Suicide Advocacy Hurts the Sick

Fighting against the gravitational pull of nihilism

By Wesley J. Smith

Maggie Karner

Maggie Karner

The herd media always present assisted suicide as compassionate and caring. To the contrary, it is ultimately abandoning and promotes invidious discrimination against the sick and disabled, seen broadly as unworthy of protecting from suicide.

Over the years, people struggling with devastating illnesses and disabilities have repeatedly told me how assisted suicide advocacy impedes their ability to struggle and undermines their morale.

As my hospice friend Robert Salamanca, who died peacefully from Lou Gehrig’s disease, told me, “They are trying to drive me off the well lit boulevard and into the dark alleyway.” Indeed, every time he saw ALS waved as the bloody flag promoting assisted suicide it pushed him into a depression.

Now, in the wake of the Brittany Maynard! media frenzy, Maggie Karner, struggling with brain cancer, writes how suicide promotion makes her struggle harder too. From, “Assisted Suicide Law Would Undermine my Cancer Battle:

I can tell you from personal experience that it [assisted suicide advocacy] is nearly as troubling as the cancer itself. You see, I get strength and comfort from the knowledge that nobody is going to give up on me — medically, psychologically or holistically. Right now, I have the firm support of the state and my fellow citizens in my desire to live — no matter the cost or burden. If that were to change, the tiny knowledge that I might be straining my family, friends, doctors or community resources unnecessarily would be a heavy burden. The constant “option” for suicide would wear at my resolve and I fear, become an unspoken “duty” for me and others.

Karner’s fight is tough enough without suicide promotion. She wants help living, and asks for her fellow citizens’ support:

I encourage the caring voters of Connecticut to once again contact their state legislators and insist that assisted suicide has no place in our state of independent thinkers. Slogans of “right to die” are just words to people like me who need your constant and continued support to avoid a “duty to die.”

Think about this: People will never put Karner on their cover like they did Maynard.  Karner won’t be named one of the most intriguing people of the year as Maynard was. Karner won’t be surrounded by fawning media acolytes.

Why? Both have (had) brain cancer. Both are female. Both are young. Both cases are tragic.

Maynard was made into a hero because she killed herself.  Karner wants protection against the gravitational pull of nihilism, and so most people will never know her name.

And that tells a huge and disturbing tale about what kind of society we have become.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.