Liberal Dr. Byock unpacks the euphemisms.
- As someone who supports all those other liberal causes, yet opposes physician-assisted suicide, I’d ask my fellow progressives to shine a cold hard light on this issue. We have been the target of a decades-long branding campaign that paints hastening death as an extension of personal freedoms. We should bring the same skepticism to physician-assisted suicide that we do to fracking and genetically modified food.
- “The phrase “right to die” is brilliant branding. You will not, however, find any such right within the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights or U.S. Constitution. Americans have a constitutional right to refuse life-prolonging treatments. But there’s a big difference between being allowed to die of your disease and having a doctor intentionally end your life.”
- In the 1990s, proponents in Oregon campaigned to legalize physician-assisted suicide in cases of unrelievable physical suffering. Oregon Health Authority research, however, shows that more than 75% of those who took that option didn’t cite pain as a concern. Their issues were emotional or existential: feeling a burden to family, loss of autonomy or inability to do things they enjoy.