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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Execution and Euthanasia = Same Act



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The medical and bioethics establishments increasingly assert that doctors should not participate in executions.

Yet, many of these same advocates support euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The quote below from a recent JAMA opinion column is about executions. But I have replaced the words and terms used about that procedure with “euthanasia” to illustrate my point:

Regardless of whether EUTHANASIA is justified—and there are those who contend that in some circumstances EUTHANASIA may be—it must never be perceived as a medical procedure.

By playing on the imagery of a scene that is almost indistinguishable from the everyday practice of anesthesiologists when they “put a patient to sleep,” there is an attempt to cover the procedure with a patina of respectability and compassion that is associated with the practice of medicine.

And that’s precisely why death idologues promote the “medical model” of mercy killing.

Doctors became involved in executions in large part because DP opponents pushed the punishment toward more sterile approaches, e.g., from brutal-looking but clearly killing methods of firing squad or hanging, to lethal injection. Doctors are not needed for those things, except perhaps, to declare death.

In contrast, euthanasia came to the fore after dying in agony became preventable through legitimate medical means. What an odd irony. 

Bottom line: Neither euthanasia nor executing are medical actions. Both are killing. And that ain’t medical in the truest meaning of the term regardless of our modern disease of redefinitionism.



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