Of the right to die movement. ‘The Hemlock Society’ became ‘Compassion and Choices.’ Softer and fuzzier. ‘Physician assisted suicide’ became ‘aid in dying.’ Soften people up with the language first. Let it sink in slowly.

It’s working.

From the opinion section of USA Today:

As people become more comfortable with end-of-life choices and more accurate information becomes available, this important subject will likely evolve into a more acceptable idea (”Physician-assisted suicide quietly gains ground,” Our view, ‘Death with dignity’ debate, July 20).

Washington state and Oregon are proving by their statistics that this liberty to choose at the end of life is a safe and practical concept.

I encourage USA TODAY to use the phrase “aid in dying,” rather than “assisted suicide,” because it is more accurate and carries a less negative connotation.

“Suicide” implies trauma and violence; “aid in dying” is an ameliorative method of getting through a process that has already begun.

Dr. Mark Mostert is only one expert who strongly disagrees.

What’s most remarkable about the story is it counters just about all the points the other side uses to frighten and mislead people. Charlie shows that while caring for Jessica is no picnic, it’s not the horrible torture and hell that the pro-death side says most of us will face as our lives come to an end.

Here, along with some suffering, to be sure, is true dignity, true joy, and a palpable sense of love.

Love and dignity are not helium-filled plastic bags. They are not cold, calculated killings in a dingy apartment in Switzerland.

What’s he referring to there?

Dignitas has become infamous lately because of the many people from the UK who have flocked to their killing facility (read: grubby apartment, strange looking people) in Switzerland. Many of these cases have been widely reported in the media. Dan James. Craig Ewert. The list goes on and on.

I predicted that instead of revealing the lie that assisted suicide is a heinously selfish and soulless act, the pro-death spin would be that the UK laws would be made to be the culprit – that’s it’s not fair or kind to ship people off to unfamiliar places in Europe to commit assisted suicide. They should be allowed to do it at home in familiar surroundings.

Like…

Spin 2: If the majority want it, it must be right. Laws should be changed if 8 out of 10 people think they should be changed. That’s how we’ll make it safe and legal for you to have someone help you kill yourself.

Really? Let’s remember that history is full of examples where some very nasty things happened based on popular opinion. Sterilization comes to mind. I’m willing to bet that most of the 80% are significantly misinformed – no, lied to – and that they are responding to pro-death propaganda.

Here’s a response to pro-death propaganda. And here and here.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....