Diluting the Meaning of Life and Death
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Changes in semantics has diluted the meaning of abortion and euthanasia. Using political philosophy, this paper examines the treatment of terminology and linguistic choice and how they serve as a quiet catalyst for both movements. In the first chapter, the rhetorical question ‘what is death’ allows the readers of this thesis to ponder the finality of all that is living. The abortion chapter is chronologically structured beginning with an overview of state laws and national legislation criminalizing activity. Political movements, scientific advancements and new terminology are included and presented in a parallel manner. The euthanasia chapter reveals quite intriguing discoveries of priming and framing techniques. Research pertaining to historical connotations of good death and syntax was also conducted to expand this chapter. Peer reviewed articles, Supreme Court cases, books on death and even one piece of strategic management research was used to develop the thesis. The results are fascinating and divulge a litany of terms, titles and phrases used to describe two words – abortion and euthanasia. The resounding sentiment in the United States at this point in time (circa 2020) is to follow the science. In contrast, there seems to be a loss of appetite when the science leads in a direction opposite a preferred ideological path. Immoral activity that may have seemed unreasonable yesteryear are now deemed reasonable, cost effective and moral today. What is most revealing about the research is the metaphorical greased hill, i.e. slippery slope that is and may possibly continue to lead to an unknown, dangerous place. As new terms are adopted to replace abortion and euthanasia, a chasm expands preventing a realistic connection to their purposed intent. The aim of this paper is to make a cogent case to use plain language that agrees more to the actual procedural outcomes. Adoption of the language should be evident in research, legislation, associations, court rulings, clinical and legal practices and bureaucratic agencies. Among these entities and others, there must be an unequivocal acknowledgement that the result of abortion and euthanasia will always be hastened death.