WASHINGTON – Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-29, according to the World Health Organization, taking the lives of some 800,000 each year, but some want to add to that number.
A recent piece in the U.K.’s The Spectator walks the reader through a typical workshop given by Dr. Philip Nitschke, an Australian physician who is one of the world’s most vocal advocates for physician-assisted suicide.
“It is a sunny Saturday afternoon in Covent Garden and we are all learning how to kill ourselves,” the article begins.
The workshop was hosted by Exit International, an organization founded by Nitschke.
Exit International’s vision statement, according to its website, is “that every adult of sound mind has the right to implement plans for the end of their life so that their death is reliable, peaceful and at a time of their choosing.”
“Exit believes that control over one’s life & death to be a fundamental civil right from which no one of sound mind should be excluded.”
To this end, Nitschke travels the world, educating people on how to kill themselves using poisons, inert gas asphyxiation and human size capsules, which double as coffins, allowing “patients” to administer a deadly dose of nitrogen with the push of a button.
Nitschke has been nicknamed by some “Dr. Death,” and the name is fitting. In 1996, he became the first doctor in the world to administer a legal lethal voluntary injection to end the life of one of his patients. The following year, he founded the Voluntary Euthanasia Research Foundation, which is now known as Exit International.
Author and filmmaker Ray Comfort, producer of a brand-new documentary called “EXIT: The Appeal of Suicide,” believes that the rise of “doctors” such as Nitschke is due to a larger philosophical problem in today’s world.
“This is the fruit of a world that has embraced the unscientific, unproven, and unprovable theory of Darwinian evolution,” Comfort told WND. “When we come to a place in society where people believe that we have no more worth than a beast, then human beings will be treated like beasts and will be euthanized.”
It’s not just that the theory of evolution has been embraced, according to Comfort; it’s that people have turned away from God.
“Assisted suicide is a very slippery path, especially for a society that has turned its back on God,” he said. “This is because the only path left if the absolutes of His moral law are forsaken, is the path of moral relativism. It’s then that we live in a society where people choose what is right in their own eyes rather than what’s right in God’s eyes. That means the state eventually tells you what you can and can’t do with your children, and when you should terminate your parents or grandparents.”
The workshops that Nitschke hosts are restricted to people 50 years of age and older. The idea is that these are people who have lived a long life and want to die before they suffer the effects of growing old.
However, there is no guarantee that Nitschke’s advice and his products will be limited to only the elderly.
“To say that this kit will be restricted is like saying that alcohol and drugs are restricted to a certain age group,” Comfort said.
Comfort believes that people need to confront activists like “Dr. Death” with hope, not hate, and he believes his movie has accomplished this.
“His is the message of hopelessness and death. Our movie is a message of hope and life. And as human beings we need hope, especially in such an unstable world in which we live.”
Ray Comfort has written more than 80 books, many of which deal with the existence of God. His works include provocative titles such as “God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists,” “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life,” “How to Know God Exists,” “The Evidence Bible,” “Einstein, God, and the Bible,” “The Beatles, God, and the Bible,” “Hitler, God, and the Bible,” “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think,” “Nothing Created Everything” and “What Hollywood Believes: An Intimate Look at the Faith of the Famous.”