Human Exceptionalism

Ouch! Maligned by “Dignity in Dying”

The UK euthanasia group “Dignity in Dying” worries that “the religious right is on the march.” Reporting on the Toronto World Federation of Right to Die Societies Convention in its Autumn 2006 newsletter, we learn that my name apparently came up in the discussions. As usual, these purveyors of suicide and mercy killing got the facts totally wrong:

“Even more worrying for supporters of end-of-life choice, Wesley Smith, a prominent Creationist, is leading a drive to introduce legislation in many states that will legalize forced feeding of dying patients. The ‘religious right’ is also looking to strike down living wills wherever they can, thereby thwarting the patient’s right to choice.”

As Jack Benny used to say, “Well!” First, not only am I not a “prominent” Creationist, in fact, I am not a Creationist at all. Nor do I discuss religion in my work, much less express any opinions about the origin of humankind. Second, I support the signing of advance medical directives, and if you doubt it, read Forced Exit or Culture of Death. Moreover, I have signed one. Third, I am not leading any efforts in any states to require forced feeding of dying patients. I was part of an effort, the Nebraska Humane Care Amendment, that was designed primarily to prevent discrimination against disabled and dying people by first, outlawing futile care theory deprivation of wanted food and water, and second, requiring that the removal of food and water from incapacitated patients designed to cause death only be done if the patient had signed an advance directive so instructing.

At least they spelled my name right.

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