A New York Times piece by Canadian essayist Clancy Martin shockingly promoted assisted suicide as “moral progress.” It further advocated euthanasia for patients suffering from mental health issues.
That despite the writer noting that many people look back their suicidal moments with gratitude that the time passed or they survived the attempt.
The controversial essay was titled “Medical Assistance in Dying Should Not Exclude Mental Illness.” Martin, a father of five and a professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, recounted many of his past suicide attempts.
He further said he has “talked many, many people ‘off the ledge.’”
The Canadian is well aware of his government’s contentious “medical assistance in dying” (MAID) program. Canada has an established assisted suicide program that is increasingly controversial for the lax manner in which some patients are approved.
It is one of only seven nations that permit medical professionals to administer lethal drugs to patients. And it is the only one that permits nurse practitioners to carry out the act.
One patient had a history of depression and other health issues, though none were life-threatening. But 61-year-old Alan Nichols was hospitalized in 2019 over concerns he might be suicidal, and from there he applied for euthanasia.
His application only listed hearing loss as the reason for his request for medically assisted suicide. His family has since taken his case to health authorities, arguing that hospital staffers wrongly aided him in seeking euthanasia.
Martin’s essay drew sharp rebukes from social media critics who recoiled at the thought of assisted suicide for people with mental issues. Editor Bria Sandford called it “evil, even if meant as kindness.”
Another user warned that even the definition of mental illness changes over time. It is quite possible that the narrative will shift from Martin’s “let’s help people with mental illness end their own lives.”
In the future, it could become “maybe we should just euthanize people with mental illness.”
One Twitter user posted that it’s 2023, “and here’s someone in the NYT saying people suffering with poor mental health should have access to euthanasia.” The posting asked if people are “off their rocker” and added that society should “treat people with mental illness” so they will improve.
Yet another opined, “NYT Liberalism: Please die instead of us having to pay for your mental healthcare.”