Physician-Assisted Suicide Group Targets Blacks, Latinos

A sign promoting promoting assisted suicide is displayed at the Hemlock Society's annual meeting. File.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty

The organization that helped 29-year-old Brittany Maynard achieve physician-assisted suicide in November of 2014 is now targeting “people of color” in a new initiative that seeks to “expand end-of-life options” for blacks, Latinos, and Asians in America.

Though its language is couched in politically correct euphemisms for “physician-assisted suicide,” Compassion & Choices – the former Hemlock Society – is still the right-to-die movement that now says it plans to “engage communities of color.”

The group recently announced in a press release that it has promoted three internal leaders to head its new People of Color Initiative. Charmaine Manansala (Filipina American) will serve as political director, Brandi Alexander (African American) as national constituency manager, and Patricia A. González-Portillo (Latina) will run the national Latino communications segment of the initiative.

“Communities of color often have the highest rates of illness, yet are least likely to complete advance directives or discuss medical intervention with loved ones,” said Alexander.

Like many leftwing organizations, the pro-assisted suicide group is seeking to use social justice concepts such as inclusiveness and racial “disparities” to its advantage.

“The disparities that exist are the motivating factor for Compassion & Choices’ increased and targeted outreach to communities of color,” Alexander explained. “We are committed to raising awareness to ensure that all Americans are prepared for the inevitable end of life.”

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Black Christian leader Bishop E.W. Jackson, who heads Ministers Taking a Stand, said the message he gets from Compassion & Choices is that not enough African-Americans and others of color are “choosing death in the face of illness.”

“It is bizarre and evil, frankly,” he continued. “These people have a very, very warped view – frankly a disgustingly low view – of the value of the lives of black and poor and minority people.”

Jackson said the targeting of black women by Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and now Compassion & Choices’ campaign in the black community is part of the same mindset that devalues human life.

He explains:

Somehow they think there’s some sort of virtue in killing their babies and killing themselves. We in the pro-life movement have always argued that there is a direct link between abortion and euthanasia because both make judgments about who is worthy of living, and then try to impose those judgments on others by saying, “You don’t really need to have that baby,” “That baby doesn’t really need to live,” and now, “You don’t really need to live – if the quality of your life is not sufficiently good then we will help you die.”

Jackson, a Marine Corps veteran, graduate of Harvard Law School, and senior fellow for the Family Research Council, led the effort to call for the removal of the bust of Planned Parenthood’s eugenicist founder Margaret Sanger from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

He continued:

The left by and large rejects traditional Judeo-Christian morality, and they have to think up their own because they have to feel they have moral justification for themselves. Most of us would say it is moral to do everything in one’s power to save human life. They would say, “No, it is moral to help people die. It is moral to kill babies in their mother’s womb.” It’s a very twisted morality, but once you take God out, once you take out the notion that there are absolutes to which we all must answer, then you’re free to make it up as you go along. They then make up the rules, and instead of those rules being life-affirming, they are death-inducing.

Jackson said when he read about Compassion & Choices’ initiative, he was reminded of Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Reilly’s book Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks To Succeed.

He added that the new physician-assisted suicide effort in black communities will likely be praised “by far left black leaders who, when the left says, ‘Jump,’ these people say, ‘How high?’”

“The vast majority of black folks will reject this out of hand and say, ‘No, we’re not suicidal, we don’t kill ourselves, we don’t kill our elderly. We love them and care for them until God is ready to take them home,’” he concluded.

The physician-assisted suicide movement gained momentum among young adults when Maynard – a young woman with brain cancer – publicized that she and her husband moved from California to Portland, Oregon in order to take advantage of that state’s law that allows terminally ill individuals to commit suicide.

“She died as she intended — peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones,” said Compassion & Choices spokesman Sean Crowley, the Associated Press reported, after Maynard swallowed lethal drugs to end her own life.

Compassion & Choices helped Maynard to use her story to give voice to its agenda of promoting physician-assisted suicide among millennials.

Alexander’s job, according to the press release, is to “increase support of people from various backgrounds through community outreach.” Manansala – who led the effort to pass the physician-assisted suicide law in California – will direct all legislative efforts to introduce and pass laws that authorize the same throughout the country.

“Our victory in California was largely attributed to the support of legislators of color,” said Manansala, a political strategist who has worked in both the Obama and Clinton administrations. “We are using similar tactics to lead our legislative efforts nationwide.”

Meanwhile, González-Portillo will lead Compassion & Choices’ outreach to Latino and Spanish language media outlets nationwide.

“I am committed to helping empower terminally ill Latinos living with a terminal illness with the tools they need to engage in conversations with their doctors so they can connect with the end-of-life options they need and deserve,” she said.


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