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Death With Aesthetics

We don’t speak plainly in public discourse anymore. Rather, we equivocate and deploy euphemisms to sanitize our debates. Take the passing of Brittany Maynard by her own hand, which the media has repeatedly characterized as an act of “dignity.” To be sure, Maynard died with human dignity—but not because she committed suicide. Human dignity is intrinsic. Indeed, to accept the premise of suicide as death with dignity says—or at least strongly implies—that patients who expire naturally die with indignity. Continue Reading »

Of Michael Landon and Brittany Maynard

Michael Landon, the hugely popular television star of BonanzaLittle House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven, died in 1991 at age fifty-four. Landon’s last act—if you will—was widely hailed as his best: He publicly announced his diagnosis with terminal pancreatic cancer, appeared on the Tonight Show to openly discuss his pending death with Johnny Carson (almost unprecedented back then), and gave several interviews announcing his determination to hang on until the end. He told Life, “If I’m gonna die, death’s gonna have to do a lot of fighting to get me.” Continue Reading »

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I was first drawn into fighting assisted suicide when a depressed elderly friend committed suicide under the influence of Hemlock Society literature. Not only had the group’s suicide-porn given Frances moral permission to kill herself, but they had taught her precisely how to do it.These kinds . . . . Continue Reading »

Honest Nitschke

Philip Nitschke, as I have repeatedly written, believes essentially in death on demand. He says so again in the wake of the suicide of woman he “counseled:”“Nitschke insisted that healthy people of sound mind, who were mature enough, should have the right to take their own lives if . . . . Continue Reading »

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