Euthanasia for PR reasons?

Here in New Zealand we are debating an ‘End of Life Choice’ or euthanasia bill and in my extensive researching of the subject (idly watching QI last night) I discovered that King George V was ‘euthanised’ in 1936 by his doctor so that the announcement could be carried ”in the morning papers rather than the less appropriate evening journals.”

The full extraordinary story is in this wonderful New York Times piece, but in short, the Royal Physician, Lord Dawson, stood at the Kings bed, weighing in his mind some infernal equation that tried to balance the physical and medical issues of severe bronchitis on a frail and ravaged body with the pain and suffering of his patient and the relative merits of when and to whom the press release should be issued.

Is this where the term ‘spin doctor’ came from?

Personally I am all for euthanasia, but I am doubly for it now, if it gives the PR industry a welcome shot in the arm (or a shot in the patient’s jugular in this case) with all the extra fees that might be earned for death bed media advice.

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