Is Assisted Suicide a Slippery Slope?

In an emotional video that Nadine selected this summer, a woman named Gina, who has an extreme genetic disorder that has deteriorated her muscles, makes a case for euthanasia to end her pain and suffering:

Many readers were struck by the video. Here’s one:

This is heartbreaking. She is fully conscious, but completely trapped and isolated. The only thing she has to look forward to is the end of her misery. Let her make her own decision.

An opposing view:

The state doesn’t prevent people from committing suicide. It prevents people from assisting others in committing suicide. For a picture of what a country looks like when it opens the door to assisted suicide, read about Belgium. It’s frightening.

The New Yorker in June published a “letter from Belgium” on that very subject. The Week’s Michael Brendan Dougherty was beside himself:

In Flanders, nearly 5 percent of all deaths are now suicides assisted by a physician. Read that sentence again. That means nearly one in 20 people are ending their lives purposely. That statistic indicates that the phenomenon goes far beyond those who are in physical agony or suffering extreme indignities of illness. In fact, it goes beyond those who are terminally ill:

Although most of the Belgian patients had cancer, people have also been euthanized because they had autism, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, chronic-fatigue syndrome, partial paralysis, blindness coupled with deafness, and manic depression. In 2013, Wim Distelmans euthanized a 44-year-old transgender man, Nathan Verhelst, because Verhelst was devastated by the failure of his sex-change surgeries; he said that he felt like a monster when he looked in the mirror.

If you have any strong feelings on the subject, drop me an email.