Director, Commonwealth Policy Center
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For better or worse, human beings have the freedom to choose when they want to die. Should a person choose to take his or her own life, there is no law or restriction against them doing so. Thankfully, the world still deems life precious enough that the majority of people want to keep on living. What happens, though, when attitudes shift nationally in the other direction? For example, in the past five years, assisted suicides in Belgium have been approved for those suffering from disorders such as autism, manic depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and anorexia. None of these conditions were terminal. When the government and medical profession themselves begin to project this type of hopeless attitude toward life, what message does this send? Certainly not that life is a gift, is precious, and has hope. The United States is currently 50th on World Health Organization's list of suicides per 100,000 people per year; Belgium is 17th. Do not think that the government's stance on human life does not affect the attitudes of its citizens. This is why the battle against practices such as legalized abortion are so important. Life is connected to life. Let us pray our country – and world – can realize this before it is too late.