Last week we wrote about public opinion polling on assisted suicide and euthanasia. In short, while Americans generally say they think physician-assisted suicide ought to be legal, weekly churchgoers strongly oppose assisted suicide, and support for suicide and euthanasia rises or falls depending on how pollsters describe the issue.
This week we want to highlight a report from California showing hundreds of people have ended their lives under the state’s physician-assisted suicide program since 2016.
Over the summer the California Department of Public Health published a set of findings that noted 374 people died by ingesting a lethal prescription from a doctor in 2017.
Adding to that the 111 people who died by assisted suicide in the last part of 2016, physician-assisted suicide claimed 485 lives in its first 18 months of operation in California. That comes out to nearly one death every day for a year and a half!
California’s 2017 report once again shows most people who opt for physician-assisted suicide are well-educated. This corroborates surveys conducted in Oregon and Canada as well as information published in California last year showing most people who inquire about assisted suicide are actually educated, affluent individuals who are much more concerned about losing their autonomy than they are about pain and suffering. Instead of being referred to a mental health specialist or offered other assistance, most of these patients simply receive a lethal prescription for drugs they can use to commit suicide.
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.