Over the last few years, the subject of assisted suicide has become a sympathy point of the Left and of the American media. As Katie Yoder explains at Newsbusters, “some call it assisted suicide. Others call it euthanasia. But to the media, it’s the ‘right to die.’”
The media, however, isn’t keeping its position on the issue secret. A look at the video’s credits “reveal the big media names behind the video, including liberal comedian Bill Maher as executive producer and CNN host Fareed Zakaria as consulting producer.”
Whatever one chooses to call the process, it is currently legal in California, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. It is also legal in Montana if the patient obtains court approval.
VICE news aired a documentary on HBO that follows the life of a woman that wishes to end her life in the Netherlands. Antoinette Westerink, who suffers from a personality disorder, is interviewed and followed around by a VICE journalist as she makes the final preparations of her suicide the following day. The documentary follows her as she goes through the process of medically induced suicide.
Assisted suicide has become increasingly popular in parts of Europe, the Netherlands included. The description of the documentary reads:
When California enacted the End of Life Option Act last October amid fierce debate, the number of terminally ill Americans with the right to a doctor-assisted death effectively quadrupled. But in parts of Europe, Euthanasia is administered far beyond than [sic] the terminally ill, including those with autism, depression, and personality disorders. VICE explores the moral, political and personal questions about when and how we end our lives.</blockquote>
Unhappy with Antoinette’s decision to end her life are her children Sheila and Gabor. “ If [her psychiatrist] had called me, I would have told her what we went through with our mother because she wanted to die her entire life. I would have liked to have some input in the process. That’s not the case now.”
After three evaluation sessions with a psychiatrist, the doctor was able to approve Antoinette for medically induced suicide.
Antoinette’s son Gabor also took issue with the decision, saying, “In my opinion, the doctor would not be able to correctly diagnose her condition because she did not contact the family. It surprises me that, in the Netherlands, you can give someone a death sentence after three conversations.”
Opponents of medically induced suicide fear that it creates a slippery slope. Doctors are required to notify terminally ill patients if the process is legal in parts of the United States and opponents worry that assisted suicide will become the preferred treatment of terminally ill or elderly patients, particularly if the patients are relying on medical care paid for by the government. Medically induced suicide has the potential to be abused by both patients and by providers wishing to save on costs.