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[P]
Is death a human right?

By gndn in Op-Ed
Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:30:37 PM EST
Tags: (all tags)

Suppose a person of reasonable mental competence decides, after carefully weighing the available options and consulting with those around him, that life is no longer worth living. Should that person have the legal right to end their own life? Suicide (and assisting suicide) is presently illegal in most western nations, a fact which only serves to make it slightly difficult for suicidal people to carry out their wish. I propose a different approach - in fact, an opposite approach. I propose that anyone who honestly wishes to terminate their own life should be provided with the means to do so humanely, reminiscent of (though perhaps more gentle than) the infamous suicide booths popularized by Futurama.


Assisted suicide is not a new concept, although it arguably did not enter the public consciousness much until Dr. Kevorkian (or "Dr. Death" as he is often called) came along. The concept of assisted suicide in the form of euthanasia is as old as the Hippocratic Oath (and in fact, is explicitly forbidden by the original Oath). However, assisted suicide and euthanasia are most often referred to in the context of people who have been grievously maimed or injured, or those who are suffering from a terrible debilitating disease. For the purpose of this proposal, we can divide subjects into the following categories:

  • Those who do not really wish to die, but for whom life is simply unbearable due to pain and suffering and for whom there is no reasonable relief in sight (disease sufferers are largely in this category).
  • Those who honestly wish to die, either due to physical or psychological stress, or for any other reason.

Obviously, every effort should be made to ease the suffering and continue the lives of those in the first category, not just for their own sake, but for the sake of their loved ones also. But what of the second category? We may not understand their reasoning, but what right do we have to take it upon ourselves to stop them? Some societies assume the right to sentence someone to death, but do we then also have the right to sentence someone to live, even against their own wishes?

Legalized voluntary suicide would decrease the surplus population and, arguably, rid us of the emotionally weakest members of our society. The only conceivable problem is that it might in fact work too well - in hard times, people might flock to the suicide booths in large numbers to escape their problems. In fact, something similar happened in early Christian times - many Christians killed themselves either to escape harsh living conditions and/or to hasten their entry into the afterlife. The church eventually had to speak out against the practice in order to avoid losing their entire following, and hence today suicide is considered a mortal sin within Christianity.

Another potential problem is that if suicide is declared to be a valid option for solving personal problems, people may come to consider it as a first or second choice instead of as a last resort. These problems can be mitigated by enacting a procedure that all subjects must first pass through - a series of counseling sessions with a competent therapist who can provide a perhaps much-needed objective perspective on the situation. At the very least a mandatory waiting period could be enacted to force people to take the time to think things through on their own before taking the final step.

IS SUICIDE ALWAYS WRONG?

Living as we do in a culture of life, there is a knee-jerk reaction to consider death, any form of death, a "bad thing". Even capital punishment is considered bad, something to be done only as a last resort, and only when dealing with the most heinous of criminals. However, is it true that suicide is always a bad thing? Are there no cases where someone ending his own life could be considered "good"? What about Hitler's suicide in 1945? Yes, it prevented the Allies from being able to try him for his crimes, but it also prevented any possibility of his escape/acquittal/return to power/{insert "Hitler's brain" conspiracy here}. I submit that there are several cases where suicide can be beneficial, either to society in general or the subject in particular, or both:

  • Unindicted criminals - those who have committed a serious crime but who have never been caught. If they cannot live with what they've done and wish to save the state the trouble and expense of arresting, prosecuting, convicting, and executing them, so much the better.
  • The weak - those who lack the emotional and/or psychological strength to face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. They prefer death, if only because it's the easiest option. It may be cold to put this so bluntly, but society is arguably better off without them.
  • The incompetent - those who have nothing to offer society, and know it. They are untrainable for whatever reason, perhaps a learning disability. They are only suited for grunt work or manual labour, and this does not agree with them. (Note that I am not advocating the forceful termination of such people... this entire article deals solely with people who choose to end their own lives voluntarily. Counseling should be provided free of charge to attempt to dissuade subjects from this course of action if this is their only reason for doing it).
  • Those who simply no longer wish to live - it may be incomprehensible to some, but it is entire possible to come to the realization, whether real or imagined, that life is not worth living. Again, counseling should be provided, but ultimately it is up to the subject, not the state, to make this determination.

THE SUICIDE BOOTH

The exact mechanics of the subject's death must be as humane and painless as possible. Further, there must be nothing whatsoever gained by the death of the subject - specifically, this means the government and/or supervisory body in charge of the process must not be allowed to charge a fee for the actual ending of someone's life. Any unclaimed assets left in the dead person's possession should be donated to a charitable cause. To allow profit to be made from this process is to invite a ghoulish yet inevitable level of corruption, and this should be avoided at all costs.

The process itself should be swift, humane, and certain. Perhaps a sealed chamber that can be flooded with poison gas, or a lethal injection of some fatal but painless substance. I am quite certain that medical experts can devise a suitable method. If requested, other options should be made available to the subject. For example, someone with a persecution complex may wish to face a firing squad. Others may wish to purify themselves with flame. Within reason, almost any such request could be granted, although in order to avoid a public spectacle it may be wise to stipulate that recording devices are forbidden during the process itself (this would dissuade egomaniacs from going out in a blaze of glory, as it were).

FURTHER JUSTIFICATION

A tragic, yet increasingly popular, method of suicide in some countries is "suicide by cop", which is the process of pointing a realistic-looking weapon at a group of police officers and having them shoot you to death. In addition to being dangerous to bystanders who may be inadvertently struck by a police bullet, this method is also traumatizing to the unfortunate officers who commit the actual killing. Other suicide methods, such as jumping off a bridge or a tall building, also present a hazard to innocent passers-by who may be injured or even killed in the process.

People who are determined to take their own life will find a way to do so, law or no. Isn't it better to provide them a safe way to do so rather than take the risk that they might harm someone else in the act of killing themselves?

Further, a great many suicides end in failure, and many of those failed suicides then become a significant financial burden due to medical expenses in caring for the survivors. The survivors of failed suicide attempts may very well go on to kill themselves later anyway, making those medical expenses wholly wasteful. Isn't it better to provide a failsafe way for people to end their own lives, one that guarantees that they won't become a burden on those around them?

CONCLUSION

There are many groups that advocate death, some more rational than others. However, it is a highly marginal position, and as such, I have no illusion that the proposal outlined herein will ever actually come to fruition. There simply isn't enough demand to justify the existence of "suicide booths" (or, in hard times, the problem is that there is too much demand for suicide booths, on the part of people too blinded by troubles to see that those troubles are in fact temporary).

I nevertheless submit that our attitude towards death is illogical, at least in that we claim to value life so highly that we will actually force it upon those who do not wish it. Suicide is not automatically a bad thing, but because society has deemed it so, people who seek death must find difficult and perhaps dangerous ways of accomplishing it. Providing suicide booths is humane, it is merciful, and it is logical.

