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Assisted or Not, Suicide Is Always Morally Impermissible

Depressed Man Contemplating SuicideAs suicide rates rise in the West, efforts are underway to legalize physician assisted suicide. Morally speaking, a suicide is a suicide whether it is assisted or not. The only thing that really changes from a moral standpoint is the multiplication of guilt.

The intentional taking, or assisting in the taking, of an innocent life is always morally impermissible.

Most of the arguments in favor of legalized assisted suicide focus on either self-determination or the alleviation of suffering. Neither of these arguments hold up to close scrutiny, but this is not the place to offer the Catholic critique of the practice. Rather, we are interested in how Catholic investors can promote life from conception to natural death.

Physician Assisted Suicide Isn’t Always By the Book

There are actually several ways for doctors to assist in patient suicides. Interestingly, some of them involve using perfectly legal drugs in ways the manufacturer never intended. This “off label” use can actually be legal and, in other circumstances, can have perfectly ethical reasons for doing so. For example, certain chemotherapy drugs affect the immune system in ways that also serve to treat unrelated diseases and are sometimes prescribed specifically to treat them in patients who otherwise have no need for chemotherapy.

Similarly, certain drugs with medically valid uses are given off label as part of an assisted suicide.

The muscle relaxant Zemeron is one such drug. Designed and approved to be used as a muscle relaxant during surgery, some physicians realized it had potential to be used in assisted suicides. The drug is notable for how quickly it works, making it a prime choice for quickly ending a patient’s life.

Manufacturer Unaware of Off Label Use Acts Quickly

Family Happy that Man DId Not Seek Assisted SuicideGiven the nature of medical privacy laws, it’s no surprise that drug manufacturers are not aware of off label usage of their products. This was exactly the situation with Merck and Zemeron. When we broached the topic with them, our initial aim was to alert them to this practice and get them to restrict access to the drug.

We were surprised when the drug manufacturer went over and above what we were requesting.

Rather than just limiting access to the drug, Merck decided to cease production altogether. As a result, it is no longer available for use in physician assisted suicides. This is only one small step towards ending this barbaric practice, yet it is very encouraging to see large corporations take the issue seriously.

Turn your investments into a tool for preventing physician assisted suicide by contacting our financial advisors today.

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