The Corner

Law & the Courts

When Assisted Suicide ‘Protections’ Become ‘Barriers’

(Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

Razzle-dazzle them. That’s what good carney pitchmen do to sell their wares.

So do assisted-suicide advocates. When pitching legalization, they solemnly promise that they have written, oh soprotective guidelines” into the legislation to prevent abuse.

Then, once the law is safely in place, advocates grouse that the guidelines they touted are “obstacles” or “barriers” that unjustly prevent suffering people from accessing assisted suicide. Eventually, political agitation begins to amend the law to make things, shall we say, more flexible.

We see this slippery slope process in action in Washington. Assisted suicide has been legal for several years, and now a bill has been filed to require a university study into alleged “barriers facing Washington’s residents to the Death with Dignity Act,” and to have that study recommend changes in the law to break down such barriers. From HB 2419 (my emphasis):

The University of Washington shall conduct a study of the ability of Washington residents to make use of the rights established under this chapter. The study shall review the extent to which there are barriers to achieving full access to the Washington death with dignity act, including:

  • a lack of awareness of the Act;
  • the 15-day waiting period;
  • concerns that inhibit participation of health care providers;
  • hospital, medical, hospice, and long-term care providers’ policies that restrict the participation and distribution of information about the Act;
  • geographic access to pharmacies that dispense medications related to the Act;
  • restrictions based on the self-administration requirement;
  • lack of insurance coverage for the services and medications necessary to participate in the Act;
  • the need for improvements to the data collection system;
  • and any other barriers identified in the course of performing the study.

The emphasized items, now called “barriers,” were lauded as protections in the campaign to convince voters to legalize assisted suicide. The 15-day waiting period is supposed to ensure that no one commits suicide based on a transitory desire. (Oregon has already shortened that time in some cases.) Conscience protections to protect doctors from having to participate are now depicted as “concerns that inhibit participation.” Self-administration has been frequently called the most important protection because it prevents patients from being killed by doctors directly through lethal injection or by relatives.

What does this bill tell us? Assisted-suicide advocates are, if nothing else, profoundly cynical and disingenuous about maintaining “strict guidelines to protect against abuse” (which aren’t rigorous anyway). Remember that the next time they try to pull the old razzle-dazzle in a state where you live.

Most Popular

Culture

Thank You, Kanye West

It was “a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high.” So said Kanye West, who recently declared, via Twitter, that he was running for president, on the “Birthday Party” ticket. It’s about the best explanation I’ve heard for the non-coronavirus that plagues us. There’s ... Read More
Culture

Thank You, Kanye West

It was “a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high.” So said Kanye West, who recently declared, via Twitter, that he was running for president, on the “Birthday Party” ticket. It’s about the best explanation I’ve heard for the non-coronavirus that plagues us. There’s ... Read More
Education

The Case for Reopening Schools

On the menu today: My reader who is the head of research for a top-ten hospital weighs in on how to get kids back into classrooms safely this fall, a blathering Biden comment I missed that could have gotten his Twitter account suspended, and California’s state government tries to implement an ambitious ... Read More
Education

The Case for Reopening Schools

On the menu today: My reader who is the head of research for a top-ten hospital weighs in on how to get kids back into classrooms safely this fall, a blathering Biden comment I missed that could have gotten his Twitter account suspended, and California’s state government tries to implement an ambitious ... Read More
Markets

Panic on ESG Street

The sub-headline in a Financial Times story on the anguished reaction of some asset managers to the Trump administration’s belated (if modest) efforts to protect the threat to pensioners' investment returns represented by “socially responsible” investing (SRI) shows where the paper’s sympathies lie (not ... Read More
Markets

Panic on ESG Street

The sub-headline in a Financial Times story on the anguished reaction of some asset managers to the Trump administration’s belated (if modest) efforts to protect the threat to pensioners' investment returns represented by “socially responsible” investing (SRI) shows where the paper’s sympathies lie (not ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don't many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don't many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist ... Read More
Culture

The Fragility of the Woke

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics. She won a huge audience, as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the ... Read More
Culture

The Fragility of the Woke

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics. She won a huge audience, as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the ... Read More

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

Fade In: The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified. Off to the side, Miranda’s ... Read More

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

Fade In: The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified. Off to the side, Miranda’s ... Read More
National Review

Saturday Night with Bill Buckley

Our late founder rules tonight (July 11) on C-SPAN2, which marks its Summer Series program by rebroadcasting nearly six straight hours of discussions of select books and one in-depth interview on Bill’s overall body of work. Here’s the lineup (times are Eastern): 8:01 p.m.: A 1993 interview with Brian Lamb ... Read More
National Review

Saturday Night with Bill Buckley

Our late founder rules tonight (July 11) on C-SPAN2, which marks its Summer Series program by rebroadcasting nearly six straight hours of discussions of select books and one in-depth interview on Bill’s overall body of work. Here’s the lineup (times are Eastern): 8:01 p.m.: A 1993 interview with Brian Lamb ... Read More