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The Maryland physician-assisted suicide bill has been passed by the House of Delegates and is now being considered by the state Senate. The House bill is numbered HB 399, and the bill cross-filed in the Senate is SB 311. We have every reason to be very alarmed by these developments. Other states are considering similar legislation designed to advance, assist, legalize and normalize the suicide of those who no longer see a reason to live. Meanwhile, a law legalizing assisted suicide in the District of Columbia took effect in 2017.
Be very careful, dear reader, before you allow a narrow and flawed notion of compassion to bypass a more serious moral reflection. Suicide is almost never a purely private act. If some are killing themselves it is more likely that others will too because it is either an option they had not previously considered or it prompted those who were already thinking about it to actually do it, especially when it is glorified in the media or the appearance of social approval is given. Sometimes, people feel obligated to commit suicide when others are doing it. See Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide. Vol. 2: “Risk Factors for Youth Suicide,” (Davidson & Linnoila eds. 1991)(Dept. of Health and Human Services); Phillips, “The Influence of Suggestion on Suicide,” 39 Amer.Socio.Rev. 340 (1974).
Suicide - Rates - Person - Life - Places
Suicide rates increase dramatically when a famous person takes his or her own life. And in places like Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal since 1997, the overall suicide rate of healthy individuals is more than 40 percent higher than the national average.
Yes, suicide is contagious, especially if it is legalized. This is not only because is leads others to consider it, but also, because it leads many to begin expecting and requiring it of the sick...
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