24 November 2008

Further Movements on the Pro-Death Front

A few weeks ago, I wrote the Call to Arms post about euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS), and I pointed out that the pro-death advocates are doing everything they can to make EAS legal in Canada. They are a slick, sophisticated machine, and the next part of their plan is marching on smoothly. They are either manipulating, or have taken over the media, and are using the media to show EAS in a positive light. Case in point is the coverage of an upcoming criminal trial in Quebec.

Stephane Dufour's trial begins tomorrow in Quebec. He is charged under s .241 of the Criminal Code with helping his uncle to commit suicide- by hanging. That's right, the charge is assisted suicide, and he assisted in the hanging. His uncle was unable to kill himself, so dear sweet nephew Stephane helped him to hang himself. The media coverage is turning this into a debate about whether EAS should be legal in Canada, but the legal question to be answered at trial is if Mr. Dufour assisted in the suicide or not- there is no great public policy question to be answered here- it was answered in R. v. Rodriguez when the Supreme Court found that s. 241 is constitutional. But that doesn't matter to the media. They are reporting that this case is all about the "right to die".

Yahoo's poll of the day today was "Should Canada legalize assisted suicide" and when I voted, it was 59% yes, 41% no. While the poll is not scientific, it does show that we have a lot of work to do. The pro-death movement, assisted by the media has made great strides in changing public opinion by relabeling the terms of the debate.

Read the Lifesite News version of the story here.

Read the Canadian Press version here.

Note the way each group uses language to make their point.

And be very, very worried about the mainstream media's coverage of the issue. In the Call to Arms post I encouraged everyone to contact their MP's about their feelings on EAS. I forgot to mention the HUGE role that the media plays in presenting and covering the issue. So, the task now, if we are to win in the court of public opinion (which of course the politicians listen to) is to make sure the media presents both sides of the story. The way to do that is by writing to your papers, TV stations and news websites. Give them feedback- let them know what you think about both the issue and their coverage of it. If a columnist writes a piece you disagree with, respond- e-mail addresses can invariably be found at the bottom of the column. If it is an online piece, leave a comment in the comment section. It doesn't take much time, and you might not think it will do anything, but it does. It lets the media know what its readers/viewers are thinking.

The time for passivity is gone. We need to speak now, before it is too late. Read and watch the news attentively, and whenever life issues come up, address them- discuss the news at work or school or with friends the next day, and, for the sake of LIFE, let the media outlet know how you feel. Our power comes from our voice, so let's use it!

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