By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Yesterday I responded to an Associated Press propaganda article celebrating an assisted suicide party in Seattle. One of our supporters sent me the link to a Canadian propaganda story about assisted suicide, a story that I did not write about when it was first published.
Similar to the Seattle story, the Canadian story is designed to promote MAiD (Medical Aid in Dying–euthanasia) and break down social barriers against euthanasia.
The story, “I threw my grandmother an assisted suicide party,” by Susie Adelson, was published by Toronto Life and features Adelson’s grandmother, Sonia Goodman.
Goodman visits Sunnybrook hospital in pain and with sepsis and tells the medical team that she wants them to end her life. Adelson writes:
At first, the doctors suggested palliative care, but she was adamant: no more surgeries, no more drugs, not even antibiotics. She had watched her friends pass away and my mother suffer, and she didn’t want to go through that. Neither did I: seeing my mom languish in a hospital bed for months left me anxious and terrified of death.
Adelson is concerned that her grandmother would languish in a hospital bed for months. Clearly this statement is designed to cause fear, but it indicates Goodman is not terminally ill.
There is more to the story. Goodman does not appear to be terminally ill – “natural death is not reasonably forseeable,” but she demands and receives death by lethal injection.
The article raises a concern with the social approval of elder suicide. When the doctors decided that she was qualified to die, the decision seems based on her age–88. The fact that she demands to die seems very similar to suicide. When did approving suicide based on age become acceptable?
Adelson builds the propaganda by emphasizing how they all shared a celebration drink and spoke about their memories of Goodman.
Relishing the spotlight, she encouraged us to go around the room and share our memories of her. She was delighted when person after person remarked on her glamour. When it was my turn, I thanked her for giving me my mother—and for her advice to never leave the house without a coat of lipstick. She laughed, and I held her hand. When it was time, we raised our Dixie cups: “To Yaya!”
We all want the focus to be on us in our final days, but it doesn’t require a lethal injection to make that happen.
Toronto Life, and other media that publish these stories, should be concerned about the suicide contagion effect. Studies show that glorifying suicide affects people who struggle with suicidal ideation (thinking about or planning suicide).
All I can say is that the euthanasia lobby is promoting death. As I stated in my response to the Seattle article, assisted suicide was once an avant garde concept. Now stories normalizing assisted suicide are a routinely used propaganda tool.
It’s time for real journalism, substituting real-life stories in all their complexity for propaganda.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.