Human Exceptionalism

How Assisted Suicide Undermines Suicide Prevention

Rita Marker, head of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide has a new article out about assisted suicide in Washington and how it subtly (and not so subtly) undermines the equal worth of all human lives.  She describes a program held at a hospital in which a social worker taught suicide crisis negotiators how to prevent suicide by cancer patients, but then…well, I’ll let Rita tell the story. From her article:

As part of that recent training session, Amber Ford, a social worker from the hospital’s oncology department, presented a comprehensive two-hour discussion about the suicide risk among cancer patients.  According to one of the attendees, her presentation was sensitive and informative.  But, at the end, a jarring note was introduced.  Prefacing her comments by explaining that she was aware of I-1000’s controversial nature, Ford explained that assisted suicide, like hospice care, was among the alternatives available to cancer patients.  And, in keeping with providing all options now available in the state, she distributed a brochure from Compassion & Choices (C & C), the assisted-suicide advocacy group.

The brochure explains:  “C & C created the coalition that passed I-1000 into law and now stewards, protects and upholds Washington’s Death with Dignity Act.  There is never a fee for any service provided by C & C, and confidentiality is strictly protected.”  A toll-free number is provided to make access to assisted suicide only a phone call away.  The brochure notes that a C & C volunteer can help patients “locate physicians who support a patient’s choice to use the law” – in other words, to find a doctor willing to prescribe a deadly overdose of drugs.

The irony was not lost on one experienced negotiator in attendance: “I find it interesting that, as crisis negotiators, we are trying to talk people out of killing themselves.  But by the end of the afternoon, we had a social worker from the oncology department of the hospital talking about being able to assist people in killing themselves.”

So a social worker teaches suicide prevention and advertises suicide promotion in the same class. Talk about a mixed message!

Compassion and Choice is a mobile suicide clinic sanctioned by the state with a mutli million dollar budget funded by the George Soros Crowd (which should tell you everything you need to know about the group). Its advocacy is eroding the mental health professions’ commitment to suicide prevention, undermining the Hippocratic ethic of “do no harm.”, and subverting the sanctity/equality of life ethic. Regardless of intentions, the assisted suicide movement is a malign cultural force. I don’t know how else to describe it.