When I learned last year that the District’s city government was considering an assisted-suicide bill called the “Death With Dignity Act,” I was appalled. As a young mother, the thought of raising my children in an environment of state-approved suicide was terrifying. The suicide rate is currently at a 30-year high, and has gotten so out of control that many social scientists now speak of “suicide contagion” or “suicide clusters.”  Making suicide legal and more accessible, even if solely in cases of terminal illness, leads to an increase in total suicide rates. I don’t want to raise my children in a city that gives legal sanction to the idea that it is merciful to end someone’s life. I want the laws of my city to teach my children that the only just and merciful response to suffering is love and care, not death.


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