Debunking The “Death With Dignity” Myth

Tiffany Dawson

“Death with dignity” sounds merciful. It sounds peaceful. If I were terminally ill, I wouldn’t want to die a painful death either. I have no doubt that advocates of death with dignity (physician assisted suicide) have good intentions, but beneath the peaceful face of the “death with dignity” movement is a spiritually dark concept that has practical implications.

In particular there are two premises in the “death with dignity” concept that are false.

The first idea, implied in the movement’s name, is that a person can lose his or her dignity by suffering at the end of life and can regain it by choosing when to die and avoiding suffering. This is not true.

According to Merriam Webster, “dignity” means, “the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed.”

What “death with dignity” advocates forget is that, no matter how much suffering the patient is going through, even if they are suffering without hope of survival, these terminally ill patients are still just as valuable and worthy of life as they were before they were suffering.

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