The Dystopian Use of Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide is described by its advocates as one of many “choices” in end of life care, and communicate that assisted suicide provides a “dignified death.”

In an opinion piece by Ross Douthat, the dystopian, harmful, and coercive use of assisted suicide is challenged.

Assisted suicide “safeguards” in Canada are about to be loosened to the point of making assisted suicide accessible to patients with mental illness. What other “safeguards” will be removed as the years go on? Proponents of assisted suicide have already suggested it should be available to infants. People with disabilities are already being prescribed the drugs for assisted suicide, and this is not just in Canada. Here in America, the top five reasons people request assisted suicide are disability related issues. At what point will Canada spiral into complete chaos with these laws? As Douthat writes, “When 10,000 people are availing themselves of your euthanasia system every year, you have already entered the dystopia.”

Often autonomy and human rights are touted by assisted suicide advocates as honorable reasons for assisted suicide. Again Douthat writes, “The idea that human rights encompass a right to self-destruction, the conceit that people in a state of terrible suffering and vulnerability are really “free” to make a choice that ends all choices, the idea that a healing profession should include death in its battery of treatments — these are inherently destructive ideas. Left unchecked, they will forge a cruel brave new world…”

Doctors and healthcare professionals should not be steering their patients toward a decision that harms them in an irreversible way. When many who qualify for lethal drugs do not have life-threatening disabilities if only they have access to the proper care, services and supports, and durable medical equipment. Society needs to address these glaring holes in a broken system, not hand vulnerable people a fist full of suicide drugs.

Matt Vallière in the LA Times

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