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the euphemist will see you now

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Nov 21, 2006

To carry out on a man an operation that he wouldn't otherwise consent to, you have to put him under anaesthetic first. When the operation in question is a change in morality, the anaesthetic is administered verbally. This from Oregon:

Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that works with about three-quarters of the Oregonians who end their lives with a doctor's prescription, has long lobbied the state to stop using [the term "suicide"].

Kathryn Tucker, the group's legal director, says "suicide" in this context is "inaccurate and inflammatory," because it confuses a rational decision by a dying patient with the desperate, often-violent act of self-killing.

Homicide salesmen just hate it when the customer is conscious.

(tip to Mark Shea, and an SMS from George Orwell)

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  • Posted by: pupil - Nov. 22, 2006 3:54 PM ET USA

    Msgr. William Smith often said: semantic engineering preceds social engineering. Precisely this kind of change in terminology was extremely successful in softening peoples opposition to abortion, when the advocates of baby killing started calling it "Termination of Pregnancy", and practically banned other terms from offical publications and dictionaries. This is more impotant than most of us realize and therefore we should fight it.

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