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Poll
Suicide booths
o Yes - I would use one 26%
o Yes - I wouldn't use one myself, but I respect the right of others to use one 37%
o Yes - As long as subjects are forced to go through counselling first and explain their reasoning 15%
o Meh - I don't care 13%
o No - Society should force suicidal people to live whether they want to or not 4%
o No - I'm a religious nutcase and my god forbids suicide for some reason 2%

Votes: 45
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o suicide booths
o Dr. Kevorkian
o euthanasia
o decrease
o killed themselves
o culture of life
o realizatio n
o suicide by cop
o a great many suicides end in failure
o some
o others
o Also by gndn


Display: Sort:
Is death a human right? | 230 comments (228 topical, 2 editorial, 12 hidden)
are suicide bombings a human right? (1.57 / 7) (#1)
by United Fools on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 04:03:34 PM EST


We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
No, because they endanger others (none / 1) (#2)
by gndn on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 04:05:26 PM EST

The question on the table is whether or not people should have the right to end their own lives.



[ Parent ]
the troll force is weak in this one. (3.00 / 3) (#55)
by /dev/trash on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:52:25 PM EST

These are not the Godwins you are looking for.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Suicidal depression is almost always curable (2.83 / 12) (#3)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 04:52:27 PM EST

One reason that suicide is illegal, and that those who unsuccessfully attempt it will be hospitalized against their will, is that in the vast majority of cases it is actually quite easy to cure. Most of those who have been cured of it go on to feel grateful that they didn't die.

That's the case with me - I have attempted suicide twice.

Most suicidal depression can be effectively treated with antidepressant medication. It's not easy, as it takes as long as a couple of months to take effect. For those whom antidepressants won't help, shock treatment is quick and effective.


Looking for some free songs?


Yes, but define "curable" (2.80 / 5) (#5)
by gndn on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 05:14:18 PM EST

We have the medical technology to prescribe brain chemistry-altering drugs that can actually change how a person thinks and feels. Although this can conceivably "cure" a person of suicidal depression, the reality is that you are using unnatural means to transform that person into someone else. Perhaps I would prefer to die as the person I am than live as the person that you think I should be.

Besides, there is precedence in the medical community for refusing treatment. DNR orders, for example, or Jehovah's Witnesses refusing blood transfusions. Would you deny people in these examples the right to refuse treatment as well? If not, why not?

My life is either mine to do with as I see fit or it is not. If it is, then I am - or should be - within my rights to throw it away. If it is not, then no one should ever have the right to refuse medical treatment.

I hate to use the "slippery slope" argument, but if medical science developed bionic eyes that allow people to see farther and better than natural, human eyes, would you support a government initiative to forcefully replace everyone's natural eyes with artificial eyes? Why not? It would make us all "better", would it not? And isn't that the thrust of your argument?



[ Parent ]
Can of worms. (2.33 / 3) (#6)
by eavier on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 05:38:57 PM EST

If you have the right to do with your body as you please, it opens up a pandora's box that the powers that be don't want opened.

Right, so lets say that a referendum is passed that voluntary suicide is now your right as an individual. So you can kill yourself becuase you get to do with your body as you now please. Great.

So now the pro-drug lobby stands up and says, "hey illegal drugs causes a lot of crime and if people can now kill themselves because what they do with their body is their decision, why can I not get out of my head legally?"

So now you have drugs and suicide on tap. Great.

So now the 'user-pays' lobby stands up and says, "well if my body is mine to do with as i please, then so should my immediate environment be as well. Why do I have to pay taxes? I never use the roads, the buses, nor drive a car. Why do I have to pay for schemes and advancements to public works that I'll never use. And hey, if I do go over that new bridge, I'll pay a good fee to do so. I'd rather arrange a personalised rate charge with my council or pay as I use an amenity thanks."

See what you're talking about is probably completely rational on some level: the right to take your own life without the stigma attached to such a decision. But when you make those sorts of things legal, its all the things in the background that while having nothing to do with pro-choice suicide legislature, at the same time, do. ie. having the right to do with your body/life as you ultimately choose.  

Whatever you do, don't take it into your house. It's probably full of Greeks. - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

Ufology Doktor in da house

[ Parent ]

What are you saying exactly? (3.00 / 3) (#18)
by procrasti on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 11:40:57 PM EST

Are you saying that these other things are not rights, that the powers that be do not want us to have these rights or just that the answer to this question has bearings on other issues?

I can't tell if your 'Great' is sarcastic or not to the drugs and suicide on tap statement. Personally I think that this question gets to the heart of whether or not we should be allowed to make decisions as responsible adults for ourselves or not. I think we should have that right and that is why the question is important.

As for taxes and immediate environment, that is stretching the argument a bit, but for the record, the UK is introducing a pay as you go tax scheme for cars and road usage, and I think there are good arguments that corporations rather than individuals should bear the majority of the tax burden, at least as far as wage income is concerned.

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]

also (none / 0) (#49)
by blackbart on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:31:56 PM EST

its an instance of fuzzy boundaries, I have the right to do lots of stuff, but while I have the right to toss a rock a few feet, I have no right to fling an object into the realm of general aviation without various licensing procedures.

Society often delineates these grey areas with boundaries and limits.

"I use this dupe for modbombing and impersonating a highly paid government worker"
- army of phred
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#67)
by eavier on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:27:24 PM EST

Of course the taxes one is stretching the argument a bit and my 'great' is sarcastic or not depending on the person's view on the matter.

Basically, I'm of the firm opinion that yes, everything should be made legal, short of legislature that allows an individual to legally harm others. But I'm also very wary at the same time as there never will have been a period in human history when we will have been so free to choose our own future.

So I'm saying I guess a number of things. Number one, the government does not want you having the right to legally kill yourself, because yes, it does have a bearing on other issues, for example the drugs one I mentioned, and much further one down the track, the taxes ones (which yeah is stretching the argument a bit). Government has always been about central control over the individual while still maintaining the illusion of the freedom of choice under democracy. I don't think they'd like you choosing what you did with your body as you pleased.

Also, having the right to do with your body as we please opens up new found legality on all kinds of self harm. From drugs all the way through to having the right to remove your own legs should you feel they've never really 'felt right' (cripple syndrome). Queue genetic enhancements that are not medically nor government sanctioned because they don't need to be anymore. As the individual, you can choose to have such a procedure no matter what anyone else thinks because 'you are the boss of you'.

What I'm trying to say is that whenever something controversial of this nature is proposed (suicide), there is a certain logic, no matter how twisted it is, that leads on to more and more controversial matters been considered and ultimately adopted.

Drugs? Well the war on drugs is lost. All drugs should be made legal, with the absolute most addictive like crystal meth, heroin and tobacco, prescribed by doctors. Takes money away from the criminals, regulates quality and becomes a nice little earner for the government.

Things like gentic enhancements? Hell sign me up, I'd love some gills, to be able to see as far as a hawk and have the strength of a great ape.

Taxes? I prefer my taxes regulated and 'user pays' sounds to me like a fucking nightmare.

And finally, suicide? Personally, I think as a physically healthy adult, having the right to take your own life is deplorable. Of course, I've never been in such a state of depression so really, I can't really comment on the matter itself, more on the wider issues it brings up on making those sorts of decisions legal.

