Editorial: Assisted suicide in California

California has a new assisted suicide law and at least 111 people have taken their own lives using lethal prescriptions in the first six months.

The law supposedly lets “terminally ill” people request life-ending drugs from their doctors without criminal liability for the physician.

California’s “The End of Life Option Act” is similar to laws in at least four other states.

According to the Los Angeles Times, physician-assisted deaths made up 6 out of every 10,000 deaths in California between June and December 2016, according to state data. The 2016 rate is higher in Oregon, where lethal prescriptions accounted for 37 per 10,000 deaths. This is a slippery slope.

This is the government sanctioning suicide. These doctors are violating their Hippocratic Oath, which says to “do no harm.”

This is so problematic. When someone hears a diagnosis of a fatal disease, their emotional makeup may lead them to suicidal thoughts. But what if that disease turned out not to be fatal? Or what if that person, given some time to think and sort things through, decided to fight for life or to make the best of whatever days remain?

What if a person is really not that sick but some family member sees this as a chance to get rid of this person?

As a society, this devalues human life. It ignores Biblical principles, including a prohibition against suicide.

People deserve the best medical care possible. Sometimes, it is proper to end extraordinary measures to keep someone alive.

But for a doctor to give deadly drugs to a dying percon is nothing more than assisted suicide. And the number of these deaths in California could soon skyrocket.