I have always believed that liberals should be the euthanasia movement’s natural enemies. The liberalism to which I committed myself in my youth was concerned with expanding the moral community by ending ­racism and protecting weak and vulnerable people against exploitation and abuse. Today’s liberalism is ­increasingly concerned with ­advancing personal desires at the expense of societal norms. It favors narrative and appeals to emotion more than principle.

Perhaps that is why movement liberalism increasingly embraces the cause of legalizing assisted suicide. Gone are the days when social outlaws and unhinged advocates like Jack Kevorkian and Derek Humphry represented the “movement.” Its leaders are now mostly well-tailored (and well-paid) professional advocates who consciously seek to tie assisted suicide to more popular liberal causes such as feminism, gay rights, and abortion. They focus intensely on personal stories of suffering and avoid discussing the impact that legalized killing as an answer to human suffering would have on society and its most vulnerable populations.

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