Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Euthanasia Hall of Shame: George Soros

You may know George Soros by his reputation for toppling banks and entire currencies by manipulating money markets. Or you may know him as the man who used his vast fortune in an attempt to torpedo George Bush's re-election bid. However Soros is also an eminence gris of the right-to-die movement as well.

I'm indebted to a resource of inestimable worth, the LifeTree Timeline for the information on Soros' influence on the Culture of Death. According to the authors of the timeline in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (if that sounds familiar it's because you heard their blurbs on NPR. Shame on you.), Soros' ridiculously well funded Project on Death in America has taken on the task of changing the attitude towards death in our culture to a secular model that emphasizes a utilitarian mindset that rejects the sanctity of life. The different initiatives are almost endless, and the timeline covers them in great detail. For now I want to outline Soros' involvement.

[In 1994]George Soros delivers a speech at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (NY), explaining how and why he created Project on Death in America. He says that his mother had been a member of the Hemlock Society, and he approves of the Oregon law just passed; but he does not speak for PDIA, which is taking a neutral position.
The next month, the foundation issues a formal press release announcing Project on Death in America. To start, Soros invests $15 million over 3 years

By 2003 Soros as spent $200 million:

November 9: Boston Globe reports, "After 10 years, $200m effort on dying reaches its own end" (by Carey Goldberg, Globe Staff, 11/9/2003)

". . . In particular, the Project on Death in America, financed by billionaire George Soros and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, poured more than $200 million over the last decade into end-of-life programs and research.

But now the Project on Death is itself dying, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is phasing out almost all related projects and shifting toward childhood obesity and the nursing shortage."

But according to the PDIA website the work continues in Europe:

Although PDIA is no longer making grants in the United States, the Open Society Institute's International Palliative Care Initiative will continue its work in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and South Africa. Part of the OSI Public Health Program, these international initiatives exemplify the Open Society Institute's continued committment [sic] to advocate for palliative care as a public health issue. These global issues are an important part of the legacy of the Project on Death in America. Find out more about OSI's International Palliative Care Initiative.

Soros has turbocharged the right-to-die movement with this massive cash infusion. Now the initiative has been taken up by the numerous recipients of his patronage. The grantees read like a Who's Who of the right-to-die movement and will be examining some of them at a later date.

It's impossible to say what Soros will be best remembered for, but I want to make sure he gets full credit for his legacy of death.
papijoe 6:19 AM