According to a report recently released by the State of California, 111 people ended their lives in the first six months of the state’s new “end of life option act.”
California legalized assisted-suicide last year, and it now lets physicians prescribe life-ending drugs to ill patients. So far, on average it seems 4 – 5 people every week are choosing to take their own lives as a result.
You may recall that researchers in Canada–where assisted-suicide is legal–recently found that people inquired about assisted-suicide not because of excruciating pain, but because they are dissatisfied with their lives in the wake of their illness.
As one researcher put it, “Their quality of life is not what they want. They are mostly educated and affluent — people who are used to being successful and in control of their lives, and it’s how they want their death to be.”
A study conducted in Oregon in 1999 concluded, “the decision to request and use a prescription for lethal medications . . . was associated with views on autonomy and control, not with fear of intractable pain or concern about financial loss.”
The report from California corroborates some of these findings. Of the 111 people who took their own lives through California’s assisted-suicide law, most had a college degree or higher. Much like in Canada, these are people who appear to be “educated and affluent.”
Being pro-life means believing human life is sacred from conception until natural death, and it means opposing the taking of human life without just cause.
While the term “pro-life” is often applied to work related to abortion, opposition to suicide and euthanasia falls under the purview of pro-life work as well.
Just like abortion, assisted-suicide fails to acknowledge that God is the creator and giver of life. Human life is sacred, and no sickness gives us an excuse to end someone’s life prematurely–including our own.
Simply put: Physician-assisted suicide violates human dignity and the sanctity of human life.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.