One of these things is just like the other isn’t it?

A teenager who planned and videotaped his friend’s ‘awesome’ suicide is now facing a murder trial. The outrage about what he did brings to the surface all the similarities between what is legally allowed to happen in countries that allow euthanasia and what he did. The questions have to be asked. If it is wrong to assist someone to commit suicide why is it right for a doctor or a friend to do the same if you call it Euthanasia or Assisted suicide?

Let’s compare this latest case side by side with what has happened legally in Belgium and the state of California.

  1. A young perfectly healthy woman asks someone to help her commit suicide.

Weeks before her death, US 16-year-old Jchandra Brown confided in her friend, Tyerell Przybycien, that she wanted to kill herself.

She had suicidal thoughts, and she was perfectly healthy physically and he didn’t attempt to talk her out of her plans or try to find mental health care for her. Instead, he agreed to help her kill herself. How is this any different to what happened legally in Belgium?

Belgian doctors are planning to kill a perfectly healthy 24-year-old woman by euthanasia because she is suffering from ‘suicidal thoughts’.

2. There is a record of the suicide. Photos or video.

On the morning of May 6, a turkey hunter came across Brown’s body. . A handwritten note was also left near her body. It stated her name and referred any questions to a video captured on her black smartphone, which was also left at the scene.

Once they charged the phone, officers watched the 10-minute video, which was later shown in court.

In early July, Betsy Davis emailed her closest friends and relatives to invite them to a two-day party, telling them: ‘These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina, centeredness and openness.’

And just one rule: No crying in front of her.

The 41-year-old artist with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, held the gathering to say goodbye before becoming one of the first Californians to take a lethal dose of drugs under the state’s new doctor-assisted suicide law for the terminally ill.

[…] Friends said it was the final performance for the artist, who once drew pictures on a stage with whipped cream.

‘What Betsy did gave her the most beautiful death that any person could ever wish for,’ Alpert said. ‘By taking charge, she turned her departure into a work of art.’

This July 24, 2016 photo provided by Niels Alpert, Amanda Friedland, left, surrounded by friends and family adjusts her friend Betsy Davis’s sash as she lays on a bed during her “Right To Die Party” in Ojai, Calif. (Niels Alpert via AP)

3. The person makes it clear that it was their decision

After her death, Przybycien dropped off a suicide letter to Brown’s family. The letter, addressed to her mother, ended with Brown writing, “Again, this was my decision,”

Davis spent months planning her exit, feeling empowered after spending the last three years losing control of her body bit by bit.

I will leave you with a quote from the mother and the aunt of the teenager whose friend enthusiastically helped her to kill herself.

“Friends don’t let friends die,” the mother told Fox 13, “So Tyerell was not a friend.”

Brown’s aunt, Polly Mejia, went further with her words, as she spoke to KSL.

“Her problem was she thought she’d found a friend,” Mejia said. “Instead she’d found a monster.”



Where to get help

Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757 or text 4202

Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email [email protected]

0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at

Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

1737 – free call or text 24 hours a day to talk to a counsellor

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812). In an emergency, call 111.


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