New Jersey and suicide: when the law contradicts itself


 

A new US study published by the Well Being Trust and the American Academy of Family Physicians has found that the consequences of the pandemic, such as jobs lost, isolation and fear for the future, could lead to 75,000 deaths in the nation, beyond to the 78,000 already caused directly by Covid, caused by drug abuse, alcohol and suicide in the next decade.

“We see very troubling signs across the nation,” said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary at Department of Health and Human Services and head of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. “There’s more substance abuse, more overdoses, more domestic violence and neglect and abuse of children.”

In New Jersey, Governor Murphy and officials say they are concerned about a spike in suicide caused by the lockdown.

“I don’t know specifics in terms of tracking suicides, but we have said this: The combination of isolation and now other factors like job losses are having big impacts on folks, there’s no question about it”, said the governor.
It is clear that the high number of suicides is not a positive factor for Murphy, but that it is, indeed, a problem to be prevented.

On 31 January 2019, however, the Assembly of the state of New Jersey itself approved the law that allows the MAID, medical assistance in dying, respecting the criterion of age, mental capacity and terminal disease.
We at Steadfast are astonished by how explicit is the contradiction of those who promote laws in favour of death and not life.

Those who are in despair for receiving an inauspicious diagnosis, perhaps precisely because of Covid19, should receive comfort, care and accompaniment, instead they are offered a law, flaunted as compassionate, which allows them to kill themselves and signed by Governor Murphy himself, the one who now is worried about his state’s suicide spike.

Sometimes amazement can turn into discouragement, but we can’t stop. Our LifeAid project aims to report any violation of human life, especially when the laws that should protect it decree a different value of it, depending on the case.

Emmanuele Di Leo


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