Monday, November 12, 2018

Legalizing assisted suicide does not reduce murder-suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A commentary by Karen Chaffraix that was published in the Fauquier Times (Virginia) on November 10 infers that legalizing assisted suicide will somehow remedy the tragic acts of murder suicide. 

Chaffraix's commentary concerns the tragic deaths of Linda and Clark Johnson by murder-suicide. Chaffraix states that European studies suggest that people should have the right to end their own lives, in these situations. Chaffraix does not provide links to these "studies".

Research by Donna Cohen, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a suicide researcher, and others prove that murder-suicide is rarely related to assisted suicide.

Donna Cohen
Cohen stated the following in a March 2009 Minnesota Tribune article:

When people read reports of a murder-suicide they will often ask the question, was this an Act of love, or desperation? Cohen who has researched this question tries to find answers. 
She stated in the article:
That notion is common in murder-suicides, said Cohen, who has testified before Congress, written extensively and helped train families and physicians. She is a professor of aging and mental health at the University of South Florida and heads its Violence and Injury Prevention Program. 
"If they were consulted, families usually would try to stop it,'' she said. "In fact, murder-suicide almost always is not an act of love. It's an act of desperation."
Cohen explains that murder-suicide does not equate with assisted suicide. She said:
Some people equate murder-suicide with assisted suicide and the right to control when you will die, Cohen said. "It usually is not the same. This is suicide and murder.''
According to Cohen, the typical murder-suicide case involves a depressed controlling husband who shoots his ill wife. "The wife does not want to die and is often shot in her sleep. If she was awake at the time, there are usually signs that she tried to defend herself." 

Murder-suicide are tragic actions, but legalizing assisted suicide will not reduce the incidence of murder-suicide.

1 comment:

Jopie said...

I agree with the premise that legalizing assisted suicide does not reduce murder-suicide because the perpertrators are not thinking rationally when it comes to taking their own life and that of another.