Friday, January 29, 2016

Assisted Suicide and Media


How media stars and media conglomerates soften resistance to physician-assisted suicide

By Dave Andrusko
Diane Rehm
Diane Rehm

Life has such an interesting way of lobbing coincidences at you. I had just finished writing “BBC to air documentary of man killing himself at Swizz suicide clinic,” which is exactly what the story is about. The BBC not only promotes physician- assisted suicide, it romanticizes killing oneself with assistance and makes it seem the only truly brave decision when someone is critically ill.
In this instance, next month the BBC is airing a 90-minute documentary about a man who flies to Switzerland to inject himself with a poisonous concoction. Apparently we will see everything, save the moment he actually dies.

The coincidence? When I finished I went upstairs and while a pot of coffee brewed, I read “Diane Rehm, loud and clear on life, love and death,” the latest in a never-ending series of puff pieces about talk show host Diane Rehm running in the Washington Post. (Rehm is located in Washington, DC. Her show airs on WAMU and is nationally syndicated on nearly 200 stations.)
It’s my experience that headlines online are often not only punchier than the ones in newsprint but also capture the author’s real intent. So the online headline is “Diane Rehm’s next act: Using her famed voice to fight for the good death.”

We’ve also written about Rehm before, not in uncritical adulation but to explain and analyze her consistently pro-death agenda. (There is a spot in Karen Heller’s profile where she says Rehm doesn’t like to talk about abortion anymore. If true, it would only be because Rehm’s in-kind contribution to the pro-abortion movement has reached some sort of statutory limitation.)
Already sympathetic to the “right to die” movement, Rehm was radicalized (I believe this is a fair characterization) by the death of her husband who starved himself to death over the course of ten days. That is now her crusade which she says she will take up full-throttle when she retires in 11 months.

We properly understand that Brittany Maynard’s assisted suicide was and is instrumental in changing—or at least softening—public resistance. But it is simply impossible to exaggerate the impact of the likes of Rehm and the BCC and artists such as novelist Sir Terry Pratchett in tilting the conversation in a pro-death direction.

Those of us who’ve been around for decades remember how that same dynamic helped to undermine abortion statutes in the 1960s and paved the way for the shoddy reasoning on display in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.
If you haven’t already, please read “BBC to air documentary of man killing himself at Swizz suicide clinic.”
Source: NRLC News

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