By Sandra Kucharski, MS, RN
As residents of Colorado begin another battle to defeat doctor prescribed suicide in their state, proponents are consistently trying to sell their message as "medical aid in-dying,” while opponents insist that the correct and accurate terminology is "assisted suicide." While proponents want the local media to use their language, one Colorado television station isn't buying the proponents’ rhetoric.
Supporters of the measure argue the word “suicide” is too friendly to the opposition because it may make you think of someone who ends their life for no good reason.
In contrast, the proposed law does require a reason: you’d need to be diagnosed with a terminal illness to get a life-ending prescription.
But in plain English, that’s still “suicide.”
Words matter. Language matters. Those who want to re-engineer our society to suit their preferences know that if you can change how people talk about a thing, you change how they think about.
That’s why we consistently speak of the “baby” and “the unborn child”, rather than the (albeit accurate) “fetus”, because the latter attempts to dehumanize. Likewise, suicide is still suicide, no matter what they want to call it.
Sandra is a registered nurse and a member of the MCFL Board of Directors. She spoke at our 2016 Convention.