If I had an opportunity to express a perspective of Assisted Suicide from the angle of its impact on young people and our future generations, here’s what I’d have to say:
I am a man of deep principles. I believe that the principles we hold to as a society will determine the choices we make and how we live. I therefore oppose the idea of legalized assisted suicide because it undermines the principle that life has value and is worth fighting for. It contradicts the foundational principle of all human rights, and that is the right to life.
I work with kids on a daily basis who have painful and difficult lives. Many suffer loss and depression, and have suicidal thoughts. We work hard to council these kids so as to encourage them to see the value of their lives and to make them feel wanted, important, and to know that every life is worth fighting for. My job exists because it recognizes the principle that every life has value.
Undoubtedly, suicide is a thought and action that we try to discourage in our young people. Social workers put in countless hours to combat the problem of youth suicide because suicide is always a poor solution to a problem. So what do YOU think will happen in the minds of our young people if suicide is legalized? I know that it will undermine the work we do with suicidal youth.
If suicide is legalized, it quickly becomes an accepted principle and a human right. What will this suicidal mentality do to our young people and the future of our country? It will naturally cause them to believe that suicide is an acceptable way to end suffering, be it mental or physical. I know that assisted suicide deals primarily with end-of-life patients whose pain is intolerable and whose quality of life is largely gone. I just don’t see a far stretch between a suffering ALS patient and a bullied, depressed, and insecure teen. Both may desire to end their life, yet we think we can DISCRIMINATE and let one die and not the other.
I think that a right-to-die mentality is a harmful principle to introduce into society, especially for our youth. Instead of upholding the principle that our elders should be respected and honored, assisted suicide will foster a mentality that the elderly are disposable. Instead of fostering the principles of sacrifice, devotion, and true compassion, our young people will, for the sake of convenience, expect and coerce those on their deathbed to die quicker. Youth will look at all suffering as something to avoid, and not something to constructively face together.
On the contrary, I think we are most human and most “humane” when we stand by each other – even to the last breath. Strongly consider the alternatives. I think the wrong questions are being asked, the wrong demands are being made, and the most important principles are being ignored. Should we all value a comfortable and peaceful death? Yes. But how can we do this while still upholding the dignity of life and the dignity of natural death?How can we do this without imposing the right-to-die and a right-to-kill? Would it not be better for our Nation to lead the globe in Palliative Care and Pain Management Technology rather than simply follow countries into the dark and uncertain world of assisted suicide? For the sake of our young people and the future of our Nation, I hope that we can uphold principles that increase our value of human life and natural death. I know that popular opinion is quick to support assisted suicide as something good, but it is certainly wrong. Sadly, only time, and not the gift of reason, may tell.
What is YOUR angle on Assisted Suicide? Please feel welcome to express in the comments below!
~ The Catholic Gentleman's Guide