Media's use of pro-euthanasia talking points hides intent of bill

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Charlie Butts (

elderly patientOpponents of doctor-assisted suicide are gearing up for a major battle in New York – and the media appears to have chosen whose side they're on.

Proponents of medical aid in dying (MAID) have taken the issue to New York's legislature repeatedly over the past several years but have failed to gain passage. Christina Fadden, chair of New York State Right to Life, tells OneNewsNow they even tried to impose it on New York through the courts.

"In 2017, we were thrilled that our New York State Court of Appeals, which is our highest level court, ruled unanimously, 7-0, that the state does have an interest in protecting life and not authorizing assisted suicide," she recalls.

But she says proponents didn't accept that ruling and have been persistent at the state capitol. A new bill filed for the current two-year session is loaded with vague language to make it more saleable, says Fadden.

"They market it as something else and then they push based on that," she explains, "and they just keep pushing and pushing – and unfortunately, most of the media will adopt their talking points a lot of times. So the real intent of the bill doesn't get out."

Compassion & Choices, a major proponent of the legislation, claims a recent survey it commissioned indicates that by a two-to-one margin, physicians in the Empire State support medical aid in dying; and that 67 percent of physicians either "strongly" or "somewhat" support the proposed legislation.

That may be why Fadden says the key is the electorate – and not groups like Compassion & Choices. She is hopeful New York residents especially, but others around the U.S., will join in an intense phone, mail, and email campaign to urge government officials to reject the legislation.

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