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Caution: language change ahead

BY MICHAEL COOK

February 16, 2015 (MercatorNet.com) A group of right-to-die activists is searching for a new word for suicide by conducting an internet poll. They’ve got their work cut out for them.The results of the survey, which is being promoted on the website of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, could be helpful in shaping a better public image for assisted suicide. (Fill in the survey here, if you like.)
The concern is that the word “suicide” is dismal. It evokes nooses, ovens, bullets, insecticide and 20-storey buildings. When Gallup asked people in 2013 if they approved of doctors “end[ing] the patient’s life by some painless means”, 70 percent said Yes. When they asked if they approved of doctors helping patients “to commit suicide”, that figure dropped to 51 percent. The word “suicide” radiates the baddest of bad vibes.
To supporters of assisted suicide, a self-chosen but violent death is a symptom of depression, a clinical condition which can often be treated successfully with medication. “This is very different from the situation in which suffering, terminally ill individuals choose to hasten their dying,” the survey says. “Such individuals wish to end their life in a peaceful and dignified manner, at home, with family around them. To most people, this is something else, not suicide.
”What is this dignified way of shuffling off the mortal coil to be called?

“Hard as it is to believe, the English language has no word for this different kind of dying, this hastening of death. The purpose of this survey is to find out if there might be a word or phrase that can be widely used to denote this different kind of dying.”

The survey asks readers what they think of the following terms: Continues…

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