Human Exceptionalism

Hucksterism Behind Brittany Maynard Media Blitz

I have had two great mentors in public advocacy work. The first, Ralph Nader, with whom I co-authored four books.

The second, Rita Marker–whose book Deadly Compassion compelled me to leave my former work in 1993 to advocate on behalf of human exceptionalism and the equal dignity of all human life. I’ve never looked back, and indeed, continue to work as a paid consultant to the Patients Rights Council, which Rita directs.

She has a piece out in the American Thinker that looks at the proverbial man behind the curtain orchestrating the Brittany Maynard media frenzy. From, “A Deadly Campaign Masked as a Personal Decision.”

This explosion of coverage was due to a public campaign facilitated by Compassion & Choices (the former Hemlock Society) to legalize Oregon-style doctor-prescribed suicide in every state.

The organization has established the Brittany Maynard Fund to raise money for political campaigns to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in targeted states across the country.

And, to strengthen the resolve of the young woman for whom the campaign is named, Compassion & Choices has posted “Britanny’s Card” on its website. “Let’s get 1 million people to sign Britanny’s card,” states the message, adding, “Sign the card and let Brittany know you support her bravery in this very tough time.”

Wow. Does anyone think C & C would be doing that if Maynard wanted hospice (or indeed, would have mounted the media blitz)?  Not. On. A Bet.

Rita is right: The card-signing campaign pushes Maynard to carry through with suicide. What else could be meant by “support her bravery”?

Perhaps worse, C & C sees Maynard as an evergreen money tree:

But sending a message comes with a catch. In a startling note of hucksterism, the site states that “By signing Brittany’s Card, you agree to receive periodic communication from Compassion & Choices.”

Meaning, continual requests for donations.

I have seen repeatedly shocked at the cynical manipulations that erupt from time-to-time from assisted suicide volcano. But this crass using of Maynard’s tragedy–albeit with her cooperation–including applauding her planned suicide, is the most cynical of all. 


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