But fuck it, bring on the brave new world.

Whatever you do, don't take it into your house. It's probably full of Greeks. - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

Ufology Doktor in da house

[ Parent ]

Which worms? [NT] (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by joto on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:09:21 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Natural means? (none / 0) (#207)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:31:31 PM EST

What about all the other factors that alter the mind, including those that make a person suicidal in the first place?

DNR and other things are different to the mind. You can look at your body and decide that it may end up causing you more grief than is worth taking. But your mind is different because any observations made about its state are interpreted by the very thing that is causing the problem. This is how delusions happen, and this is exactly why psychiatrists can force treatment.

And what exactly is unnatural, anyway? That's one of those funny words which is very contextually dependent. Natural in terms of diet, neurochemistry, psychology, society, the human spirit?

[ Parent ]

Attempted suicide and treatment (3.00 / 5) (#7)
by cburke on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 06:24:17 PM EST

At the risk of making a completely unfounded comparison to your own case, I'm going to say that the vast majority of attempted suicides were in fact not serious suicide attempts at all, but rather cries for help.  A cry for help should absolutely be answered.

Humans are hard to kill, which is why even people making serious attempts can fail.  Yet at the same time, knowing humans are hard to kill means you can take that into account with a little preparation.  For example, calling Dr. Kevorkian and making use of his machine was a pretty good way to be certain of death.  People who try multiple times and are unsuccessfull every time are not very serious about learning from their mistakes.

I'm talking about the difference between the guy who can barely hold the gun he's pointing in his mouth and shoots out the back of his throat, versus Kurt Cobain who properly and carefully aims the gun at the brain.  The former didn't really want to die but just couldn't think of a better way to express it, the latter wanted to be certain that they did.

The former should absolutely be helped.  The latter, perhaps, should be allowed to have their wishes honored.

Coming up with a policy based off this thinking, though, is of course tricky.  I'm for euthenasia, but I'm against making it so easy to kill yourself that every half-assed suicide attempt by a person who just needs treatment for depression is going to be successfull every time.  If, as I'm suggesting, the failed attempt is really a cry for help then we don't want them to succeed because that would prevent them getting help.

It's a narrow road to walk, and there's no easy way.  Personally I think decriminalizing suicide would be a decent step.  I just can't see the point or how it helps either class of suicidal person.

[ Parent ]

Not all suicide is a cry for help (2.66 / 6) (#8)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 06:43:17 PM EST

Yes, attempting suicide for attention is a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. But in regular depression, manic depression and schizophrenia it really is not. Many who attempt it don't tell anyone of their plans.


Looking for some free songs?


[ Parent ]

Sure, some are suicides. (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by cburke on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:43:55 PM EST

Clearly telling someone about your suicide plans strongly implies that it is a cry for help.  The inverse statement, that not telling others about the plans implies that it is not a cry for help, does not follow.  The suicide attempt itself can be the cry for help.  What I'm suggesting is that for the cases where the suicide is attempted with little in the way of effort to ensure that the attempt succeeds that this also implies that it was a cry for help.  Especially if there are several failed attempts.  Even if its subconscious.

After thinking about it, I suppose the logical conclusion of this argument would be not to legalize suicide or otherwise make it easier for those who would commit it, simply because those who are serious will do it anyway and those who are not should be getting psychiatric help, not aid in making their suicides more effective.  Though I still believe in euthanasia for some cases.

[ Parent ]

Guys... (none / 0) (#209)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:37:38 PM EST

Is it not possible for someone to both want to die and not die at the same time?

[ Parent ]
I think the legislation... (none / 1) (#78)
by WonderJoust on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:51:54 PM EST

...is more of an enabler for the government to step in and help those that wouldn't seek out help themselves.

Not saying it's right or well executed, but that's the only motivation I can see at all.

_________________________________
i like your style: bitter, without being a complete cunt about it.
-birds ate my face
[ Parent ]

Pussy (1.14 / 21) (#9)
by loteck on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:08:47 PM EST

Very few people who genuinely attempted suicide are around to talk about it afterwards.

The vast majority of you idiots who run around telling everyone how many times you've attempted suicide never really attempted it. You merely attempted to get more attention from those around you, and you did so in one of the most immoral and evil ways I can think of: You used their love for you against them to accomplish your own fucked up, narccisistic desires. Faced with the option of possibly losing you to death or giving you whatever you want like a little spoiled child, they chose the latter and you sit there and here on a daily basis chuckling and rubbing your filthy paws together, knowing that if the pity/support/ass-wiping ever stops, all you have to do is "attempt suicide" again and the floodgates will once again fly open.

Go jump off a 40 story building and survive, then you can talk about surviving an attempted suicide. Otherwise, understand 2 things:

1: Bragging about how completely incompetent you are as evidenced by your inability to do something simple like kill yourself (twice!) discredits everything you say, anywhere, forever. There are physically and mentally retarded folks the world over that got it right on the first time, you cannot even claim to have the abilities of those textbook morons.

2: That you have "attempted suicide" specifically discredits your involvement in any conversation about real suicide. Most of us have not yet attempted it and so still can be credibly believed to be capable of success on the first attempt. Therefore, our discussion of it is interesting because we might actually do it. You, however, are a fucking pussy who obviously doesn't have the wearwithall to follow through on anything that you commit to. It doesnt matter if suicide is legal or illegal for you, you will never do it, you have neither the mental capacity to make such a commitment nor the balls to follow through on it. So shut the fuck up.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

[ Parent ]

Worst. Attempt. At. A. Troll. Evar. /> (3.00 / 4) (#11)
by buck on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:44:40 PM EST


-----
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
[ Parent ]
I don't hand zeros out often (2.75 / 4) (#21)
by the77x42 on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:30:53 AM EST

But that was downright mean. MC is an actual person, and if he's not, at least those of us who are shouldn't have to be subjected to your shit.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
RORWHAT? /in tea (none / 0) (#79)
by WonderJoust on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:52:49 PM EST


_________________________________
i like your style: bitter, without being a complete cunt about it.
-birds ate my face
[ Parent ]

Please (none / 0) (#210)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:39:35 PM EST

Do not present subjective observations as objective knowledge.

[ Parent ]
TWICE!?!? (1.12 / 8) (#23)
by Peahippo on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:39:57 AM EST

How on earth did you do that TWICE? I mean: take gun, load gun, chamber bullet, set safety off, place barrel against skull, pull trigger. BAM! ... Mike, you're effin' DEAD. That always works. What, did you miss? If so, how many times did you fire?

Maybe you thought that you shouldn't leave a bad cleanup in your house. Hoo-kay. Go to railroad tracks, wait for train to come by, throw yourself under the train. SMASH-CRUNCH-SQUISH ... Mike, you're freakin' DEAD.

Maybe you found that prospect too painful. Hoo-kay. Get a bottle of 100 pills of a strong muscle relaxant, keep popping 'em fast until you run out of pills or your muscles get too relaxed. Aaah!urk! ... Mike, you're muthalovin' DEAD.

