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

Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More

‘Silenced’

Someone tweeted this cartoon today, which apparently is intended to depict me. A few thoughts: I love the caricature. It’s really good. I may steal the second panel and use it for advertising. I hear this line of criticism fairly often from people who are not very bright or well-informed; in truth, I ... Read More