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Thursday, February 13, 2014
NYT Bias: The Unethical Support for Assisted Suicide
A few days ago the New York Times published an article on its front page, “Aid in Dying Movement Takes Hold in Some States”, by Erik Eckholm. Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/us/easing-terminal-patients-path-to-death-legally.html?hp&_r=0 As an opponent of assisted suicide, I cringe when I read most articles published by the NYT that discuss end of life issues. I bemoan the lack of journalistic rigor, questionable ethics, and sloppy language used by Eckholm and many others who have published articles in the NYT on end of life issues. For the last week I tried to ignore what Eckholm had written. Yet I was and remain angry. I am not angry at Eckholm or the NYT. I am angry for the people who read this article and thought it was “fair”. There was nothing “fair” about this article. My anger does not stem from disagreement. I am happy to engage those I disagree with and do so on a regular basis. What angered me was how grossly one sided the article was. Those unfamiliar with the heated debate surrounding assisted suicide will completely miss the fact the article and author are grossly biased. For instance, Eckholm wrote Compassion and Choices, the leading advocacy group for assisted suicide, believes “giving a fading patient the opportunity for a peaceful and dignified death is not suicide”. Out of context this appears to be a given. We all have the right to die with dignity. We want to insure people in their final hours have a peaceful death. We all want a compassionate end of life. We all care about the elderly, disabled, and terminally ill. We do not want these people to suffer. Eckholm presents assisted suicide as being about the milk of human kindness.