The Corner

Health Care

The ‘Zero Suicide’ Project Forgets about Assisted Suicide

It rarely fails. I see a news story lauding a suicide-prevention program. But when I check it out, the prevention strategies described are usually incomplete, making no mention of — or opposition to — assisted suicide, even though some see legalization as a contributing cause of our nation’s suicide crisis.

Recently, when I read about a commendable program called the “Zero Suicide” project, I hoped it would be different. You see, it focuses explicitly on preventing suicide in the health-care context. From the website:

The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable. It presents both a bold goal and an aspirational challenge.

Great. But how can you have “zero” suicides in health care if assisted suicide is legal and doctors facilitate those deaths? I searched the website, and alas, as far as I could discern, the issue is never mentioned.

What a disappointment. The Zero Suicide website even features a video of Michael Hogan, Ph.D., discussing how to “make healthcare suicide safe,” but which fails to mention the question of doctor-prescribed death.

Indeed, the well-meaning gentleman assiduously avoids the controversy! He describes preventing suicide in the ER. He describes preventing suicide in primary-care departments and in mental-health wards. But he never mentions preventing suicide in hospice, oncology, or other health-care specialties that deal with terminally ill and disabled people who are identified as proper candidates for suicide-facilitation by the euthanasia movement.

I am certainly not criticizing the goal of this program. It’s important work. But Zero Suicide will only to be true to its name and purpose when it incorporates opposing physician-assisted suicide as part of its overall prevention strategy. Zero suicides in the health-care context either means all, or it really means only some.

Most Popular

How a U2 Anthem Defined Generation X

In Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything... (1989), Lloyd Dobler sketches out a stumbling, uncertain-but-nevertheless-determined path for his and my generation: “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or ... Read More

How a U2 Anthem Defined Generation X

In Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything... (1989), Lloyd Dobler sketches out a stumbling, uncertain-but-nevertheless-determined path for his and my generation: “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
Economy & Business

Boiling Over

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s frustration over having missed so much of the post-COVID realities in markets and economic life boiled over this morning in one of the more outrageous outbursts I have ever witnessed on financial media. Perhaps this outburst was rivaled only by his behavior during the March COVID market ... Read More
Economy & Business

Boiling Over

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s frustration over having missed so much of the post-COVID realities in markets and economic life boiled over this morning in one of the more outrageous outbursts I have ever witnessed on financial media. Perhaps this outburst was rivaled only by his behavior during the March COVID market ... Read More