Killing Words

A Suicide by Any Other Name Is Still a Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide continues to be in the news. By early 2024, 21 states were debating legislation to either introduce the practice or amend existing legislation.1 As state legislatures try to enshrine a “right to die” into law, many terms are thrown around, with “euthanasia,” “physician-assisted suicide” (PAS), and “medical aid in dying” (MAiD) being some of the most common. What, if anything, are the differences between these terms? And does the term one uses really matter?

Attempts to Obscure

The first distinction to be made is between euthanasia and PAS. In euthanasia, a doctor administers drugs directly to a patient (often through an...


is the Event & Executive Services Manager at The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. He holds a BA in psychology from Nyack College and MAs in church history and theological studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #69, Summer 2024 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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