Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The euthanasia lobby is promoting suicide?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

While reading an article published by the Cal-Alumni Association that was promoting the expansion of the California assisted suicide law I wondered: Why does the death lobby get away with promoting suicide?

The article focused on stories of people who died by suicide / assisted suicide. I was shocked by the descriptions and lionizing of the deaths.

I regularly read articles about euthanasia and assisted suicide but I clearly felt that this article was not only promoting the expansion of assisted suicide but it was also irresponsible in how it described the deaths and applauded those who died.

The World Health Organization published a resource for media professionals with protocols for responsible reporting of suicide deaths to prevent suicide and suicide contagion. The quick reference in the WHO media guidelines for preventing suicide states:
  • Take the opportunity to educate the public about suicide,
  • Avoid language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicide, or presents it as a solution to problems,
  • Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of stories about suicide,
  • Avoid explicit description of the method used in a completed or attempted suicide,
  • Avoid providing detailed information about the site of a completed or attempted suicide,
  • Word headlines carefully,
  • Exercise caution in using photographs or video footage,
  • Take particular care in reporting celebrity suicides,
  • Show due consideration for people bereaved by suicide,
  • Provide information about where to seek help,
  • Recognize that media professionals themselves may be affected by stories about suicide
Clearly a story describing how Debra and Lillian ended their lives with clear descriptions of the methods used to die not only normalizes assisted suicide but it will lead to more suicide, the suicide contagion effect.

The data shows that where euthanasia or assisted suicide have been legalized that the suicide rates increase (Link).

Further to that, the story promotes the radical assisted suicide group, the Final Exit Network. Without trying to provide too much negative information, the Final Exit network assisted Lillian's suicide. The article states:

Lillian was not ill, at least not terminally, but she was old. She had lived a full and creative life, but was no longer the person she used to be, or wanted to be, or wanted her friends and family to see. She was certain about that.

The article that I am refering to is only one of many irresponsible articles that appear to be promoting assisted suicide or the expansion of these laws while in fact they are promoting suicide, whether they are assisted or not, and denigrating the life of people with disabilities or the elderly.

The claim that this is all about freedom of speech is important, but all freedoms have limits based on our responsibility to others.

I believe in a society that upholds the value of living with disabilities, respecting the lives and experience of elderly people and upholding the equality of every human being. 

Suicide promotion articles and the philosophy of the Final Exit Network is oriented towards abandoning people to death.


gordon friesen said...

It is a kind of pornography. First the pornography of suffering, and then the pornography of suicide. And for the actual operatives of Final Exit it becomes something much worse. From simply titillating themselves with the idea of suicide, that is, once they have realized they are not really ready to die, they move on to recruiting and motivating others. Then it is the pornography of homicide, leading others down the path to suicide ; and not a pleasant fantasy alone, but often many real homicides. As the saying goes : "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride". It is outrageous. But it is very real. And the media/academia are clearly complicit.

Gordon Friesen, Montreal (français) (english site in development) (personal philosophical musings)

TL said...

What we are facing is the widespread normalization of killing. A cold-hearted manifestation of modernity. The castaways who don’t contribute, and have little prospect of ever contributing to the GDP, as well as those with brain diseases that have suicidal ideation as a known symptom are the targets of this genocide. There’s every reason to believe that the negative effects to humanity of euthanasia/assisted suicide will soon eclipse the negative effects of global warming and the annihilation of the biosphere. Homo sapiens are a huge letdown! My heart sinks and I am saddened.