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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Assisted Suicide Pushes Against Suicide Prevention



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The World Health Organization has published guidelines to help prevent suicide.  From the WHO:

Effective interventions

  • Strategies involving restriction of access to common methods of suicide, such as firearms or toxic substances like pesticides, have proved to be effective in reducing suicide rates; however, there is a need to adopt multi-sectoral approaches involving many levels of intervention and activities.

  • There is compelling evidence indicating that adequate prevention and treatment of depression and alcohol and substance abuse can reduce suicide rates, as well as follow-up contact with those who have attempted suicide.

But the euthanasia/assisted suicide movement thwart suicide prevention by promoting the mirror opposite values and actions:
  • Rather than removing methods of suicide, they provide it.
  • Rather than seeking to prevent suicide, they give moral permission;
  • Rather than helping people stand against the darkness, they seduce toward embracing it by claiming it is empowerment and "death with dignity;"
  • Rather than ensuring mental health access, they claim it isn't needed because suicides apparently inspired by serious sickness, disability, or mental illness are "rational."
  • Rather than promoting proper statistical gathering, they have doctors lie (in Washington) on death certificates by claiming that a suicide was a natural death.
And the media goes right along. If the WHO wants to issue a truly clarion call to prevent suicides, it must emphasize that means all suicides.  It needs to stop ignoring the suicide promoters among us.  Indeed, it must call out the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement for the destructive force that it is and note that while some seek to help the despairing remain in life, others are pushing in the other direction.


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