World Suicide Prevention Day (But Not for the Sick and Disabled)

depression-824998_1280September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day! It’s a time to promote suicide prevention for people everywhere — except the sick and disabled. Depending on where they live, they get help killing themselves.

In Canada, we now have legal assisted suicide for Canadians “who have a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability.” I meet the criteria for what the Canada’s Liberal government euphemistically calls “medical assistance in dying” — should I become suicidal. World Suicide Prevention Day is NOT meant for people like me.

I have advanced multiple sclerosis (MS) and have been incurable ill for 32 years. It has caused significant disability. No, World Suicide Prevention day does not include me, nor others like me. Although people who consider themselves “progressive” would never admit it, their world of progression is one without the chronically ill and disabled and they are prepared to kill to get it.

World Suicide Prevention Day is for healthy and able-bodied folks and bypasses the sick and disabled in Holland, Belgium, the U.S. states, Oregon, California, Washington or Vermont, and now their neighbors to the north: Canada. We get medical assistance in dying! Our therapy is lethal injection or poison pills. So kind and inclusive of the “progressives”. Such progress!

Proponents of assisted suicide say people should be able to choose the time and place of their own deaths. But have you ever noticed they only speak this way when dealing with sick and disabled people?

The euphemism “medical assistance in dying” is intentionally inaccurate and misleading. If the Canadian Liberal government of Justin Trudeau was honest they would have termed their law what it is: “An Act to permit medical assisted suicide” or “An Act to permit medical killing”. But that does sounds regressive (which it is) and reminiscent of (dare I say it?) the Nazis.

So much for progress.  In Canada, we are talking about state-sanctioned medical killing specifically targeted at incurably sick and disabled and tax funded. It is anti-disability prejudice disguised as autonomy and choice.

Until the annual World Suicide Prevention day denounces assisted suicide of the sick and disabled — and particular state-sanctioned assisted suicide — it will be a selective prevention, a cruel and hollow lie at the expense of people like me.

Mark Davis Pickup is chronically ill and disabled with degenerative multiple sclerosis. He is an advocate for life issues and disability inclusion across North America. He and his wife, LaRee, have been married for 38 years. They live in Alberta Canada with their two adult children and five grandchildren. Mark is available to address issues of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and issues revolving around suffering that often fuel calls for euthanasia. He writes regularly at http://markpickup.org and http://humanlifematters.org. For bookings, contact him by e-mail at MPickup@shaw.ca or telephone (780) 929-9230. Mark Pickup's bi-weekly column can be read in the Western Catholic Reporter (Canada) at http://www.wcr.ab.ca/.