Mixed Messages on Suicide Prevention in Vermont

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture

By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC

The Burlington Free Press has a front page story today on suicide prevention. From the story:

Vermont school administrators, guidance counselors and teachers routinely receive training on how to prevent teen suicides, but mental health experts say even with intervention, not every life can be saved…Whenever a youth is thought to be at risk of suicide, it is imperative to talk to them and steer them quickly toward mental health counselors, mental health professionals said.

That’s good. But whatever would get teens to think suicide could be acceptable answer to ending human suffering? Oh, yes: The new governor of Vermont ran on a plank of legalizing assisted suicide and a big push is to be made in the legislature to pass just such a law.

So, on one hand Vermont laudably wants to prevent suicides. But on the other, the highest officials in the state want to turn suicide into a medical treatment for some Vermonters. Mixed messages don’t work, folks. Get a clue!

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