Maybe you couldn't spring for the price of a bottle of good meds. Hoo-kay. Put the car in the garage, start 'er up, run a hose from tailpipe into passenger compartment, slide into the driver's seat and ... Aaah!urk! ... Mike, you're friggin' DEAD.

BUT!

B-U-T!!

P-L-E-A-S-E don't tell us you cut "across the street" and not "down the block", and your wifey wife found you surface-bleeding piteously (and naked, sporting a snuff-stiffened boner) in the bathtub, having failed miserably in "killing yourself". Other than teeny waifs, only bitch-titted, 40-something, demasculated males pull that kind of stupid shit.


[ Parent ]
Well, if you must know: (2.66 / 3) (#25)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:57:25 AM EST

I got out on the roof of the six-storey physics building at UCSC, climbed up on the edge of the wall around it (about six inches across), stood with my back to the drop, and crept backwards until I was just balanced on my toes, then tried to will myself to fall over backwards.

But I couldn't do it. I have to say those couple of minutes were the most awful of my entire life, and I've known some bad times.

I called a friend, and she advised me to see a shrink. It turns out UCSC has a mental health clinic, so I started seeing one of their shrinks.

The other occasion was two or three years later. I drove about eighty miles an hour down Murray Street in Santa Cruz with my eyes shut, hoping I'd hit a telephone pole or something. But again I couldn't quite do it.


Looking for some free songs?


[ Parent ]

Cripes ... (1.77 / 9) (#28)
by Peahippo on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:23:11 AM EST

... it's just as I thought. You were right at the edge of the building. A real suicide would have just leaped off (no doubt yelling "Hacksaw Jones!"*). Again, in the car scenario, a real suicide would have unbuckled the seatbelt and then AIMED for a brick wall.

I have some news for ya, Mike: You've got bitch tits. You didn't try to commit suicide; you were only doing the teeny-waif "cry for help thing" that real manhood abhors.

Don't seek psychological help. Psychologists are largely emasculation-enablers. Literally they are girly men themselves and only see the world in self-reflected terms. Find yourself a pharma doc and get large doses of testosterone. Fuck some bitches (or ladyboys, if that's how you swing). Eat red meat of the reddist drip. Pwn the shit out of some fucking foreigner in some dark alley, punching and punching until the snap of bone bores you.

In short, train yourself to be a fucking MAN again, you limpdick.

* Why "Hacksaw Jones"? Well, you're gonna die anyway, so why the fuck not?


[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 1) (#32)
by tetsuwan on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:22:29 AM EST

The manliest of men are the child soldiers of central Africa. They're are so manly, they kill their own parents!

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Considering my own ... (2.50 / 1) (#33)
by Peahippo on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:54:52 AM EST

... progenitors, I can certainly RELATE. "Kill the bitch that bore you" I always advise.


[ Parent ]
Kill the bitch that bore you? (none / 0) (#99)
by Cro Magnon on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 09:39:10 AM EST

Isn't that shutting the barn door after the horse has already left?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
No ... (none / 1) (#105)
by Peahippo on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 07:50:27 PM EST

... since I don't believe in pre-criminalization. Once the crime is committed, only THEN can the offender be punished. I don't punish on the basis of suspicion, even if I was a blastula.

Your .sig ("Information wants to be beer.") is rather silly, since beer actually wants to be PISS, and information wants to be SOLD. Get it right.


[ Parent ]
Mental illness vs. saving face (none / 0) (#95)
by slaida1 on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:45:40 AM EST

Your comment would fit if MC were japanese businessman after major failure trying to save his face by suicide.

You need to understand that mental issues and keeping honor are two entirely alien things to each other. Only suicide is common to both while reasons for it are not.

MC might've felt like killing himself. He wanted to die.

Person who needs to save his face don't; he knows he needs to kill himself and feelings play no part in it. He don't want to die but recons that he must. Not unlike a (non ussian) soldier going to suicide mission.

[ Parent ]

Here's a statistic for you (3.00 / 7) (#29)
by curien on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:28:00 AM EST

To date, there is no record of a single successful suicide regretting his or her actions.

--
Wiser words have never been not said. -- lilnobody
[ Parent ]
Ever read Jumpers? (2.75 / 4) (#35)
by thefirelane on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:22:55 AM EST

I'm sure you've read this before

pretty amazing:

"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I'd thought was unfixable was totally fixable--except for having just jumped."

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
cosmic (none / 0) (#76)
by rhiannon on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:29:58 PM EST

I was just thinking of that exact same quote, I read it a couple months back, made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
Link is teh broke. /in tea (none / 0) (#81)
by WonderJoust on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:56:03 PM EST


_________________________________
i like your style: bitter, without being a complete cunt about it.
-birds ate my face
[ Parent ]

Natural Right (2.90 / 10) (#4)
by Peahippo on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 05:10:50 PM EST

The ability to end your own life is one of the most basic Human rights that you have. We in America at least pretend that a person owns their time, their labor, their expressions, their privacy, and their wealth and property -- so it can't be much of a stretch to say that their lives are their own to dispense with as they see fit. This naturally includes suicide.


you call THIS a culture of life? (2.50 / 4) (#12)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:47:34 PM EST

Hardly. I submit for your reference Sigmund Freud's notion of the Death Drive, or the "urge inherent in all organic life to restore an earlier state of things." In other words, pathological nostalgia. That's the world we live in.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
Not a right (3.00 / 3) (#13)
by cburke on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 08:38:50 PM EST

More like a guarantee.

Systemization of a Natural Right (3.00 / 4) (#14)
by IceTitan on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 08:41:50 PM EST

Puts too much control into the hands of third parties. I support someone's right to die. But it shouldn't be made easy. I personally intend to take care of myself should I ever become unable.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
agreed (2.50 / 2) (#20)
by nostalgiphile on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:23:54 AM EST

I can see middle-aged siblings convincing gramma and grampa it'd be far better if, after they cash their next social security and sign those wills, they just took their asses to the nearest suicide booth--"Oh come on grammy, the govm't said is was the safest way and that there shouldn't be any stigma attached to it whatsoever."

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
Yes. (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by j1mmy on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 08:47:57 PM EST

Next question.

yes with provisions (2.33 / 3) (#16)
by khallow on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:57:34 PM EST

I don't believe that humans have a right to prompt or no-cause suicide. As MC notes, most people who attempt suicide were grateful that they didn't succeed. Ie, people who simply aren't capable of making a rational decision about suicide. Spontaneous decisions to commit suicide are another indication that the person is irrational. Finally, a person may be under duress.

I think it would be reasonable to evaluate each person's mental state over a period of time in order to determine whether the person was in a rational state of mind. And while no-cause suicide might be doable, I think evaluating the reason for the intent to kill oneself is a big part of the process of deciding whether someone is competent enough to be permitted to kill themselves. Another benefit is that the person could better plan their suicide. Can their place of work handle their departure? Friends and relatives ready for it? Etc.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Attempted suicide != suicide (2.25 / 4) (#39)
by joto on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:39:47 AM EST

most people who attempt suicide were grateful that they didn't succeed.

