There's Nothing Dignified About Suicide

The sad ending of a 104-year-old life.

David Goodall died Thursday after a long battle with regret. He was 104. Goodall, the noted British scientist and…

Supporters of assisted suicide call what Goodall did, “dying with dignity.” They say that choosing to end one’s life under one’s own terms should be the right of those who are suffering from terminal illnesses and enduring severe pain. But there’s a problem. Goodall didn’t have a terminal illness. He was suffering from what a Washington Post article described as, “existential distress” rather than severe pain. According to the Post, it is this “existential distress” and not pain that is behind most assisted suicides. Put another way, most people who die by assisted suicide just don’t want to live anymore. It has more to do with the will to live than it does the level of pain.

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