We are in the midst of a “suicide epidemic.” Yet, rather than look at causes, many commenters go shallow to focus on methods.
For example, most suicides are by gun. Thus, at Real Clear Science, Alex B. Berezow advocates gun control. From, “To End Suicide Epidemic, Make Guns Harder to Get:”
A sensible policy to lower the suicide rate in America would be to make gun ownership more difficult. But given our current political climate, that idea is almost certainly dead in the water.
Let’s connect some dots: The problem isn’t means, but culture. Media, popular entertainment, and societal decadence are making suicide increasingly acceptable. More, I believe that we are fast becoming a pro suicide culture.
Think not? Look at the media tripping over themselves to extol Brittany Maynard! I mean, good grief, she has become an international celebrity–not for anything she has done in life but because she is young and pretty and has announced plans to commit assisted suicide!
Look at the terms used ubiquitously to describe her plan: “Courageous;” “in control;” “on her own terms,” “the only reason to oppose is religious,” etc..
You can’t applaud one person’s planned suicide and then tut-tut about other suicides. It won’t resonate.
And look what is not being said in her case: “Suicide prevention;” “medical care can preserve quality of life,” “suicide is wrong,”etc..
The suicide virus is catching, particularly when the media make it glamorous and turn a suicidal woman into a heroine.
If we want to reduce suicide, we need a societal milieu in which it is a distinctly disfavored action–not for some, but for all.
Absent that, we had better get used to high suicide rates–both of those approved of by the zeitgeist, and those which all still find appalling.
LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism.