WORD ON LANGUAGE
AUTHORS OF ALL FUTURE BOOKS
Even tho the Library of Congress will classify your
under "EUTHANASIA" and/or "ASSISTED SUICIDE",
you should avoid such expressions in your title and text.
Other code-words used unreflectively by advocates of
include: "hastened death" and "medication".
The following links lead to careful discussions
of each inappropriate expression and suggestions for alternatives
that do not create the same misunderstandings and other possible
is a better expression than "euthanasia".
aid-in-dying" is a better expression than "physician-assisted suicide".
is a better expression than "hastened death".
chemicals" is a better expression than "medication".
Especially if we have been involved in the
right-to-die movement for a few years,
we might have become so familiar with our code-words
that we have lost sensitivity to what these words might mean
to readers and hearers encountering them for the very first
Also, people opposed to the right-to-die have given
even worse connotations
to the words used most commonly in the right-to-die debate.
Therefore, we need to update
so that our expressions do not automatically trigger negative
for the people in the middle.
I will continue to review books on the right-to-die
for the rest of my life.
And I will warn authors who favor the right-to-die against using these
Authors, do your best to use those expressions
that cannot easily be
distorted by the opposition.
You will spend many hours writing and revising your books.
Why not improve them in these easy ways?
If any editors of right-to-die books are reading
please share these thoughts with your authors.
At least some of them will be willing to change their language
for the sake of less ambiguous communication.
And the authors of new legislation should also avoid
these misleading expressions,
especially when words such as "medication" and "prescription"
have been used for hundreds of years to describe meaningful purposes
entirely different from the desire to create a peaceful and painless
When other misleading and easily-distorted
expressions are identified,
they can be added to this beginning list of four bad words.
1-13-2008; Revised 1-19-2008; 2-7-2008; 4-8-2012