Most people who fail in their attempts at suicide, probably didn't want to take their lives in the first place. They were attention seeking whores, fishing for drama. Besides, clearly they were either suffering from a mental disorder, or was under some form of extreme stress at the time.

Basing your opinions about suicide on those, is like basing your opinions about eating on the people who fail to eat. (e.g. anorexia-patients). This is nonsense. There are succesfull suiciders who end their life perfectly happy, just as there are succesful eaters, who continue to delight in eating, as well as maintaining to stay healthy.

[ Parent ]

and? (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by khallow on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:57:44 PM EST

I think I should be basing my suicide procedure on filtering out the attention seekers and other such people. The analogy would IMHO be if 90+% of the people who eat were anorexic. One wouldn't base a policy on the small number who got it right.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Not only is it your right (2.85 / 7) (#17)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 11:21:11 PM EST

It's your duty. Kill yourself. Your country doesn't need you!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Wrong (none / 1) (#30)
by MrHanky on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:36:26 AM EST

Your country needs you dead.


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
wrong (1.33 / 3) (#38)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:53:28 AM EST

the assholes you wish would kill themselves tenaciously hang on to the end of a long life

the ones you wish would get more involved knock themselves off young

unfortunately true


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's not, really (3.00 / 3) (#41)
by MrHanky on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:51:09 AM EST

I've known a few idiots who offed themselves at an early age. You need to learn to appreciate when a really obnoxious fucktard commits suicide. The problem is only that you look upon the diseased through rosy-tinted spectacles, as most people are taught to do.


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
truedat. nostalgic thinking (1.75 / 4) (#45)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:20:36 AM EST

yes, indeed, suicide is really just a form of all consuming narcissism in the end. the ultimate self-centered wanker


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I know my respect for mindpixel (2.75 / 4) (#56)
by LilDebbie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:13:05 PM EST

increased immensely when he finally made a decent decision.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
that's why the nostalgia doesn't bother me (none / 0) (#69)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:00:58 PM EST

we're usually overly harsh on the living, and too forgiving of the dead

at face value, that prejudice we all share isn't so bad, in a way, it makes some sense


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

IIRC (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by LilDebbie on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:05:06 PM EST

you gave me a lot of shit for "pissing on mindpixel's grave."

why the change of heart?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

i spend a lot of time on this site (2.00 / 1) (#73)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:29:44 PM EST

but i barely keep tabs on who says what or what i said to whom

who are you again?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

excellent article..+FP (1.50 / 2) (#19)
by dakini on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 11:56:39 PM EST



" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
the answer is a simple mantra: (2.44 / 9) (#24)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 01:46:23 AM EST

sound of mind, unsound of body: suicide is ok

unsound of mind, sound of body: suicide is not ok

which pretty much means, if you have end stage parkinsons, go ahead and take those pills. but if your girlfriend broke up with you, then no: you have no right to commit suicide

and if you are oging to knock yourself off, for the love of fucking god, choose pills. choose carbon monoxide, choose an injection

no one wants to wipe your brains off the bed posts after you eat your shot gun or sweep up your ribs after you nosedive off the empire state building

think of the janitors, please

and no, the san fran bridge is not ok. think of the little girl who finds you washed up on the beach

if you are thoughtful enough to kick your own bucket, think about who has to clean up the ness, k thx


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

I knew such a little girl once (3.00 / 3) (#26)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 02:52:50 AM EST

She had grown up by the time we met, but she told me that it still haunted her, that one day when she was little, she found a dead body on the beach.


Looking for some free songs?


[ Parent ]

she only remembers that (2.33 / 3) (#75)
by rhiannon on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:15:41 PM EST

because she doesn't have anything else to think about, nothing more exciting.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
Indeed (2.00 / 1) (#211)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:49:05 PM EST

But death is still suffering and sometimes death can cause more suffering than it has to. There is a difference between learning to accept the reality of things, and traumatising someone in such a way that they end up never being able to accept the reality of things.

[ Parent ]
those are the easy cases, and I agree with them (2.00 / 3) (#98)
by procrasti on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 08:50:46 AM EST

Your example is of someone who is temporarily of unsound mind, who wants to kill themselves over something temporary and who will probably eventually come back round to wanting to live again... That person needs help and treatment and I agree.

Someone of unsound body who will never get better might want to die to end the pain, so I agree with you here too.

But this doesn't cover all cases.

What about the much more tricky situation of someone who is legally of unsound mind for whom years of medical, psychiatric and psychological help still wishes to die? Perhaps due to the fact that they despise the living the life of someone who is of unsound mind? Could you not also accept that an unsound mind (in some circumstances) may be as unfixable as an unsound body?

What about someone who is of sound body and sound mind, but for their own reasons wants to die? Or does wanting to die with a sound body always make you of unsound mind?

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]

no, 100% abosolutely wrong (1.66 / 3) (#114)
by circletimessquare on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 10:10:42 PM EST

as soon as you as you accept that someone is of unsound mind, you've accpeted they do not have the faculties to decide their own death. you can't have "unsound mind" and "suicide is acceptable" in the same sentence, no matter what the factors are involved

you can't redefine "unsound mind". you either ar eof sound mind, or you ar enot. years of chronic depression do not suddenly make it acceptable. it's not only morally unsound, it's logically incompatible

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So, wanting to die and not being of unsound body (2.50 / 2) (#116)
by procrasti on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 11:08:15 PM EST

means you can declare someone as being of unsound mind, and can therefore lock them up and pump whatever drugs you want into them, subject them to electroshock therapy and even do lobotomies on them against their will indefinately.

So, without an unsound body you have no right to die, and therefore no right to determine how you can live.

So, you are happy to condem someone to an indefinate length of mental tourture, but not someone physically in pain. Yet, pain is all in the mind, so therefore being physically in pain is no excuse for suicide either.

The problem I have is really defining what is unsound mind... If you believe in democracy in times of communism, you are obviosuly of unsound mind -- for example.

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]

The treatment of an unsound mind (none / 0) (#212)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 12:53:00 PM EST

Is another issue. Please don't confuse the two, even though they do stand right besides each other.

[ Parent ]
The argument is that if you want to die you must (none / 0) (#233)
by procrasti on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 03:51:24 PM EST

be of unsound mind and therefore require treatment.

How can you separate the two?

How can you treat someone who wants to die without going against their wishes?

If you say that it is possible to want to die and not be of unsound mind or that you can be of unsound mind, actually want to die because of that and be allowed to, then I would agree with you.

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]

You seem to have a bit of a fixation (1.66 / 3) (#27)
by BottleRocket on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:13:19 AM EST

Did daddy molest you?

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

sometimes feelings (2.60 / 5) (#31)
by zombie twisted sandshoe on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:17:02 AM EST

that lead to ppl being suicidal are "relatively" temporal, yet the person will project their current state of mind further into the past than is actual, and also further into the future than is probable.

So the thought "I cannot cope with feeling like this indefinately, therefore, I am better off dead." is locally rational for them, they just can't foresee a future where they feel better, and  are thinking in a paradigm of clarity at the time (from their perspective.)

