Chaelor B. Colorado

Suicide Rates

Dear Future President,

Because America has chosen you to lead us in times of need, in the struggles of war, in the periods of despair, there is something very important that needs to be brought to your attention, in order for a change to be made. Suicide rates are at an all time high across the nation. The worst part is that, a vast majority of these suicides are preventable. The first step to saving future suicide victims, is to create awareness, and as a government come up with the best course of action to abide by the nation’s needs. As a whole, we are asking of you Mr/Mrs. President, to prevent more suicides, and help pass a law to make assisted suicide illegal for all territories of the United States.

    Watching a loved one slip from your grasp, and slowly deteriorate in front of your eyes, is the main reason that the debate between assisted suicide is even being discussed. Nobody wants to have a loved one suffer, nobody wants to watch someone in pain. This would be a good reason to pass laws to make assisted suicide legal. If only the solution was that simple, and there weren’t these glaring problems to deal with. In the year 1999 in the U.S., the number of suicides by people ages 45-64 was 600,000. And in 2014, that same age groups’ suicide rate skyrocketed to 980,000. That is a 63% increase in just 15 years! If this increase stayed consistent over the next 15 years, we would have a projected suicide rate of 1,127,000 people. This is a big number that will continue to grow as years go by. A possible solution to this problem is making assisted suicide illegal, for all of the nation. Assisted suicide is defined as “the suicide of a patient suffering from an incurable disease, affected by the taking of lethal drugs provided by a doctor for this purpose.” Assisted suicide is a legal way to die, and not have loved ones face any repercussions of helping. That being said, not only does assisted suicide provide legal ways for unhappy people to die, it is unclear on whether legal assisted suicide in The United States will be used appropriately, and not misused.

    The Netherlands in 2002 made assisted suicide legal for not only patients with a terminal illness, but for those who are experiencing “unbearable pain without hope of improvement.” This legalization makes no distinction on any form of mental illness. Why does making such a distinction matter? To simply put it, patients with any sort of mental illness, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. are able to ask a doctor to die, and as long as explicit permission is given, than the patient can be administered a lethal injection, and therefore die. 6,000 known cases of euthanasia deaths have been reported in The Netherlands in 2014. The Netherlands had a reported 139,073 deaths in the year 2014. This comes out to roughly 23% of the total death rates being caused by assisted suicide. If 23% of the death toll of The United States was caused by assisted suicide, that would equal 60,407 deaths. When you put this into perspective, one can see how the legalization of assisted suicide can be an alarming numerical figure. If 60,407 people die every year, just based off of one curable thing, why wouldn’t we do something about it?

    The illegalization of assisted suicide for every state is crucial because if the government does not make an explicit law regarding assisted suicide, than the power to make those decisions goes directly to the states. The 10th Amendment at which the nation was founded on states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” -U.S. Constitution. Why is this dangerous in terms of euthanasia? States can make their own laws regarding euthanasia, meaning one state can clarify that you must have an incurable disease, and another state can state that you just have to be in unbearable pain to kill yourself. If the second scenario became the chosen law for the majority of states, that is when The United States death toll will begin to look extremely similar to The Netherlands.

It is the duty as the president of this country, to abide by and help pass laws to keep the best interests of the nation in primal view. As the president of The United States of America, you must help pass laws to protect the current citizens of this country, and to help preserve future generations. If a governmental law is not passed prohibiting this form of suicide, it can be toxic and detrimental for The U.S.