The Corner

Politics & Policy

Assisted Suicide Should Be in Suicide Statistics

Assisted suicide corrupts everything it touches.

This includes the seemingly uncontroversial field of vital statistics, in which suicides assisted legally, or homicides, by doctors are not usually included in suicide statistics.

Thus, in Washington (as just one example), doctors who assist suicides are forced to lie on the death certificate that the death was natural. This not only falsely skews the total number of suicides down, but interferes with transparency — which, of course, is the point.

Here’s an example from Switzerland that reported that “suicides” were not up dramatically, but that assisted suicides were. From the Swiss report (Google translation):

Suicide increases slightly, assisted suicide strongly

792 men and 279 women ended their lives in 2015, 43 more than in 2014. Assisted suicide was observed for 426 men and 539 women, an increase of 223 cases.

This is a false dichotomy. In truth, suicides were up strongly because assisted suicide was up strongly.

In truth, the numbers of suicides wasn’t 1,071. It was 2,036 — almost twice as high.

In truth, the numbers of suicides wasn’t up 43, but 266.

At least Switzerland understands that assisted suicide and suicide are correlated. Too often, we are told that assisted suicide and suicide have no connection when — if we care about facts — they do.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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