“Imagine that your adolescent son or daughter suffers from a serious and intractable depressive illness. Every treatment short of electroconvulsive therapy has been tried, but nothing has really worked. After years of misery, your teenage child tells you, ‘That’s enough. I’m done! I’m gonna end this, one way or another.’ How would you feel if your child’s doctor now offered to help your child commit suicide by prescribing a lethal drug?
If you think this scenario is the stuff of Orwellian fiction, think again. So-called ‘physician-assisted dying’—even for people with nonterminal illnesses, like major depression—is now accepted practice in parts of Europe. Extending this ‘right’ to youth with intractable mental illness could eventually become legal in Canada. And if current trends favoring ‘physician-assisted suicide’ (PAS) in the United States accelerate, we could find ourselves in a similar position.”Aug. 2, 2016