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What we need is better training in those techniques for health care personnel -- not the legalization of physician-aided death. What would it say about our attitude as a society were we to tell those who have neither terminal illness nor a disability, "You say you want to be killed, but what you really need is counseling and assistance," but, at the same time, we were to tell those with disabilities, "We understand why you want to be killed, and we'll let a doctor kill you"? ARCHIVES NEUROLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY 103, 111 (1958); & Stengel, SUICIDE AND ATTEMPTED SUICIDE 113 (1964). Jensen & Petty, supra note 4; Rubinstein, supra note 4, at 109; & Stengel, supra note 4, at 73. Rosen, The Serious Suicide Attempt: Five Year Follow Up Study of 886 Patients, 235 J. Communication of these feelings -- rather than death -- is the true aim of the suicide attempter.
It would certainly not mean that we were respecting the "choice" of the person with the disability. Hendin, SUICIDE IN AMERICA 223 (1982); Jensen & Petty, The Fantasy of Being Rescued, 27 PSYCHOANALYTIC Q. Menninger, MAN AGAINST HIMSELF 50 (1938); Rubinstein, Meses & Lidz, On Attempted Suicide, 79 A. This explains why, paradoxically but truthfully, many say after an obvious suicide attempt that they really didn't want to kill themselves.
Planned Parenthood has been exposed for their callous harvesting of baby body parts. If society creates a "right to suicide" and legalizes "physician-assisted suicide," the message perceived by a suicide attempter is not likely to be, "We respect your wishes," but rather, "we don't care if you live or die." Almost all who commit suicide have mental health problems.
Sign the petition to help protect innocent babies and their moms! Few people, if any, simply sit down and make a cool, rational decision to commit suicide. Louis, Missouri, 47% of those committing suicide were diagnosed as suffering from either schizophrenic panic disorders or from affective disorders such as depressive disorders, dysthymic disorders, or bipolar disorder.
Those seeking suicide would be legally entitled to be left alone to do something irremediable, based on a distorted assessment of their circumstances, without genuine help.
True respect for the rights of people with disabilities would dictate action to remove those obstacles -- not "help" in committing suicide. As attorney Walter Weber has written in the , Under the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. Constitution, legislative classifications that restrict constitutional rights are subject to strict scrutiny and will be struck down unless narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest. A right to choose death for oneself would also probably extend to incompetent individuals. [A] number of lower courts have held that an incompetent patient does not lose his or her right to consent to termination of life-supporting care by virtue of his or her incompetency.... Encouraging or validating the disturbed individual's feelings or misperceptions in fact makes it less likely the individual will get the help he or she needs and subconsciously probably wants.The humane response is to mobilize psychiatric and social service resources to address the problems that led the would-be suicide to such an extremity. This physical and emotional exhaustion impairs basic cognition, creates unwarranted self-blame, and generally lowers overall self esteem, all of which easily lead to distorted judgements.Typically, this counseling and assistance is successful. These effects also contribute to the sense of hopelessness that is the primary trigger of most suicidal behavior.But shouldn't we distinguish between those who are emotionally unbalanced and those who are making a rational, competent decision? Suicide attempters also tend to maximize their problems, minimize their achievements, and generally to ignore the larger context of their situations.Psychologist Joseph Richman, writing in the Journal of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, notes, [A]s a clinical suicidologist, and therapist who has interviewed or treated over 800 suicidal persons and their families... They sometimes have inordinately unrealistic expectations of themselves.