Euphemisms as Political Manipulation

Americans have lost the art of honest debate. Perhaps better stated, we have thrown it away. Advocates on all sides of political and cultural spectrums cynically manipulate public opinion through focus group–tested obfuscating words and phrases rather than persuade through candid and accurate descriptions of advocacy agendas. I have grappled with this tactic for over twenty years as an activist Read More ›

The Coercive Freedom of Choice

We are becoming a society in which “choice” and self-defined identities trump once-common values and traditional beliefs. But contrary to the rhetoric of its defenders, this shift is not a simple advance for freedom. The privileging of “choice” above all else in fact requires re-engineering the human person and society as a whole, and this will inevitably involve a great Read More ›

Gosnell Not An Abberation

Some have taken cold comfort in the hope that late term abortion/infanticide is an aberration. But that isn’t necessarily so, either in practice, or more particularly, in advocacy. Indeed, the idea that it is ethical to kill newborns—whether after a botched abortion or after normal birth—has been gaining traction for many years. Nor is the Gosnell trial the first case Read More ›

Medicinal Murder

The forty-five-year-old twin brothers had not contracted a terminal illness. Nor were Marc and Eddy Verbessem in physical pain. Both had been born deaf and were progressively losing their eyesight. As the Telegraph reported, “The pair told doctors that they were unable to bear the thought of not being able to see each other again,” and so wanted to die. Read More ›

Liverpool Care Pathway: The Road to Backdoor Euthanasia

Several years ago, bureaucrats at the United Kingdom’s National Health Service—a socialized system in which hospitals are funded and operated by the state—reacted to legitimate and widespread complaints from family members that their loved ones were dying in agony in NHS hospitals. In response, well-meaning pain-control experts created a protocol—known as the Liverpool Care Pathway—which, among other provisions, informed doctors Read More ›

Euthanasia’s Euphemisms

When a social movement must rely on euphemisms to obfuscate its goals, it is a good bet that there is something wrong with its agenda. From the very beginning of the modern movement, euthanasia advocates have euphemistically bent language as a means of convincing society to endorse killing—an accurate and descriptive term that simply means to end life—as an acceptable method Read More ›

Environmentalism’s Deep Misanthropy

David Attenborough—famous for hosting BBC’s The Living Planet and other nature documentaries—has recently drawn headlines for lambasting humans as a “plague on the Earth.” That someone of Attenborough’s stature (he has been knighted, among other official honors, and is so popular in the U.K. that he was named one the One-Hundred Greatest Britons in a 2002 BBC poll) would compare Read More ›

2013 Will Be a Contentious Year in Bioethics

I have become so good at predicting the future in bioethics, I sometimes scare myself. I was very prescient in 2011, and nearly perfect in 2012. (I wish I had the same talent when it comes to the stock market.) And now, the fog is lifting, the coming year in bioethics coming into focus. Oh! I see agitation. I see litigation. I Read More ›

No Religious Cleansing of Bioethics

“In Defense of Irreligious Bioethics” (Murphy 2012) was one of the most perplexing articles I have ever read in a bioethics journal. Mostly, the author complains bitterly about the unjust and unpredictable manner in which the nonexistent deity answers or ignores prayer. Indeed, the article struck me as the written equivalent of a man standing on a box in Hyde Read More ›

Mark O’Brien’s Triumph (It Wasn’t About Sex)

When I was a child, I was terrified of polio. Even more, I feared the disease’s vivid icon: the iron lung. I still remember my horror at the thought of being encased in metal looking at the world through an angled mirror installed above my head. I was an early recipient of the vaccine, and stopped fearing polio while still Read More ›