(Washington, DC) As an increasing number of states weigh the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, a new paper released by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) elaborates the arguments against the practice, citing numerous abuses. Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith examines how assisted suicide impacts the states and countries where it has been legalized, particularly legalization’s effect on medical ethics and patient care. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and a consultant to the Patients Rights Council.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia would profoundly change—are profoundly changing—the ethics of medicine and cultural views about the value and worth of people with difficult lives, whether caused by illness, disability, or mental anguish. And it is hurting many of those who strive to cope with these conditions, but repeatedly are told that their lives are not worth protecting from suicide, and indeed that, if they want to die, society will allow doctors to provide the means.
…legalizing assisted suicide would be dangerous and reckless. With our dysfunctional health care system, high rates of elder abuse, already alarmingly significant suicide levels, pronounced economic uncertainties, divisions of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, class, and immigration status, and the concomitant lack of mutual trust, legalizing assisted suicide would be bad medicine and even worse public policy.
“Assisted suicide practices in Europe have become so permissive that doctors are now routinely euthanizing adults, infants, and children – without consent. Such a radical devaluing of the human person naturally has a profound impact on medical ethics and the doctor-patient relationship. ” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “Wesley Smith’s paper is a must-read for lawmakers and voters considering legal approval of this practice.”
Smith’s paper, Assisted Suicide is Not Compassion, is a part of the Lozier Institute’s American Reports series and is currently available online at: https://www.lozierinstitute.org/assisted-suicide-is-not-compassion/
CLI is the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List.