On Wednesday’s episode of “The Michael Knowles Show,” the host discusses the tragic death of a Dutch teen who was allowed to starve herself to death. Knowles slams the authorities in the Netherlands who refused to help the teenager in the name of “compassion.” Video and partial transcript below:
If all that matters is individual liberty, why is suicide wrong? Some of my libertarian friends have been talking about this over the last few days, they say that suicide should not be illegal. Does anybody really believe that though? I’ve heard many of my Libertarian friends say this, “Yeah, suicide is wrong, but it shouldn’t be illegal. The government should just stay out of it. If some guy wants to kill himself, let him kill himself. No business of mine.” It’s easy to say that, but do you really believe it?
Let’s say that there’s a cop and the cop is doing his nightly shift, and he drives up to a bridge and he sees a suicidal 18-year-old girl standing on that bridge about to kill herself. Does anybody really believe that the cop should not intervene? Because if suicide is illegal, as it is in much of the United States and in the civilized world, what the cop would do is say, “Don’t jump, don’t jump,” and he would do everything he could to come and grab her and pull her back from the edge. Then what he would do is get her the help that she needs, get her into a mental institution, get her into psychiatric counseling. It’s not that we are going to throw people in jail because they’re attempting suicide, but when there is a law against suicide, it allows the government to intervene.
That is what would happen if there is a law against suicide. If there’s no law against suicide, and it’s perfectly fine to kill yourself, when that cop pulls up on his nightly shift and sees the 18-year-old girl at the top of the bridge he can’t say, “don’t kill yourself.” How dare he; he’s infringing on her individual liberty. There is no law against it. How dare the government presume to come in and tell that 18-year-old girl what she is going to do with her body. Her body, her choice. In that case, it would be profoundly wrong of the cop to try to stop her. If anything, he should applaud her decision: “Oh how wonderful 18-year-old girl that you are exercising your liberty to kill yourself.” He’s the government, he’s the face of the government. Nobody really believes that. We all know on some basic level that suicide is profoundly wrong, and that if the fact of the government showed up, and some cop showed up and some young girl was going to kill herself, he should do everything he could do to stop her.
This is not to say that individual liberty is a bad thing. Individual liberty is a great thing. Individual liberty is perhaps the most important instrument that we have in society. Under normal operating conditions, it is terrific. But, that’s not the be-all and end-all of government. We must also be able to say that certain things are simply wrong, intrinsically evil, contrary to civilization, contrary to society, contrary to law, contrary to liberty itself. Even if you just look at the argument from natural rights, we have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You can’t pursue happiness without liberty, and you can’t have any liberty without life because if you take away life you take away liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Suicide is wrong. This is not a complicated discussion. The Left always does this and try to complicate simple moral statements. For instance, they’ll say, “well the suicide debate is really complicated. Some people are suffering.” Right, everybody suffers. That’s not a justification for killing yourself. Statistically, 100% of human beings who have ever lived have suffered. “Well, but it’s complicated.” No, it’s not. Suicide is wrong. “Illegal immigration, it’s so complicated.” No, it’s not, illegal immigration is illegal. Illegal is right there in the word. It’s not complicated. It’s actually the simplest issue that there is. Don’t do it and stop it from happening. Same thing with suicide. It is simply wrong. A healthy and vibrant culture knows that suicide is wrong. A washed-up psycho culture can’t explain why suicide is wrong and why that despicable member of parliament who visited that suicidal girl just before she died. He should have stopped her. He should have grabbed her and should have dragged her to a psychiatric clinic and got her the help that she needed.