Wesley J. Smith: Helping Mother Starve to Death a ‘Sacrament’

Washington Post Building

(NRO) – The Washington Post published an irresponsible puff piece that effectively grants moral permission to elderly people to commit suicide by self-starvation — known in euthanasia parlance as VSED (“voluntary stop eating and drinking”) — and quasi-teaches them how to do it.

Of course, the story doesn’t put it that way. Instead, reporter Tara Bahrampour deploys euphemistic language to soften the harshness of the whole thing into pretty pastels. The word “suicide” — which is accurate and descriptive — never appears. Instead, it is called “ending life by fasting.”

The suicide-by-starvation death of Rosemary Bowen, a 94-year old woman — who decided she didn’t want to be a burden after a fall — serves as the pretext for this pro-suicide propaganda. From the story:

At 94, the retired school reading specialist was active and socially engaged in her Friendship Heights neighborhood, swimming each day, cooking and cleaning for herself, and participating in walking groups, a book club and a poetry cafe. Doctors assured her that with physical therapy and a back brace, she would probably recover in about three months.

Instead, she announced to her family and friends that she had decided to terminate her life by fasting. After saying her goodbyes, she stopped eating, and in the early morning of the eighth day of her fast, she died in her sleep.

Probably after falling into a coma, but never mind. CONTINUE