by True Dignity Vermont, 22 April 2016
The American National Centre for Health Statistics has released figures showing a 24 percent increase in the country’s suicide rate between 1999 and 2014. (There had been a steady decline in the rate between 1986 and 1999.)
Much media attention has focused on the impact of economic stresses following the Global Financial Crisis since 2008, but True Dignity Vermont argues that campaigns to legalise assisted suicide also had an impact.
News sources are reporting with surprise and seeming alarm on the Center for Disease Control’s newly released statistics showing that deaths by suicide in the entire US are on the rise. Why the surprise? It has been common knowledge since the rise of mass media, and even before, that advertising works.
Though the economy may well have contributed to this rise, True Dignity calls everyone’s attention to a fact that is being ignored. 1998 was the year in which Oregon became the first state in the nation to put legalized assisted suicide into practice. This happened after a furious and widely publicized public argument between pro-assisted suicide forces and those opposing it.
Bottom line: Compassion and Choices has engaged in an ad campaign, both paid and freely given by the media, and it has been effective.
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