Blog 3 of 5
St. Pope John Paul II in the 17th year of his papacy gave the document Evangelium Vitae (which is translated to the Gospel of Life) to the Church. Evangelium Vitae states, “Walk as children of light … and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph 5:8, 10-11). In our present social context, marked by a dramatic struggle between the ‘culture of life’ and the ‘culture of death’, there is need to develop a deep critical sense, capable of discerning true values and authentic needs” (95).
As St. Pope John Paul II states, it is important for us to feel the authentic needs of others and to be able to feel empathy for those suffering from the feeling that suicide is their only option. It is then important for us to be aware of services that can assist people suffering from these types of thoughts during this challenging time in their lives.
“Even among terminally ill patients, a request to die is nearly always a cry for help.” Studies show that the desire to die is almost always a response to a patient feeling pain both physically or from a lack of social support. These people typically do not want to die but rather desire to escape what they perceive as an unbearable situation and believe that ending their life is the only way out. In the Respect Life Program for 2016’s article “Every Suicide is Tragic,” it states that “among terminally ill individuals, a request to die is often associated with a potentially treatable mental disorder such as depression or anxiety.” A study from Oregon following the legalization of physician-assisted suicide shows that less than 5% of individuals who have completed physician-assisted suicide were referred to a psychological evaluation to find the reasons for the suicidal tendencies. Another study from Oregon explains that since the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in 1997, the rates of suicide have gone up 42% higher than the national average.
In the end these studies display that assisting suicide does not discourage suicide. We all are the beloveds of God and deserve to be loved and respected by others and ourselves as well. Every life is precious and if you feel that suicide is your only option please seek help. Your life has meaning and you are irreplaceable in this world. Please call any of these numbers to speak to a professional confidentially.
Lifeline National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Long Island Crisis Center (516) 679-1111
Response to Suffolk County (631) 751-7500