Lewis: Four months is not enough for a full debate on euthanasia

By Charlie Lewis

Just like everyone who has taken a role in trying to combat euthanasia, I am well aware of the poll numbers on societal support for government-sponsored killing. But numbers, no matter how high, lay flat on a page. They carry no emotion and nor do they reveal the depth of support. Someone's "yes" may be weaker than another person's "yes." 

I got a real taste of what real enthusiastic support for assisted suicide sounds and feels like. 

Last week, Bill Maher, the most obnoxious liberal talk show host in history of media, was interviewing California's Deputy-Governor, Gavin Newsom. Newsom, a Democrat, is tall, boyish and handsome with a full head of dark hair. He already has said he'll runs for governor and do not be surprised if his name pops up shortly after that as a likely presidential candidate. He is Kennedyesque, as Americans like to say.

Maher's interview was more of a love in. He and Newsom share the same views on a host of issues, including easy access to abortion, limiting carbon dioxide emissions and, as it turns out, assisted suicide. Newsom listed his government's accomplishments to which the audience responded with polite applause to every item ticked off. But they saved their most explosive applause for when Newsom noted legalized assisted suicide as one of those achievements. 
It is not a surprise that those sitting in the studio to watch Maher lean left. Nor is it a surprise that Maher and his audience support assisted suicide — though I will never understand why legalized assisted suicide became such an American liberal project.

In the past, American liberals were an important driver of such things as civil rights, equal protection under the law, fair hiring, equal work for equal pay and voting rights for the country's black citizens, the right to health care. Most will agree that these causes were justified and life affirming.

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