“Physical movements or other external signs of distress are sometimes exhibited, but the internal peace of the person is not disturbed.” This example of magical thinking is a direct quote from Medscape guidance re physician assisted suicide posted on a page restricted to medical professionals and summarized in the article linked below by nurse Nancy Valko. Here’s the Wikipedia definition of magical thinking, in psychology: “…magical thinking is the belief that one’s thoughts by themselves can bring about effects in the world.” Here doctors and nurses are being encouraged to believe that their desire for assisted suicide to be painless and peaceful makes it so, despite the evidence before their eyes.
Similar thinking seems to be going on in Vermont’s move to lift many of the “safeguards” that were written into its assisted suicide law in an attempt to reassure people that such a practice could ever be “safe”.
S.74, about which this site has written before, has already passed the VT Senate and, barring a miracle, will pass the House. Our legislators are proclaiming assisted suicide “safe” for doctors to enable through virtual appointments and without the currently mandated waiting period.
Valko’s article is unlikely to change legislators’ closed minds, but it can serve as a warning to patients, families, medical people and hopefully legislators in other states that suicide, legal or not, is not the simple solution to any human problem, including terminal illness. Perhaps learning the difference between propaganda and reality will encourage them to stay away from a practice that helps no one and hurts everyone.