I recently had the privilege of hearing David Orentlicher talk on this subject. I was particularly struck by his observation that the legal landscape on this issue has changed accompanied by no change in moral views. He asserted, in short, that this is no same sex marriage-type issue. David, distinguishes between physician aid in dying and euthanasia.
I have been wondering about his observation ever since and whether they accurately reflect popular moral reasoning and understanding. And, today, along comes a Wall Street Journal article that contains a poll testing, in part, whether popular opinion distinguishes physician assisted dying and physician assisted suicide. You guessed it, many — but by no means all — move away from approval of anything characterized in any way as involving suicide but support it by another name.
Now I have to wonder if this desire to re-categorize and to re-name isn't, in fact, a sign of the changing moral valence attached to certain acts.