 So often it's best for others to intervene and save these people from themselves.


Sigs! Like, Jesus Christo Lewis the Third, haven't you people grown up? - dubya

+1 FP well done (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by kromagg on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:40:44 AM EST

With all the suicide talk around the ghetto lately, it was only a matter of time.

you mean the k5 meme... (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:50:58 AM EST

"k5 is dying" is now "k5 is hanging itself from it's bunk bed"?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately (3.00 / 4) (#44)
by wiredog on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:17:46 AM EST

K5 has the lower bunk...

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

there's a prison sex joke somewhere in here (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 11:21:25 AM EST

i just can't figure it out

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Hi! I'm Ben! (3.00 / 3) (#47)
by wiredog on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:10:17 PM EST

Ben Dover!

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Actually, yes (none / 1) (#88)
by kromagg on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:45:11 PM EST

I'm not a big fan of memes, but this certainly seems to qualify. k5 looks to be plenty active again, it seemed really dead around here for a while. Pun inentended.

[ Parent ]
Yes. Next question please (NT, +1FP) (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Enlarged to Show Texture on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:49:44 AM EST




"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Isaac Asimov
Copycat! $ (none / 1) (#89)
by j1mmy on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 10:23:50 PM EST



[ Parent ]
+1, suicide booths, (2.66 / 3) (#48)
by whithery on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:18:04 PM EST

although dedeadbody-ing them would be a real suck ass job. Of course, it couldn't be much worse than working as a fast food manager, so some might find it really rewarding.

"We're all a bunch of too tall, spoiled, overeducated, wired, drug addicted, urban-dwelling, indulged elitists with no siblings. That is our problem," Sgt York.
why is that? (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by CodeWright on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:12:01 PM EST

build in a sewer connection like a public restroom and add a meatgrinder.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Like in Battle Angel (none / 0) (#80)
by cburke on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:55:23 PM EST

or Gunnm if you want to refer to it by the original name.  They had beautiful, white, serene-looking suicide booths in the enlightened floating city, which the titular main character went into and destroyed, revealing the horrible blood-and-entrail soaked machinery beneath it.

[ Parent ]
you're right, it is horrible (none / 0) (#82)
by CodeWright on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:59:03 PM EST

have it vent into a composter and then to a spreader trank for use on a farm.

that way, its all environmental and shit.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
hi whithery (none / 0) (#77)
by alevin on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:14:23 PM EST

ive been following you on bentintomary. did you change the pw?
--
alevin
[ Parent ]
Doesn't need to be legal (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by hatshepsut on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:47:44 PM EST

I am strongly against making laws about things that are difficult (if not impossible) to enforce. It breeds contempt for all laws. This seems like something that would be impossible to enforce (mandatory psychologist/psychiatrist visits, cooldown periods, etc.), and people who genuinely want to die NOW will continue to do what they do already (jump off a building, suck on a gun, sit in their car with the exhaust venting inside, etc.). I simply can't see how it would affect someone who genuinely wanted to die (though it could *possibly* make it easier to catch the "cry for help" types who might actually be willing to go through the bureaucratic red-tape...I don't believe a genuinely suicidal person would be willing to wait).

All this will do is remove the stigma of what the suicidal person has done. And, personally, I don't think that stigma is wrong. I believe, strongly, that 99% of suicide-attemptors, successful or otherwise, are cop-outs who would prefer to throw their problems at someone else or are genuinely mentally ill. Either way, they need and deserve help, not to die, but to live.

+1 on the basis of an interesting discussion (but I reserve the right to disagree vehemently with the idea).

if you are successful... (none / 0) (#107)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 09:42:29 PM EST

...nobody can punish you. Anti-suicide laws and stuff are more punishment for inefficiency and for the public resources spent in getting your barely live carcass back in the pink, so you can do it again next weekend. Physical pain is a reasonable motive, harder to tell about emotional distress, I would hope all alternatives have been explored.

I have a friend who joined the army and went to vietnam (presumably to be tragically killed by the vietminh) over a break-up with a girlfriend. She wasn't worth it. He's been married in excess of 30 years to another girl, he musta got over it.

[ Parent ]

This isn't really that ground breaking. (none / 1) (#65)
by spooked on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 03:24:48 PM EST

The only rational objections stem from religious tenants. Before anyone quotes the slippery slope argument, you must realize that it's not logically or pragmatically sound principle to accept. The reason for this is that it can be applied to any circumstance or any perposed action and always prohibit it. Second, actual circumstances can never be held as less valuable than potential circumstances. Because, again, we'd have the garrot of possiblity at our throats for every conciveable action.

So, for letting people kill themselves, there are an overwelming number of arguments for it [mostly concerning the reduction of suffering] and none that I know of against, that don't appeal to religious morals. As for the suicide booths, that's an obiviously flawed concept. What about people who are physically unable to reach one? And the cost of building and maintaining them seems unnecessisary. really, what should be done is the allowing medical doctors to make the call in central case Euthanasia, after some sort of group [medical+psych] evaluation.

Seriously.
Couple of issues (none / 1) (#72)
by cdguru on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:27:39 PM EST

The first thing is that given the way "people" in general are wired, it can almost always be safely assumed that someone who believes it is better to be "not alive" vs. "alive" is under either duress to make that decision or is not sane.

Duress comes in many forms and unbearable pain is one of them.  Maybe this is an excuse, but the root of the problem is the pain, not life.

Any other conclusion flies in the face of just how people are put together.

Now you do bring up an interesting point about "useless mouths" and the like.  We are at a point where support of the current population is only through advanced - and unsustainable - means.  You can't grow enough food without fertilizers and pesticides to feed everyone on the planet.  While most of the more rabid "greens" would like to sidestep this issue, by no means is it going to go away.  If you want a "sustainable" environment, we are going to have to decrease the population.

Drastically and in a short period of time.

Of course, living through such a period is going to be pretty awful.  There are a lot of ways it could be happen.  One way is through so-called "natural means" such as some kind of flu or bubonic plague.  A nuclear war would also help out a lot in thinning the population, but probably only in specific high-value areas.

Of course, even the beginning of a large population reduction would trigger a worldwide collapse.  People stop buying stuff in France, so the factory in India lays off all the workers, so the financial serivces company in New York closes down as well.  Lots of out-of-work people, no work to be done and a dwindling food supply.

Having a quick and painless way out of living in such a post-collapse situation would be a great help.  Local governments would probably not have a problem with such "suicide booths" if they didn't have to clean up after them.

Wow.  Great business idea.

CO (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by diesel travis on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 04:35:03 PM EST

I always thought that Carbon Monoxide sounded like the best way to go. You peacefully fall asleep (or pass out), then silently suffocate in your sleep. A bonus side effect is that your blood rushes to the skin, leaving your cheeks with a nice rosy glow.

It'd be cool if the booth even had a built-in "note leaving" and "will writing" process too, that would eliminate any confusion. Then maybe it could even have some integrated organ harvesting and cremation/burial built into the process as well.

