Human Exceptionalism

Coroner Supports Murder/Suicide for Elderly Couples

Lake County, Illinois Coroner Richard Keller, is apparently a fan of elderly couples engaging in suicide pacts or murder/suicide. From the story:

“Murder-suicide of an elderly couple, is that such a bad way to go?” he wrote [in his blog]

Weeks after the Stanleys’ [a local murder/suicide] deaths, Keller–a licensed doctor elected coroner in 2004–told the Daily Herald some elderly and ill couples should have that option. He hopes laws and public opinion would allow people to end their lives less violently and with more dignity than by using a handgun, perhaps with prescription medication.

The attitude has developed during his time as coroner, he said, prompted by deaths he’s investigated. “It’s been on my mind for a while…as you delve into some of these cases and see how ill some of these people were,” Keller explained.

Along similar lines, Keller said he’d support legislation allowing physician-assisted suicide. “As long as it’s controlled in some manner and meets a certain criteria, I believe that that’s an option that should be there,” Keller said.

How about helping people live rather than abandon them to murder/suicide pacts or joint suicides? Moreover, Keller seems unconcerned that many murder/suicides are the result of coercion or abuse. Read Rita Marker’s account in Deadly Compassion of the joint suicides of Anne Wicket’s folks, which Wicket and Hemlock Society co-founder (with Wicket) Derek Humphry facilitated. It is absolutely chilling.)

Also notice that Keller is not at all speaking of limiting assisted suicides or murder/suicides to the terminally ill. And the throwaway line about these killings meeting “a certain criteria” is mere window dressing. We are watching nothing less than the emergence of a distinctly pro-suicide culture–and yet even though it is in the open now and plain as day, the media continue to pretend that we are talking about strict limits and state supervision. It’s time they paid better attention!