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Disabling Assisted Suicide: Why a deadly movement hasn't been contagious

Wesley J. Smith

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Just about year assisted-suicide advocacy groups insist that they are on the verge of their next big legalization breakthrough. In 1998 it was supposed to be in Michigan, via a voter initiative. Early polls showed the proposal leading by a wide margin. But when the smoke cleared, the measure lost by a whopping 71-29 percent.

Then, in 2000, a Maine initiative was going to prime the legalization pump....Yet, when the votes were cast and counted, Maine had rejected assisted suicide by 51-49 percent.

The next big threat came in Hawaii in May 2002...the bill failed 13-12...

All of this begs a crucial question: Why have American euthanasia activists, who triumphed so spectacularly when Oregon voters legalized physician-assisted suicide, been so spectacularly unsuccessful ever since? The answer, I think, is found in the following Rutland Herald description of what led to the apparent downfall of the Vermont bill:

The move comes after the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights, an advocacy group for the disabled, joined the Vermont Medical Society and Vermont Center for Independent Living [also closely affiliated with disability rights] in opposing the measure. It is also opposed by the Vermont Right to Life Committee and Burlington's Catholic Diocese.

Note the prominence given to disability-rights activists; ten years ago, such a sentence would never have appeared in a media report...

Read the entire article on the National Review Online website.

Posted: 2/24/04



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