December 19, 2019

Assisted Suicide Activist Gets Media Spotlight

Right to Die activist Philip Nitschke has become a major figure in his movement, now having created a death machine called the "sarco" to asphyxiate those who wish to commit suicide by using nitrogen gas. Recently he has been interviewed by multiple news outlets. The Economist refers to him as "the bad boy of the euthanasia movement" and together with his wife as "the movement's only power couple."

As Nitschke's ideas become more popular, so does the danger to the those vulnerable to being persuaded to commit suicide. Nitschke responded to a question by National Review Online journalist Kathryn Jean Lopez about whether suicide pills should be made available to "troubled teens with the following:
"My personal position is that if we believe that there is a right to life, then we must accept that people have a right to dispose of that life whenever they want. (In the same way as the right to freedom of religion has implicit the right to be an atheist, and the right to freedom of speech involves the right to remain silent). I do not believe that telling people they have a right to life while denying them the means, manner, or information necessary for them to give this life away has any ethical consistency. 
So all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to “give away” their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or recourse necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, [and] the troubled teen. If we are to remain consistent and we believe that the individual has the right to dispose of their life, we should not erect artificial barriers in the way of sub-groups who don’t meet our criteria."
The pro-life movement must fight to protect the life of every person, regardless of their age, mental state, or ability to provide for themselves. As ideas like Nitschke's become more popular, so too does the stigma and bigotry against those whom society values less. If the pro-life movement allows these ideas to become mainstream, impulsive suicide will not only be more common, it will be encouraged.

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