Euthanasia and Newspeak

A recent article at MercatorNet, Doctors will have to lie on euthanasia death certificates, notes that the interim report on euthanasia/ assisted suicide, presently being considered by the Victorian State Parliament, follows the Canadian practice of attempting to elide the nature of the act, which is the deliberate killing of a patient, by calling it ‘voluntary assisted dying’ (the Canadians refer to ‘aid in dying’). Euthanasia and assisted suicide being mentioned once only and three times, respectively, and all only in quotations from submissions to the inquiry. The article mentions that a prominent reason for denying the deliberateness of the act involves attempts to have the practice of euthanasia not interfere with life insurance claims subsequently made by the deceased’s family. This certainly seems to be an important aspect to be avoided if they intend to embed the practice  in contemporary life. Added to this claim was the further claim that the “underlying terminal illness or disease that was the cause of death”, and therefore that a lethal injection administered by a doctor “just allowed [them] to die a bit ­earlier”. Yes, savor that ‘just’; deliberately killing someone by administering poison to their bodies just allows them to die a bit earlier. And what about the ‘allow’? You could be forgiven for thinking that the poison frees the patient from physical bondage, now allowing the disease to work its magic.

We should not be surprised that any attempt to inaugurate a regime of euthanasia would also require an Orwellian rhetoric that is tasked with masking the true character of such a regime.


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