September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. You may have seen postings on social media or billboards promoting resources available to those possibly considering ending their own life. It’s all the more tragic then that at the same time we are working to prevent suicide and raise awareness of the tragedy that many in the United States are actively engaged in legalizing the practice of physician assisted suicide.

As our readers know, California’s state legislature recently passed a bill that would make it legal in the state. Debates are also ongoing in other states such as New York, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Consider this:

Suicide…is often the result of mental health conditions that effect people when they are most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. In many cases the individuals, friends and families affected by suicide are left in dark, feeling shame or stigma that prevents talking openly about issues dealing with suicide.

This is the official language and warning that comes from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Suicidal desires are something that must be treated. How tragic that a growing movement is attempting to make doctors complicit in this practice rather than agents of healing for those most in need.

Wouldn’t it be a fitting way to mark Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by California Governor Jerry Brown vetoing physician assisted suicide in his state? Those in need deserve care and compassion—not assistance in killing. Let’s spread that message this month and every chance we get.

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Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director