Magazine May 28, 2018, Issue

The Wages of Death

Wheelchair-bound disabled protesters against physician-assisted suicide are silhouetted as they hold up a banner outside the Supreme Court, October 5, 2005. (Staff/Reuters)
Assisted suicide continues its inexorable expansion

Twenty-five years ago, Newsweek published my first essay. In the wake of my friend’s suicide under the influence of the Hemlock Society, I worried that some suicides would be “promoted as a virtue” if assisted suicide, or euthanasia, was ever accepted. (Assisted suicide involves a doctor’s knowingly prescribing drugs for use in the patient’s suicide; euthanasia involves a doctor’s lethally injecting the patient.) After that, I predicted, eligibility for hastened death would expand to those “who don’t have a good ‘quality’ of life,” “perhaps with the prospect of organ harvesting thrown in as a plum to society.”

I thought the essay

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We propose a total and complete shutdown of New York attorneys general until we can figure out what the hell is going on.

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