Assisted suicide is the ultimate slippery slope. Time and time again, proponents use heart-wrenching stories of people suffering through pain and anguish as they endure incurable or terminal illnesses, and use these as examples of why we need, as they call it, “death with dignity.” But leaving aside the awful notion of suicide being more dignified than dying a natural death, this never remains the line when it comes to assisted suicide. The parameters get changed and stretched, and the line gets moved further and further.
Now, healthy people are being euthanized… solely because of mental illness. In the Netherlands, RTL News reports (translated) that 29-year-old “Sarah” will be put to death on January 26th. According to the article, Sarah has battled mental illness since she was a child; she has borderline personality disorder, self-harms, hears voices, suffers psychosis, and struggles with depression. She also is suicidal, having attempted suicide over 20 times.
These should be reasons why Sarah is denied euthanasia; she clearly is not fit to make such a decision. Yet in the Netherlands, that evidently isn’t a problem.
“I want to die in a dignified way. I think that after such a rotten life I am entitled to a dignified death; people who have a serious illness also get a chance for a worthy end,” Sarah said to RTL News. “Why is it so difficult for people who are to be psychic (sic), I think I have the right to die dignified, I am a human being.”
In 2017, Sarah was given what she thought was one final chance for treatment, one final therapy. But ultimately, she was turned away. “I would be admitted to a clinic for three months, but after an intake interview, they said they could not help me, my problem was too complicated,” she explained. “Because they could not help me, I was untreated and that is an important condition for euthanasia, and soon after that I started the euthanasia process.”
Sarah’s problem is not that she needs to die; it’s that she is not receiving proper psychiatric care. And why should the Netherlands provide it to her? It’s far easier and cheaper to just kill her.
Sadly, Sarah is not alone. In the Netherlands, one person with mental illness is euthanized every week, sometimes against their will and without their consent. Across the rest of the world, people have been euthanized because they are transgender, depressed, or fighting addiction. Victims of sexual abuse, who struggled with depression afterwards, have also been euthanized.
In Canada, it’s even worse; the Quebec government, for example, is considering allowing people with Alzheimer’s to be euthanized without their consent. The government is also conducting a formal study to determine whether or not people with mental illnesses should qualify for euthanasia. There is even a push for this here in the United States.
Assisted suicide is a cancer which must be stamped out. It preys on the most vulnerable people in society — the sick, the mentally ill, the disabled, the poor — and wraps up their suicides as “dignified.” But the truth is, there is nothing dignified about a death sentence from a society eager to tell someone that their life is no longer worth living.