Monday, February 23, 2009

When The "Right To Die" Becomes The "Duty To Die""

Oregon has the 4th highest incidence of suicide among senior citizens in the US. That doesn’t surprise me when I consider our Death With Dignity law. If someone is feeling like a drain on their family, why not take advantage of assisted suicide? It makes perfect sense to me. And if you can’t find a Dr. to help you, simply resort to DIY. It’s in the culture we’ve created.


Kevin said...

So, Oregon's suicide rate among senior citizens is tracable to senior citizens feeling like a drain on their family? What do you base that upon?

Ben said...

I'm sorry but that's not quite correct.

In order to utilize Oregon's Death with Dignity law, you need to be in the final stages of a terminal illness and in sound mental state.

To simply assert that people who feel like a "drain on their family" make use of the law to end their lives is a gross oversimplification of the serious debate over this important issue.

And, to boot, very, very few people make use of this law. It's not a rampant problem and not part of any pervasive "culture."

David McDonald said...

You're right. Most of our senior citizens don't use the assisted suicide law. They do it themselves.

And if the 4th highest rate of suicide says nothing about our culture, what does it say?

David McDonald said...

Kevin... Google "duty to die" and you'll see plenty of examples of where I'm coming from.

Ben said...

It's a problem, agreed. And one that we can fix with hard work and compassion.

But I wouldn't paint with so broad a brush as to say that it's evidence of a "culture" of death or anything else.

David McDonald said...

I should have made myself clearer. I meant a culture of suicide, not a culture of death.