washington Post. Pendergrass plans to sponsor “right-to-die” legislation in January.
It’s a wave with the potential to sweep some of society’s most vulnerable — the elderly, the terminally ill and disabled — prematurely into the hereafter.
There is a reason almost the entire Disability Rights community is adamantly opposed to “aid in dying.” They understand their “autonomy” will be exercised FOR them by people who can’t believe that anyone would want to live a life with a severe disability.
Or, as Powers put it, the “’right-to-die’ crowd sees ‘dignity’ in shoving people toward death when they are in their most vulnerable state.”
One other quote from Powers’ column:
Dr. Leonie Herx, a Canadian palliative care doctor who opposes physician-assisted death wrote this year, “Let’s not kid ourselves or cloak reality with soft words — physician-assisted death is killing.”
But verbal cloaking is the stock in trade of the “right-to-die” forces. The Orwellian-speak they employ to describe their effort is telling. It’s death by euphemism.
Indeed. Always, always, always use words to dissemble and disguise and distort. Truth is their enemy.
The underlying attitude of proponents is absolutely lethal. Powers tells us in her conclusion
This attitude is reminiscent of “the Quietus” as it was called in P.D. James’s dystopian novel The Children of Men. Elderly people, who were viewed as a drain on society’s resources, would don white garments and commit mass suicide in a ceremony covered approvingly by the media.
It turned out that many were drugged and coerced by the government.
Today, sadly, the coercion seems to be coming from closer to home