And maybe they could automatically set your IM status to "dead" too. Actually sounds like a pretty decent gadget.
...

the rosy glow (1.00 / 2) (#121)
by circletimessquare on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 08:38:59 AM EST

is not due to the blood rushing to your cheeks

it is due to CO binding to the heme units in your hemoglobin in your red blood cells and not letting go

oxygen let's go, eventually. so that rosy color usually indicates healthy oxygenated blood. the problem is, if the CO doesn't let go, you don't get any oxygen. so that rosy glow becomes paradoxical: the signal of a healthy life is now death

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

immortality is a human right (none / 0) (#83)
by guidoreichstadter on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:31:21 PM EST

if you believe it is


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
you DO have a right to try. (3.00 / 2) (#106)
by mikelist on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 09:27:58 PM EST

none too soon.

[ Parent ]
I herad someone talking (none / 1) (#84)
by balsamic vinigga on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 08:39:16 PM EST

about an alternative to suicide once..  supposedly the youth in Asia have some sort of alternative to it.  I think if there's a viable alternative to suicide that isn't harmful to the youth in asia (like, say, thai sex slaves or whatever) then that should be explored before someone can legally opt out of life....

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
Hahaha (none / 0) (#224)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 03:55:40 PM EST

you said "Youth in Asia"!!

[ Parent ]
i think that if (3.00 / 3) (#85)
by wampswillion on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:34:33 PM EST

suicide were an accepted form of release, it would also be a less resorted to option.  
cause sometimes it's only the thought that in the future you could have the option that stops you from doing it.  

I frequently have that thought myself (3.00 / 2) (#94)
by rpresser on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:26:48 AM EST

and it owes nothing to whether or not suicide is "accepted."
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!! (2.16 / 6) (#87)
by balsamic vinigga on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:41:47 PM EST

THEY SHOULD MAKE SUCICIDE A FELONY PUNISHABLE BY DEATH! THAT WILL TEACH 'EM!!!!

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
Brilliant (2.60 / 5) (#92)
by tetsuwan on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:25:36 AM EST

This would lead to the fail-proof suicide method suicide by attempted suicide

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Thoughtless (2.20 / 5) (#91)
by nanobug on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 02:58:23 AM EST

The weak - those who lack the emotional and/or psychological strength to face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. They prefer death, if only because it's the easiest option. It may be cold to put this so bluntly, but society is arguably better off without them.

It is cold, and thoughtless, and stupid.

Perhaps I could give you the phone number of my friend Jeff's mother, and you could explain to her why society is better off without her son.

Or maybe you could just think about what you're writing down before actually writing it. kthxbye.


Not a bad idea. (2.50 / 2) (#96)
by slaida1 on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 07:55:50 AM EST

Perhaps I could give you the phone number of my friend Jeff's mother, and you could explain to her why society is better off without her son.

Tape the call, it'll provide some entertainment value for us later.



[ Parent ]
You are so smart nothing can touch you! (none / 1) (#142)
by Comrade Wonderful on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 11:51:09 AM EST

lol tuffguy!!!

[ Parent ]
It is (2.66 / 3) (#100)
by Noexit on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:24:10 AM EST

I believe totally and completely that it is my fundamental right to choose the manner and time of my own demise. Maybe I don't get to exercise that right because of fate, illness, or just bad luck. But when I do choose to do so no man nor law should stand in my way.

On a more practical note, the best time to have this discussion or give this speech is _not_ while you're in protective custody in a state run mental health facility. I've learned from experience that the audience isn't very receptive.

I disagree entirely (2.50 / 6) (#101)
by Verbophobe on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 01:10:39 PM EST

Your arguments are sound and your solution is reasonable, but I must disagree with your premise. In my experience, except for people suffering of a terrible illness, people who commit suicide or attempt suicide and fail do so mostly as a vendetta against others. It would be ultimately pointless to provide these people with a state sponsored way of committing suicide.

Have a cursory look at the notes on the first Google result for "suicide notes": http://www.well.com/~art/suicidenotes.html . They're all frustrated with either society or a loved one. To the suicidees, killing themselves (or attempting to do so) is the worst thing they could possibly do to people. Imagine a man jumping off a bridge because his wife left him, or because he got laid off by his company. The hope is that wind of the event (and the ensuing letter) will reach the offending party, and it will feel guilty of the wrong it has caused.

In fact, you could also note that most failed suicide attempts are merely ways of attracting attention to oneself. Take the slightly hysterical young professional who's just left her boyfriend while her career is in jeopardy. One day, she calls 911 and exclaims that she just took a whole bottle of sleeping pills and she's going to die. The ambulance will rush to her home, she'll be administered some purgative or whatever, and be saved. She'll also get a few days off work and maybe some counseling.

Now, this woman was obviously distressed, and "attempting" suicide was the most expedient way, in her mind, of attracting attention to herself (which, to be fair, worked well). Once again, the hope is that her boyfriend discovers what happens and thinks that it's his fault that she's in a terrible state. However, one must note that in cases like these, it's often not explicit in the person's mind that this is the result they're trying to acheive: very rarely is this malicious.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with this course of action or the way society is handling it, but we must be aware that cases like these are a significant portion of all suicide attempts.

In a way, this bears a striking similarity to things like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and chronic pain. If you're distressed or angry or overwhelmed, your body will unconsciously create this pain in order to a) distract you from what's really wrong with your life and forcing you to concentrate on the pain and b) attract attention and medical care in the form of surgery and pharmaceuticals, which do give one the impression of being taken care of. This is entirely unconscious and certainly not malicious, but it does happen.

Thus, it is my firm belief that not only should not provide facilities for suicide, but also that using these facilities will, in most cases, work against what the suicidees are trying to achieve.

It is only a very tiny minority of people who want to kill themselves simply because they no longer think they're useful, and you could arguably qualify those people as not being sound of mind, which disqualifies them from your recommended process immediately.

Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration

I disagree (2.50 / 2) (#112)
by kromagg on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 12:05:09 PM EST

I think many people kill themselves because they feel their life has turned to shit. Maybe because their girlfriend dumped them, they've been unemployed for a long time, etc. All too often people say "oh it was just a cry for help". In all articles that I've read on the subject they see it as caused by acute emotional distress. If your wife left you you might leave a stinging note to make sure "she gets what she deserves" but you don't necessarily kill yourself to make a point to her and society, no you kill yourself because you are unable to deal with the situation this break-up has left you in.

There are definitely people who attempt suicide as a cry for help, but I have some serious questions about your claim of "most". Seems to me if your suicide is really a cry for help you won't sneak onto golden gate bridge at 4 in the morning when you know there's nobody about and just jump, never to be seen again. On some subconscious level you're probably hoping for someone to come and save your life so I'll give you that. But conciously? No way.

[ Parent ]

People are barbaric... (none / 0) (#229)
by bob1000 on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 04:50:27 PM EST

... the truth is suicidee's are some of the strongest, kindest and passionate people I know because of their troubles and suffering.  They suffer because they are sensitive the the pain of others in the world, some are mad and ignorant because of their immaturity, others are philosopher kings who deserve more praise and respect then most  babrarian intellectuals on kuroshin.

