Friday, July 06, 2007

Academics Now Advocating Suicide for the Mentally Ill

From "Death on Demand" by Wesley J. Smith, posted 7/5/07 at The Weekly Standard

SHOULD LAWS AGAINST assisted suicide be rescinded as "paternalistic?" Should assisted suicide be transformed from what is now a crime (in most places) into a sacred "right to die"? Should assisted suicide be redefined from a form of homicide into a legitimate "medical treatment" readily available to all persistently suffering people, including to the mentally ill?

According to Brown University professor Jacob M. Appel, the answer to all three of these questions is an unequivocal yes. Writing in the May-June 2007 Hastings Center Report ("A Suicide Right for the Mentally Ill?"), Appel argues in that assisted suicide should not only be available to the terminally ill, but also to people with "purely psychological disease" such as victims "of repeated bouts of severe depression," if the suicidal person "rationally might prefer dignified death over future suffering."

Given the emphasis assisted suicide advocates and the media normally give to the role of terminal illness in the assisted suicide debate, it might be tempting to dismiss Appel as a fringe rider. But he most definitely is not. Over the last several years, advocacy for what is sometimes called "rational suicide" has been growing increasingly mainstream, discussed among the bioethical and academic elite in mental health publications, academic symposia, and books. Indeed, it is worth noting that Appel's essay appeared in the world's most prestigious bioethics journal...

You may be tempted to dismiss this but please don't. The philosophies generated in our universities and institutions of 'higher learning' eventually make there way down to our children's and grandchildren's classrooms, shaping the future for generations to come.

Academics ultimately rule the world from the grave...

Read the whole commentary.