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A Hired Political Pollster Recommends Disingenuous Language Change for Those Advocates of Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide leaders held a press teleconference in order to promote new language choices to describe this issue.

Based on the advice of their hired political pollster, and focus groups he conducted, Assisted Suicide advocates bristle at the usage of the word “suicide” to describe the intentional taking of one’s life.

However, according to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, suicide is defined in the following way:

Main Entry: (1) sui*cide Pronunciation: ‘su-&-“sId Function: noun
(1) a : the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.

“Assisted Suicide advocates are trying to reframe the language used to describe state sanctioned suicide just as they have in the past when they changed their organization name Hemlock Society USA to the euphemism ‘Compassion & Choices’.

“But their problem continues to be that words have meaning,” noted Marilyn Golden of the Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund.

Author Wesley J. Smith wrote in response, “They (assisted suicide advocates) are always looking for just the right words and language to obfuscate that their agenda is about suicide and mercy killing… Rather than use accurate terms, media are urged to use gooey euphemisms instead…”

[9/28/2005 3:10:00 PM, SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 28 /U.S. Newswire/; Tim Rosales, 916-473-8866 ext. 7, for Californians Against Assisted Suicide]


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Press Release:

Californians for Compassionate Choices say ”Suicide” is Inaccurate, a Biased Term to Describe Terminally-Ill Patients’ End-of-Life Choices–

Public Opinion & Medical Experts Urge Media to Adopt Neutral Terms

Public opinion research released today shows that use of the term “suicide” to describe the end-of-life choices of terminally-ill patients is inaccurate and biases audiences against patients and their families.

“‘Suicide,’ or ‘assisted-suicide,’ or ‘physician-assisted suicide’ are loaded, pejorative terms that paint terminally-ill patients in the same negative light as terrorist bombers,” Barbara Coombs-Lee, co-president of Compassion and Choices told a national news media teleconference.

“‘Suicide’ is inaccurate because it indicates a self-destructive act that kills a person. Fatal diseases are killing terminally ill patients, and patients are choosing to avoid a prolonged dying process. Using the term ‘suicide’ can adversely-affect patients’ life insurance and other survivors’ benefits. Suicide is a sin in many religions, and physician-assisted suicide is a crime in all states. Using the term has negative impacts on terminally ill patients, their families and survivors. It’s not accurate and it’s not fair.”

[Press Release Source: Californians for Compassionate Choices; SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 28, 2005]