Human Exceptionalism

Post Washington Assisted Suicide–Giving a Whole New Meaning to the Word Aloha: Here Comes Hawaii

In my recent First Things article on the passage of I-1000’s assisted suicide license, I warned:

And with that success, the sails of the ghost ship Euthanasia rippled with the briskly rising breeze, and once again began to plow through the waves toward other shores, far and near. Soon, legislation will be introduced to legalize assisted suicide in state throughout the country–California, Vermont, Arizona, Wisconsin, Hawaii, perhaps Ohio, and others–to make it Oregon-plus-two, -three, -four, and -five.

Of course, this was hardly a prognostication of Nostradamus prescience. The game that is afoot is obvious. And it didn’t take long for the agitating to begin. Hawaii’s Star Bulletin newspaper editorialized in favor of assisted suicide based on the passage in Oregon. From the editorial:

Washington has become the second state to approve a Death With Dignity Act allowing physician-assisted suicide. Hawaii has come close to doing the same since a gubernatorial panel recommended it 10 years ago and should give serious consideration to the issue in the coming legislative session.

Like the Oregon law, the Washington proposition contains safeguards limiting eligibility to state residents who are mentally competent, have obtained assessment by two physicians that they have six months or less to live, wait 15 days and then affirm their decision orally and in writing. It was approved last Tuesday by 59 percent of those who voted on the issue.

It even buys into the ridiculous notion that legalizing assisted suicide saves lives put forward by Dr. Timothy Quill, described as an “expert on end of life issues”:

In the absence of a Death With Dignity law, terminally ill patients may rely on “last resorts,” which Quill wrote in last month’s Journal of Clinical Oncology include “the secret practice of physician-assisted death” that might exceed Oregon’s rate of legal doctor-assisted deaths.

Unmentioned in his identification is the highly relevant fact that Quill is an adamant assisted suicide advocate who came to fame in 1991 by writing about how he assisted the suicide of “Diane,” one of his cancer patients.

Unmentioned too are all the abuses that have come to light in Oregon (here, here, and here, to mention just a few), which we have highlighted here at SHS. But that is the typical media approach these days: Act as Pravda for issues and candidates they like and withhold important information from readers/viewers that could reflect badly on the pet causes/candidates. They often succeed in obtaining what they want by turning journalism into propaganda. But media are dying on the vine and this is one of the reasons.

If we are not careful, Hawaii could give a whole new meaning to the word, “aloha.”

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