The Corner

Science & Tech

Forced to Lie About Assisted Suicide

The assisted-suicide movement often lies, prevaricates, spins, word engineers, and obfuscates in its advocacy memes.

Lying in debates is one thing. But legally forcing doctors and public officials to participate in these tactics in their official capacities is quite another. Yet, that is what many assisted-suicide laws and legislative proposals do.

Take for example, lying on death certificates. Several state laws legalizing assisted suicide force MDs who assist suicides to falsify death certificates — an important public document needed for the accrual of accurate vital statistics — that the cause of death was the underlying disease and not a self-administered drug overdose.

Now, a Minnesota legalization proposal goes there. From SF 1572:

Subd. 17. Death certificate. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the attending physician may sign the qualified patient’s death certificate. The qualified patient’s underlying terminal illness shall be listed as the cause of death.

Think about this: MDs compelled by law to lie in order to prevent transparency, inhibit oversight, and thwart accurate independent scientific studies of the deadly practice.

It gets worse. The bill would specifically legalize assisted suicide — doctors prescribing drugs for the purpose of a patient taking them to cause an overdose death — but claims mendaciously it isn’t legalizing assisted suicide:

Subd. 16. Medical aid in dying.

(a) Nothing in this section authorizes a physician or any other person to end a patient’s life by lethal injection, mercy killing, assisting a suicide, or any other active euthanasia.
(b) Any action taken according to this section does not constitute causing or assisting
another person to commit suicide.

But that is exactly what it does!

And to make sure the mendacity sticks, the term “assisted suicide” is banned from use in public communications, documents, and pronouncement:

c) No report of a public agency may refer to the practice of obtaining and self-administering life-ending medication to end a qualified patient’s life as suicide or assisted suicide, and shall refer to the practice as medical aid in dying.

This is utterly nonsensical. As a recent AMA Ethics report on the issue noted (my emphasis): “The term ‘physician assisted suicide’ describes the practice with the greatest precision.”

Forcing MDs and public employees to lie and use euphemistic language isn’t just a matter of semantics. It destroys integrity in governance and undermines trust in public institutions. And, it disrespects democratic deliberation.

Assisted-suicide legalization turns thousands of years of medical ethics on its head. It has the potential to shatter family life. By definition, it results in the premature deaths of thousands of people — some of whom might not have died from their diagnosed illness, which sometimes happens. And, it gives the imprimatur of the state to some suicides, which has the potential to increase suicide ideation as it makes suicide prevention more equivocal.

If it is so important to do all that, then call a thing what it is! If you can’t, then stop pushing the agenda.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Ten Questions for the ‘Squad’

Democratic infighting reached a fever pitch last week with bickering and personal attacks between members of the “Squad” and other House Democrats. During that period, Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley mostly avoided doing interviews. However, that all ... Read More
U.S.

The Rise of the Chinese-American Right

On June 13, during a nasty storm, a group of Chinese New Yorkers gathered in front of the gates of Gracie Mansion, the New York mayor’s residence on the Upper East Side, to protest. Inside, Mayor Bill de Blasio was meeting with two dozen or so representatives of the Asian-American community to discuss his ... Read More
Elections

How Beto Made Himself into White-Privilege Guy

Robert Francis O’Rourke is white. If it’s any consolation, he’s very sorry about that. “Beto” has been running from his Irish ancestry for some time now. Long before the Left fell headlong into the logical termini of its triune fascination with race, power, and privilege, O’Rourke sensed that there ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More