Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What's in a name?

A law in Oregon, USA that allows doctors to assist dying patients end their suffering has caused a stir linguistically as well as ethically. The state is changing the name of the law from 'physician-assisted suicide' to 'physician-assisted death'. The change is intended to reflect the more positive aspects of the statute. It is compared with the use of the term 'choice' instead of 'abortion'. Read the whole story in the link to the Salem Statesman Journal:
http://159.54.226.83/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061017/NEWS/610170334/1001/NEWS
Relevant for: Lang. Change: use of euphemism and dysphemism (compare 'friendly fire', 'collateral damage' and 'ethnic cleansing' in recent years)

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