Wesley J. Smith, attending a Symposium on Euthanasia, sends us this note on his blog (Second Hand Smoke which is now part of First Things. com) about the remarkable Rita Marker:
Rita Marker, Historian
May 29, 2009 11:00:am
Wesley J. Smith
Rita Marker is speaking. Rita was introduced as the expert on euthanasia worldwide. That nails it. When she dies—may it not be for decades–we will have to make use of transhumanist technology to download her mind into a computer so we can continue to benefit from her institutional memory.
Rita is speaking too fast to get it all down. Recordings are being made, and so the speech will be available. But here is some important information given by Rita about the early days of the modern euthanasia/assisted suicide movement:
– Everything that is happening today in USA about this issue is outgrowth of Hemlock society or those closely affiliated.
– Goes back to England. Jean [Humphry] asks Derek Humphry, “Is this the day?” He told her, “Yes dear, it is.” And that is the day she died. Note that she asked him, and he told her.
– Ann Humphry, Derek’s second wife, later told Rita that the drugs didn’t work so Derek smothered her. They didn’t put it in Humphry’s first book “Jean’s Way,” because it would not seem such a love story.
– In 1981, Derek and Ann moved to California and filed papers to start the Hemlock Society.
– I know virtually every leader of the pro assisted suicide movement and have debated most of them. They are dedicated to what they are doing. When they lose, they keep going. Humphry would get up at 3 AM to drive 200 miles to speak to a high school. They will go anywhere, speak to anyone, at any time, to get the word out.
Me: This conforms with the Smith theory of public advocacy: Principle, issues of right and wrong matter, but often not as much as commitment. The side with the most energy and commitment wins. Those who oppose the culture of death had better understand that lesson.