Suicide Clinics for the Mentally Ill

Wesley J. Smith, J.D.


There is an ongoing pretense in assisted suicide advocacy the euthanasia/assisted suicide is merely a medical matter of “last resort” that is to be reserved only for dying people when nothing else can be done to alleviate suffering. But this planned assisted suicide clinic that will “serve” the mentally ill as well as physically ill in Switzerland, belies the notion. And, it is the logical consequence of accepting euthanasia consciousness.

First, killing is not a medical act, as this Dutch clinic demonstrates. The people involved are not doctors and in Switzerland, doctors are not supposed to engage in assisted suicide in their professional capacities. Second, it isn’t about terminal illness. Many clients of the suicide clinics have not been dying. Which is also logical: If personal autonomy rules — as it does in assisted suicide ideology — dying has nothing to do with it. Finally, in the end it is about near death on demand. If you own your own body, which is the bottom line premise of radical individualism, then you have the right to dispose of it when and where you will.

Many advocates are too political to state this, or actually don’t want to go that far and naively believe that “guidelines” will protect against abuse. Yet, the Hemlock Society funded Dr. Phillip Nitschke for years as he attempted to develop his “peaceful pill” suicide concoction. And Nitschke was, at the time, calling for the peaceful pill to be available in supermarkets for anyone who wants it, including “troubled teens.”

And people of good will, particularly in the media, just refuse to believe the evidence of this when it is placed before them. I remember being on an NPR radio program once. My debating opponent was Dr. Bert Keizer, a Dutch nursing home doctor and author of Dancing With Mr. D. (If you want to see the coldness of euthanasia in action, read that book!) In any event, I pointed out during our debate that Keizer had admitted to euthanizing a man even before his lung cancer diagnosis was final. The host sputtered angrily: I was an alarmist. Surely, I was attacking Keizer without justification!

But then, Keizer coolly admitted it. The host was speechless. Throughout the rest of the interview, he kept desperately looking for justifications for Keizer’s actions. He simply refused to believe the truth that this wasn’t just about dying people for whom nothing else can be done to alleviate suffering. (I saw this same media tendency during the Kevorkian reign.)

Because people desperate want to believe that a little killing will be all right. After all, it is only about compassion and choices (the new name of the Hemlock Society), don’t you see. (from Smith’s Blog)

Wesley J. Smith is Special Consultant at the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.


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