By Dave Andrusko
The case being investigated as a murder-suicide by local police illustrates just how far assisted suicide advocates are willing to go and how much violence they can rationalize away. The case also is a textbook example of the media’s whole-hearted cooperation in overturning laws that ban assisted suicide.
The Washington Post and other media outlets have reported that Frank Kavanaugh — who served on the national advisory board for the Final Exit Network —was discovered last week alongside his wife, Barbara Kavanaugh, at the Solaris HealthCare Charlotte Harbor center in Port Charlotte, Florida.
A local ABC affiliate reported, “Both died from gunshot wounds, authorities said.”
A few paragraphs into the Washington Post story written by Lindsey Bever, we read the excuses for Mrs. Kavanaugh’s murder and the Post’s willingness not only to leave them unchallenged but to give them cover.
But those who knew the Kavanaughs said it may have been their only option.
“It was a rational suicide,” Final Exit Network President Janis Landis told The Washington Post. “Both of them made this decision. It was not murder.”
Landis also told the Post
We’re not surprised that both of them felt strongly about their right to decide the timing and manner of their deaths when the quality of their lives became unacceptable.
Other advocates of assisted suicide hewed to the same line, blaming the “system.” Robert Rivas, general counsel for the Final Exit Network, posted on Facebook
the Sheriff’s Office labeled the deaths of Frank and his wife, Barbara, a ‘murder-suicide,’ but I would call it the tragic consequence of living in a country that prohibits people from exercising any type of informed choices in death.”
After repeatedly offering the official line from Final Exit, Bever transitioned to the case of Brittany Maynard, whose assisted suicide has been used by Final Exit and particularly “Compassion & Choices” to further their agenda. She wrote, approvingly,
Before Maynard’s death, a 2013 poll conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that 67 percent of more than 1,700 people surveyed in the United States were against physician-assisted suicide.
That same year, a Pew Research survey showed that public opinion was split, with 47 percent of U.S. adults supporting the practice and 49 percent opposing it. A Gallup poll that year suggested that results varied according to how the question was presented: Some 70 percent of Americans were in favor of allowing physicians to “end the patient’s life by some painless means,” but only 51 percent were in support of allowing doctors to help a patient “commit suicide.”
Most of the Bever story tells one story: of the 81-year-old Mr. Kavanaugh’s devotion to his wife which, it is implied, is the reason he allegedly murdered his 88 year old wife who “battled a degenerative brain disease.” Nowhere in the stories that I read did anyone explain how they could know that “both” made the decision.
Only one person is allowed to disagree with legalizing assisted suicide, and the AMA is quoted in opposition. But after that patently phony gesture at balance, Bever ends her story with the right spin and the right parallel:
Landis, the Final Exit Network president, drew parallels between the Kavanaughs’ deaths and a time before abortion was legal, when some women would use coat hangers to perform their own procedures.
“In an ideal word,” she said, “people would not have to resort to such violent means.”