"Aid in Dying" IS Assisted Suicide

The article was published on Wesley Smith's blog on February 11.

Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

By Wesley Smith

Sophistry, redefinition of terms, blurring vital distinctions, postmodern deconstruction of words–such are the weapons wielded by assisted suicide ideologues as they work unceasingly to undermine Hippocratic medical values and promote suicide as a “medical treatment.”

Here in California, the assisted suicide pushing attorney, Kathryn Tucker, has filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that assisted suicide isn’t assisted suicide when a terminally ill persons kill themselves with an overdose of drugs provided by a doctor. From the complaint:

21. California’s Assisted Suicide Statute provides that “[e]very person who deliberately aids, or advises, or encourages another to commit suicide, is guilty of a felony.” This statute does not reference physicians providing aid in dying to terminally ill, mentally competent persons. 
22. “Aid in dying” is a recognized term of art for the medical practice of providing a mentally competent, terminally ill patient with a prescription for medication that the patient may choose to ingest in order to bring about a peaceful death if the patient finds his dying process unbearable. It is recognized that what is causing the death of a patient choosing aid in dying is the underlying terminal illness.

This is utter nonsense; Dadaism as a legal theory.

The case should be laughed out of court. But I can’t predict judicial hilarity: The case was filed in San Francisco, and not by accident. Anything can happen within that city’s limits.
This redefinitional thrust was rejected out of hand in Connecticut a few years ago. But it succeeded at the trial court level in New Mexico (now on appeal), and so, I can’t say that California won’t legalize assisted suicide by simply calling it something else.

Link to the full article