Canada is under fire once again as host of the world’s most permissive assisted suicide program, where millions of people now say the homeless and poor should be eligible for state-sanctioned deaths.
A survey released this month found that more than a quarter of Canadians say being impoverished or unhoused is a good enough reason for a doctor to inject somebody with a deadly cocktail of drugs.
Even larger numbers of respondents said assisted suicide — or Medical Aid in Dying (MAID), as it is known — should be available to those with disabilities, mental illnesses or who cannot receive medical treatment.link
What is the Buddhist position on suicide?
In Buddhism, the view on suicide is nuanced and depends on various factors, including the specific Buddhist tradition and interpretation. Generally, Buddhism emphasizes the sanctity of life and promotes non-harming (ahimsa) as a fundamental ethical principle. Taking one’s own life is generally seen as a harmful action with significant karmic consequences.
The First Precept in Buddhism is to refrain from taking life, which includes one’s own life. This precept is regarded as a moral guideline to cultivate compassion and respect for all living beings. Suicide is seen as a direct violation of this precept, as it involves intentionally causing the cessation of one’s own life.
However, it is important to note that Buddhism teaches compassion and understanding, recognizing that individuals may experience extreme suffering and mental anguish. Buddhism encourages practitioners to cultivate wisdom and seek skillful means to address and alleviate suffering. Compassion and support are crucial for individuals struggling with mental health issues or existential challenges.
Some Buddhist teachers and traditions emphasize the importance of understanding the underlying causes of suffering and advocate for seeking appropriate help and treatment. They encourage individuals facing such challenges to explore spiritual practices, mindfulness, meditation, and the study of Buddhist teachings as means to develop resilience and find inner peace.
It is also worth mentioning that Buddhist teachings emphasize the impermanence of all things, including mental states and emotions. Thus, even during periods of intense suffering, there is the potential for change and the possibility of finding relief and a sense of well-being.
Ultimately, the Buddhist perspective on suicide discourages it as a harmful act but promotes understanding, compassion, and seeking appropriate support to address suffering and find constructive ways to overcome difficulties.source ChatGPT
That’s a pretty good answer. ABN