Human Exceptionalism

Pro Suicide Advocacy Increasing Rates?

Suicide is in the air. Our culture–particularly exemplified by the media–is becoming increasingly pro suicide. Perhaps better stated, many are now pro some suicides. Indeed, if a suicidal person is sick, disabled, even mentally ill, many believe it is perfectly fine for a doctor to facilitate death through intentional overdose, and many families now support their loved one’s self-killing. 

In mental health journals, some writers distinguish between “rational” and “irrational” suicides, with only the latter being something to be deeply regretted and prevented. Movies extol suicides and euthanasia, as in Million Dollar Baby. Jack Kevorkian has been transformed by blatant revisionism from the real-life ghoul he was–driven by the obsession to experiment on living people he was killing–into a compassionate Muppet-like character. Suicide prevention still exists, to be sure, but it receives ever less emphasis in our increasingly nihilistic society.

So, why should we be surprised that there has been a sharp increase in suicide rates in the USA generally, with an even higher spike at Assisted Suicide Central, e.g., Oregon? From the Oregonian story:

New figures showing a sharp increase in suicides across the nation among middle-aged Americans show an even bigger increase in Oregon. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows Oregon saw a 49.3 percent increase in suicides among men and women aged 35-64 from 1999-2010, compared to 28 percent nationally. A 2012 report on suicide trends and risk factors for the Oregon Health Authority found the state’s overall suicide rate was 41 percent higher than the national rate, that rural counties have higher rates of suicide than urban ones, and that white men lead other demographic groups.

It should be noted here that the OHA doesn’t include legal assisted suicides in its suicide rates. So, the actual rate is worse than reported.

When we approve of some suicides, the existentially suffering don’t necessarily distinguish between those that are deemed OK and those that aren’t.  There are many other factors at work, of course. But I believe that assisted suicide advocacy helps drive the meme that suicide is an acceptable answer to serious difficulties, weakening the societal bulwarks that sometimes prevent people from bringing their desire to be dead to completion. 

Most Popular

Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More