By Wesley J. Smith
The suicides of elderly couples were once mourned as a great tragedy. Now, with the coming of legalized assisted suicide, we are beginning to see them celebrated.
At least, that is how the joint assisted suicides of an elderly couple in Oregon is being treated. From the Kaiser Health News story:
The pair, early members of the 1980s-era Hemlock Society, had supported the choice for years, and, when their illnesses worsened, they were grateful to have the option for themselves, family members said.
“This had always been their intention,” said daughter Jerilyn Marler, 66, who was the couple’s primary caretaker in recent years. “If there was a way they could manage their own deaths, they would do it.”
The couple’s children even recorded the lead-up to the death and made a documentary about the lethal event. And that film has now been promoted in an important health publication.
This is all very disturbing. The assisted-suicide movement is not only normalizing suicide as a legitimate act, but it seems to me, we are beginning in some cases to push it.
If this keeps up, there will be a social expectation created that suicide is the right and proper way out — and not just for those with terminal illnesses, as we have seen in other countries. Good grief, already we are told that swallowing poison — rather than dying naturally — is “death with dignity.”
Meanwhile, The New England Journal 0f Medicine just published an article accepting the premise that “rational suicide,” could be facilitated for the mentally ill, assuming strict guidelines.
For those with eyes to see, let them see.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.