The latest AP story on the Final Exit Network investigation is out. This link is to SignonSanDiego.com:
Barbara Coombs Lee, president of the national advocacy group Compassion and Choices, said prosecuting assisted suicide only drives it underground.
“It’s not the way to make it safe. The plastic bag is sort of the end-of-life equivalent of the coat hanger,” she said.
There’s only one way to interpret this spin by Coombs Lee. The solution to the “coat hanger” was the legalization of abortion. Since the Final Exit Network openly provides “help” to people who are NOT terminally ill, she has to be testing the waters here – and indicating a new willingness to move to a broader agenda in terms of legalization. After all, the kinds of people that Final Exit Network “helps” wouldn’t be eligible in Oregon. It would take a much more expansive law to put them out of business, using Coombs Lee’s analogy, wouldn’t it?
But Stephen Drake of the group Not Dead Yet, an advocacy group for the disabled that opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia, said he wonders why the Final Exit Network’s activities are not classified as murder.
“It’s like approaching somebody who is on the ledge of a building and giving them a shove instead of pulling them back,” he said.
Unfortunately, this is slightly out of context, since my remarks about “murder” were made in reference to the reports that Final Exit volunteers hold people’s hands down to keep them from tearing the “exit bag” off. The remark about the ledge was when I was asked to provide a general characterization of them.
More later. I’m sure this is just beginning. –Stephen Drake