A man in Ladysmith, B.C. has become so fearful that climate change is going to kill him that he has gone to a doctor seeking medically-assisted suicide. We probably shouldn’t laugh but we’re going to anyway. Especially since he’s an activist with Extinction Rebellion and he doesn’t seem to grasp the irony. And if he succeeds in bringing about his own extinction to rebel against a non-existent trend towards increasing climate-related deaths, we will not be made to feel guilty because we have done our part, as have you, our many supporters, to get the message out that climate change is not a catastrophe, despite what the alarmist death cults would have us believe.
The Epoch Times reports that “According to a recent article in Vice magazine, in 2017 the man’s doctor diagnosed him with eco-anxiety and biosphere-related depression. He told Vice his condition had become ‘debilitating.’” Despite which some heartless bureaucrat turned down his February 2021 request to be euthanized. But since Bill C-7 a month later made mental illness acceptable grounds for getting snuffed as of March 2023, he reapplied and is battling on, however debilitated.
Of course he may still have problems getting agreement, if he wants to argue that his fear is rational. There’s a bit of a Catch-22 here (the original of which in Heller’s eponymous novel, you may recall, was that you could only be excused flying terribly dangerous combat missions if you were insane, but not wanting to fly them proved you were sane). For instance, if his purpose in taking his own life is to make a powerful statement about climate change, then it’s arguably a rational act and he’s not excused living on grounds of insanity. Likewise, a determined campaign to get dead strongly suggests that he’s not debilitated.
This odd episode may really be about the conditions under which we assist a person in succumbing to despair generally rather than the particular condition that is or is not proof of a debilitating mental illness. But part of the question is whether it is crazy to think climate change poses an existential danger in the face of which life is not worth living. If so, he’s not of sound mind and can’t make decisions. If not, he is and can’t make this one.
Of course if you are inclined to argue that accepting the Extinction Rebellion ideology is ipso facto proof that your mind is not working properly, we’re inclined to agree. And suggest you get help so you can live a happy life until death comes in its own time.