The Human Life Foundation honored Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith with the 2008 Great Defender of Human Life Award on Thursday, October 16, 2008, in New York City.
“I am so humbled and honored to be named a Great Defender of Life by the Human Life Foundation in recognition of my efforts to prevent the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United States and around the world,” Smith said in accepting the award.
“I believe that the cause of defending human exceptionalism – the intrinsic and equal value and dignity of all human life – is the most important moral challenge facing Western Civilization in the 21st Century,” Smith continued. “One issue that explicitly denies human equality is assisted suicide/euthanasia, which has as its basic premise that some of our lives are so unworthy of being lived that if we want to kill ourselves, the state should permit facilitation of the suicide by doctors or others rather than engage in prevention. As such, it represents a profound abandonment of the weak and vulnerable, the very people most in need of support and unconditional love from their community. When we fight against assisted suicide, we promote human exceptionalism.”
Rita Marker, Executive Director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, was also honored. Bobby Schindler, brother of the late Terri Schiavo, presented the awards at the Union League Club during the foundation’s annual dinner. Schindler and his family now run the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps families fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Both honorees were involved in the effort to save Schiavo’s life.
Wesley Smith is the author of several books, including Forced Exit, Culture of Death, and Consumer’s Guide to the Brave New World. His daily blog Secondhand Smoke deals with issues like euthanasia, assisted suicide, human cloning, and the animal rights movement.