Human Exceptionalism

Assisted Suicide is Suicide

Suicide is suicide. One would think that truth, at least, would not be a matter of controversy. But from its inception, the euthanasia movement has sought to advance the cause by redefining terms and blurring crucial ethical and moral distinctions. 

At least one editorial writer in Vermont–the locale of a concerted legalization movement–has noticed. From, “The Act is Called Suicide,” by Aki Soga:

The debate taking place in Montpelier shows just how far Vermont has to go before we can speak honestly about physician-assisted-suicide. Yes, suicide. That’s what the act of taking one’s own life is called. Yet advocates for a bill that would allow doctors to to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a patient choose euphemisms such as death with dignity. Some who testified before the Legislature on Tuesday even tried to draw a distinction between “end of life choice” and suicide. If we, as individuals and as a society, are too squeamish to call the act for what it is, we are hardly ready to go forward with legislation that would allow a physician to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a patient.


Beware movements that feel the need to resort to feel-good euphemisms to hide the reality of their agendas and goals. Assisted suicide is suicide. The term is descriptive and accurate. And when it is legalized, it amounts to state-approved suicide. Let’s deal with that reality and stop the pretense. 

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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