Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Can we please stop kidding ourselves?
From CNN:

More than one medical professional is under scrutiny as a possible person of interest as Louisiana's attorney general investigates whether hospital workers resorted to euthanasia in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina shattered New Orleans, a source familiar with the investigation has told CNN.
This is one of the most disturbing things I've ever read. Why? Because we are now euphemistically calling murder "euthanasia." Euthanasia was a euphemism to begin with. "Assisted suicide" was deemed to poll poorly, so they re-dubbed it euthanasia. Now, we are looking at a situation that was clearly not voluntary on the part of the deceased, and calling it euthanasia simply because the victims were old and possibly approaching death of natural causes.



Dave Justus said...

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not necessarily synonyms. Assisted suicide would be a form of euthanasia, but not all euthanasia is assisted suicide.

In particular, killing someone who is comotose is not an assisted suicide, which is what may have happened in this case.

I also don't necessarily agree that Euthanisia is the same as murder. Adminstering a Coupe d'Grace for example, would be euthanasia but not murder in most cases.

RFTR said...

Mr. Justus raises a good point (about assisted suicide/euthanasia). But he misses mine.

I am not saying that euthanasia and murder are the same thing—in fact, I'm saying quite the opposite.

I'm saying that, in this context, CNN is treating them as synonyms when they clearly shouldn't be. Sure, a coup de grace is euthanasia and not murder—because it is desired by its recipient.

The actions taken by these "care-givers" in New Orleans cannot be counted as such. This was murder, and calling it euthanasia is deceptive and dangerous.