Monday, March 23, 2015

How supporting assisted suicide encourages some to think they have a duty to die

At First Things, Wesley J. Smith writes about the danger of supporting the suicides of family and friends.

Is it right or wrong to support a loved one’s suicide? This seems to be one of those issues, increasingly prevalent in our society, about which debate is not possible: The answer depends on one’s overarching worldview. Some will believe that their duty is to support their family member’s choice, come what may. Others, including this writer, believe that supporting suicide is an abandonment that validates loved ones’ worst fears about themselves—that they are a burden, unworthy of love, or truly better off dead.

Either way, there is no question that family backing for suicide furthers the normalization of hastened death as a proper response to human suffering. Such normalization, over time, will put increasing pressure on those coping with the infirmities of age and with the debilitations of serious illnesses and disabilities to view their suicides as not only a suitable approach, but perhaps even as an obligation to those they love.