“Do you want a solution or do you want an issue?” That is an old political challenge to the ideologue. Our Sr. Fellow Wesley J. Smith, who coined the term “human exceptionalism”, is a pronounced opponent of assisted suicide. There are proponents who seem to want the “issue” more than any compromise that fails to provide easy access to suicide–which is to say, a choice made under duress.
However, there are people on the side of allowing assisted suicide who are willing to recognize that most ill and hurting people in what may be the end of life mainly want surcease from pain. That is where hospice often comes in. The trouble is, the economic choice is often to continue fighting a disease OR to enter hospice. It is a Hobson’s choice, as Wesley Smith says–with Arthur Caplan of NYU –in this USA Today column.
Their proposal isn’t the only way forward or a full solution. But it is a step forward and an example of good will. Let’s see it progress–and see more ideas like it.