By Wesley J. Smith
Talk about missing the forest for the trees!
The Ohio Nurses Association [ONA], a union with 11,000 members, has endorsed legalizing assisted suicide. From the Cincinnati Enquirer story:
ONA President Deborah Arms said the proposal recommends “educating the public about medical aid in dying, supporting legislation to protect the rights of dying patients to control the circumstances and conditions of their death and providing resources and education to nurses about the nurse’s role in caring for patients regarding MAID [Medical Assistance in Dying] or any form of treatment limitation.”
Meanwhile, in other news: Ohio is in the midst of a suicide crisis, with such deaths increasing by 45 percent since 2007. From the Ohio Department of Health press release:
In Ohio, five people die by suicide every day, and one youth dies by suicide every 33 hours, according to a new report released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). In 2018, there were 1,836 suicides in Ohio and the highest suicide rate – the number of suicide deaths per 100,000 population – was among adults 45-64 years old. Males are disproportionately burdened by suicide across the lifespan, and their suicide rate is nearly four times the rate among females.
“One of the goals of my RecoveryOhio initiative is to address mental illness and other issues that contribute to suicide,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “If you know someone is struggling, you may be able to help save someone’s life by recognizing the warning signs and steps to take.”
“Suicide in Ohio and nationally is a growing public health epidemic, particularly among young people,” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “Suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10‐14 and the second leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 15‐34.”
Suicide contagion is real. Thus, when a nursing association supports some suicides — because that is what the ONA did despite the use of the euphemistic term, MAID — when it gave its moral imprimatur to doctors helping people kill themselves, that makes the overall job of suicide prevention much more difficult. After all, nurses are telling us that suicide can be peachy keen and a proper response to suffering.
Shame on the ONA. They have abdicated their nurses’ calling.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with the author’s permission.