Human Exceptionalism

Must Reading: The New Task Force “Update” Is Out

The International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide is the best single source of information on assisted suicide and euthanasia that there is. Moreover, the good folks at the Task Force are responsible for persuading me of the overriding importance of euthanasia as a public policy issue. I was quite happy at the time working against tort reform and writing books with Ralph Nader. Then, a friend killed herself under the influence of Hemlock Society literature, which I wrote about in the My Turn section of Newsweek (“The Whispers of Strangers,” 6/28/93). The Task Force contacted me for permission to reprint my piece in Update, the Task Force newsletter. And they began sending me information. The more I learned about the euthanasia agenda, the more alarmed I became. And soon I was working with the Task Force as an attorney and consultant, a relationship that continues quite satisfactorily to this day.

Returning to the Update: It is just a superb source of news about assisted suicide, food and fluids cases, bioethics, Futile Care Theory, and etc. from all around the world. The new edition is out. Among the stories: The latest news on Dutch infanticide; the Canadian legislation that would permit what I call “wild” euthanasia, (a term coined by author Robert Jay Lifton); and Missouri’s change of the Medicaid law to call feeding tubes “optional,” in many cases. Even though the Task Force is unequivocally anti-euthanasia, the reporting in the Update is straight. For anyone interested in the topic, whether pro or con, the Update is definitely must reading.