It was bound to happen. First, proponents of the culture of death brought us physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Now, we must contend with IAS - Internet-assisted suicide. Yes, you read right. As reported by Julia Scheeres in the June 8 San Francisco Chronicle, suicide promotion and facilitation has entered cyberspace. In "A Virtual Path to Suicide," Scheeres demonstrates how indifferent to the value of human life certain segments of our society have grown, and how callous they are when faced with a despairing person wishing to commit suicide. First, they bestow moral permission. Then, they teach the self-destructive person how to do it. Finally, they keep the suicidal person company until the deed is done. It is the modern version of the howling crowd yelling, "Jump! Jump!" at the suicidal person standing on the skyscraper window ledge.
This is what happened to 19-year-old Suzy Gonzales. Despite having a full scholarship at Florida State University and a loving family, Gonzales wanted to kill herself. Her suicide was set in motion when she found an Internet site whose participants "view suicide as a civil right that anyone should be able to exercise, for any reason." On the site, Scheeres reports, "Gonzales found people who told her that suicide was an acceptable way to end her despair, and who gave her instructions on how to obtain a lethal dose of potassium cyanide and mix it into a deadly cocktail."
Wesley J. Smith is the author of "The Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America."
Read the entire article on the Discovery website.