Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Right Knows and Loves Jack Kevorkian.

Debra Saunders, columnist for the

Star Tribune and wife of the ubiquitous anti-choice in dying activist Wesley J. Smith, writes about the upcoming movie about Jack Kevorkian, "You Don't Know Jack," starrring Al Pacino.

As the left loves Rush Limbaugh for the buffoonery he makes of Republican positioning, the right loves Kevorkian for the example they say he makes of Death with Dignity. He is their "straw man" in the "death panel," and euthanasia opposition to health care reform.

Saunders accuses Fox News' Cavuto of being too easy on Kevorkian in his interviews last week and says "fawning interviewers" don't know jack about Kevorkian. Yet, Cavuto works salatious terms and accusations to make Kevorkian as ridiculous as he can. It's a sad exposure of a man who has gone too far.

Advocates for Death with Dignity would in some most ways agree. Kevorkian practiced a method of aid in dying that most oppose: assisting those patients who wish to die by administering the drugs himself.

Death with Dignity laws in the two states where they have been adopted, Oregon and Washington, require that a terminal patient of sound mind administer lethal doctor-prescribed medication themselves.

What anti-choice in dying advocates love about Kevorkian is that he represents the extreme end of assisted suicide in the US; and at 81 and quite unconventional, he makes a perfect straw man for their views. Because his health is ailing they get to ask why, if he believes in taking lives when encumbered by illness and disease, he's still around, thus distracting the public from the real issue at the heart of aid in dying.

Saunders has her witty fun with the movie's title and continues what has become so pervasive in the discourse about Death with Dignity and health care reform in the US - blatant lies in order to fire emotions that could prevent elimination of suffering for a few who choose it (DwD) or access to health care for the 40 million Americans who need it.

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