US suicides hit an all-time high last year as crisis of meaning deepens – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) – The number of suicides in the U.S. reached an all-time high last year, the Associate Press (AP) reports. 

The AP report tries to blame the rise in suicides on the “growing availability of guns”—a lazy and superficial explanation for a much deeper problem: The crisis of meaning in post-Christian culture.

The suicide epidemic is rather a symptom of a secularization that has robbed most people of ultimate meaning in their lives. Many lack an objective higher ideal outside of maximizing their own pleasure and comfort. Superficial distractions and short-lived moments of happiness only work for so long; at some point, if one cannot answer the question of the ultimate meaning of their life, they are likely to despair. 

Some claim that today’s generations are just too weak and effeminate to handle the harsh realities of life. Previous generations likely had a less comfortable life than Europeans and Americans in the 21st century; however, our time has its own unique challenges, as many young people are confronted with destructive temptations, like online pornography, which our ancestors did not have to face. 

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As the sanctity of human life is degraded around the world, we are seeing a particularly horrifying phenomenon – the euthanasia of children.

As if killing adults is not bad enough, giving lethal injections to children was first legalised in Belgium in 2014, and the Dutch health minister has recently announced that the country is expanding eligibility for children to be given lethal injections, from infants and older teenagers, to include children aged one to twelve. In both countries, there were reports that these so called mercy killings of children occurred before it was legalised.

Sign our petition to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, calling on them to take action against states that permit this horrific practise.

In The Netherlands from 2005 to 2018, official reports indicate that 14 children between the ages of 12 and 18 were actively euthanased; that is, about 1 per year. However, a  death certificate study in 2001, of children aged 1 to 17, in found that there were about 5 cases per year (0.7% of all deaths of minors; narrowly defined as only those with a request from the child).

Importantly, another 15 children per year (2.0%) were actively euthanased with no specific request from the child, but instead one from the parents. This 2001 death certificate study occurred before the law changed to permit euthanasia of minors, hence illegal euthanasia of minors (older or younger than 12) was happening.

In Belgium in 2007/2008, a death certificate study revealed that while there were no cases of active euthanasia narrowly defined as by request only, 7.9% of all deaths were in fact active euthanasia (by lethal drugs) without an explicit request from the child, amounting to about 10 per year in Flanders alone. Again, this occurred at a time when euthanasia of minors was illegal in Belgium.

Reports from Belgium and Holland up until 2010 show that between 7% and 9% of all infant deaths involved active euthanasia by lethal injection.

This push to kill sick children is not just happening in Europe. In Canada, a parliamentary committee has recommended that Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) should be extended to ‘mature minors’.

This Report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying,  recommended that ‘the government of Canada amend the eligibility criteria for MAID set out in the Criminal Code to include minors’, with the stipulation that, without lethal intervention, their death should be ‘reasonably foreseeable’.

The committee emphasised that ‘MAID should not be denied on the basis of age alone’ and therefore, it should be accessible to any child whom doctors believe has ‘requisite decision-making capacity’. What child has the capacity to make a life or death decision?

Horrifyingly, the report further recommended that, ‘where appropriate, the parents or guardians of a mature minor be consulted in the course of the assessment process for MAID, but that the will of a minor who is found to have the requisite decision-making capacity ultimately take priority’. This means that parents would be powerless to stop an anxious teenager who wants to be euthanised from being killed by doctors.

Sign our petition to stand up for sick children and their parents.

We are calling on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to make a statement condemning the euthanasia of children, and to take action against state parties who practise it.

The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states that “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, as the body responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, has a clear duty to take action to protect children from being killed by the state.

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While effeminacy may play a role in the suicide epidemic, the lack of purpose is really at the core of the issue. It is no wonder that Jordan Peterson became so popular by talking about meaning, responsibility, and suffering in life. He spoke to a generation that yearns to live (and die) for something greater than themselves but does not know what that might be. 

All the higher ideals that used to be cherished and give people something outside themselves that makes sacrifices and suffering worthwhile—nation, family, and especially religion—are under relentless attack by the neo-Marxist ideologies that dominate public life in the West. 

Whenever the establishment offers an alleged higher ideal to people, like saving the planet and the human race from impending doom caused by “man-made climate change,” it just causes the adherents of this ideal to be even more terrified and depressed. 

As things worsen economically and culturally, it will become even more difficult for people to distract themselves from the important question of life: Is there an objective meaning to life? Does God exist? Do heaven and hell exist? Can there be meaning in my suffering? Etc. 

As times get tougher, there is an opportunity to convert hearts and minds to the truth, the Logos incarnate, Jesus Christ. As Christians, we must be ready to love broken people searching for meaning and be prepared to preach the truth with clarity and charity.

Andreas Wailzer is an Austrian journalist based in Vienna writing for LifeSiteNews. He studied business and economics in Vienna and Vancouver, Canada. In 2022, he left his job in the corporate world to work full-time in the field of Catholic journalism and advocacy, first at the St. Boniface Institute in Vienna and now at LifeSiteNews.

Andreas loves to write about politics, economics, and everything related to the Catholic faith. His work has been published in English and German in multiple media outlets, including Die Tagespost, Wochenblick, Corrigenda, and LifeSiteNews.

You can follow Andreas on Twitter.