[ Parent ]
What they don't tell you (2.66 / 3) (#102)
by wiredog on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 01:30:23 PM EST

is what happens after you snap. See, life just keeps getting shittier, but since you've already snapped, you have nothing left to look forward to.

Case in point, today my boss calls me into the office and says "I'm sorry Peter, but we're going to have to let you go."

"I understand, many companies are having to downsize their workforce in todays depressed economic climate."

"No, Peter, it's not that. It's just that lately you've been..."

"I've been what?"

"You've been nude from the waist down and singing pirate shanties. Goddamnit man, we have policies about that."

Now, see, I think this Peter guy, in this situation, has no choice but to off himself. Preferably in the most spectacular and entertaining way possible. Failing that, as he may well do, he should at the very least troll the bejabbers out of K5 with a fake suicide attempt.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

Immediate lifespan rightsizing. (3.00 / 6) (#103)
by Znork on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:02:39 PM EST

The continued taboo of suicide essentially comes down to the refusal of people to face their own mortality. They fear death and the loss of existence and meaning so much they cannot abide others voluntarily choosing to end their existence.

In its abstracted essence, dispassionately viewed, suicide is merely a life span adjustment. No more or less valid than any other such adjustment, smoking, taking a dangerous job, engaging in dangerous sports, etc. Any such activity carries a penalty on the length of life, suicide is merely a slightly more real-time rescheduling the termination point.

Troubles are temporary? Life is temporary, existence an infinitesimal abberation in the fabric of endless nothing.

People look for difficult and dangerous ways to accomplish it?

The most difficult and dangerous way to accomplish it is to stay alive.

The easiest to just wait.

It will come.

That's what must suck the most... (3.00 / 4) (#104)
by gndn on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:44:14 PM EST

... about being suicidal. That is, even in the best case, if your life turns around completely and you manage to achieve total happiness, it will all be cruelly ripped away from you sooner or later anyway. The inevitable conclusion when following that train of thought is that it doesn't really matter much whether you die one minute from now or one decade from now - you're going to end up dead no matter what the fuck you do.



[ Parent ]
man now I'm depressed $ (none / 0) (#113)
by kromagg on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 12:07:03 PM EST



[ Parent ]
that's so retarded (1.00 / 4) (#133)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:29:09 AM EST

10 years of life is worth more than 10 minutes of life

it's a very simple concept


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Is it really? (3.00 / 3) (#137)
by gndn on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:03:26 AM EST

If we assume for the moment that death is nothing more or less than total oblivion (i.e. eternal lack of awareness), then your life will have been as though it never existed, because you will be unable to recall it (in fact, there will be no "you" to speak of). And yes, before you go off ranting about the positive effects that your life may have had on the lives of those around you, keep in mind the exact same fate awaits each and every one of them also. Given enough time, everything in the world is irrelevant. So, whether you die today or live to be 200 years old makes no difference in the end.

Of course, if you accept the possibility of an afterlife, then it's a whole different ball game.



[ Parent ]
Refutation: (none / 0) (#172)
by Elija on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:05:02 PM EST

The fact that every individual person will die does not imply that human society will disappear or that it is impossible to have an eternally lasting effect on human society, and its successors.

Of course, it's not clear why you should want to have a lasting effect on human society, and, if you did, that the best way of doing it isn't to become a particularly high-profile suicide bomber.

By the way, do you know what would prevent me from launching a suicide attack against the war criminal and mass murderer Tony Blair? It's the thought of having anything to do with that piece of shit, let alone being for ever linked with him by a historic event. Yuck.


[ Parent ]

Refutation of refutation (none / 0) (#183)
by gndn on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:41:44 PM EST

Human society will one day cease to be. This is one of the only universal guarantees - everything comes to an end sooner or later.

By the way, do you know what would prevent me from launching a suicide attack against the war criminal and mass murderer Tony Blair? It's the thought of having anything to do with that piece of shit, let alone being for ever linked with him by a historic event. Yuck.

This makes no sense. If I were to generalize this sentiment, it would seem that you are saying it's better not to fight against people/things/situations that you consider wrong, lest you become associated (even in a contrarian way) with that person/thing/situation? Yeah, okay, let's stop looking for a cure for cancer, otherwise we might be remembered as the people who cured cancer - I don't want to be associated with cancer, yuck!



[ Parent ]
Where does your guarantee come from? (none / 0) (#193)
by Elija on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:38:52 PM EST

Cosmology? Well, yes, those theories are probably correct, but I'd hardly call it guaranteed.

I don't accept your generalisation. I find there is something rather intimate about dying in the same explosion as someone. It's almost like having sex with them. Also, I wouldn't want Blair to die like a martyr. He should choke on shit and the body should be eaten by rats before anyone finds it or something like that.


[ Parent ]

2nd law of thermodynamics (nt) (none / 0) (#204)
by gndn on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 04:27:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Who's to say that you will always be human? $ (none / 0) (#215)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:20:48 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Your question makes no sense (none / 0) (#217)
by gndn on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 11:53:09 PM EST

I assume you are alluding to reincarnation and/or some form of afterlife, but the "you" in your question refers to me - specifically, the human being that I am right now. If I were to be reincarnated in some other form, I would no longer be "me" in the sense that I understand it, so the statement "I will always be human" is a useless tautology, at least in the sense that I will continue to be "me" until I die and/or enter the next phase of existence, whatever that may be. In other words, I define myself by my innate human-ness - remove that from me, or me from it, and I am no longer "me" even if I continue to exist.

Of course, this is all academic and not terribly interesting. It is my personal belief that death is the cessation of consciousness, making all of this nice philosophical chit-chat completely irrelevant.



[ Parent ]
Your comment (none / 0) (#219)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sun Mar 18, 2007 at 02:06:20 PM EST

simply plays around with semantics and definitions.

BTW, what is innate human-ness?

Is your personal belief of the cessation of consciousness at death backed up by anything?

[ Parent ]

Most of philosophy... (none / 0) (#221)
by gndn on Sun Mar 18, 2007 at 11:21:13 PM EST

...amounts to nothing more than semantics and definitions.

Is your personal belief of the cessation of consciousness at death backed up by anything?

No. Call it more of a hope than a belief.



[ Parent ]
No it doesn't (none / 0) (#222)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 01:32:17 AM EST

But of course, it uses such things to convey concepts.

You hope consciousness ceases at death? Why?

[ Parent ]

That is only correct (none / 0) (#214)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:19:14 PM EST

Depending on your religious or spiritual views -- or perhaps, a lack of them.

To some of us, what you are saying makes about as much sense as saying "What's the point in waking up when at the end of the day, you have to go sleep anyway?"

[ Parent ]

Many Buddhists would disagree (none / 0) (#213)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:12:01 PM EST

One can't expect to attain enlightenment and therefore avoid the suffering cause by the continuous cycle of life and death if one offs one's self rather than learn what it's all about.

[ Parent ]
Enlightenment (none / 0) (#218)
by Znork on Sun Mar 18, 2007 at 07:08:33 AM EST

Preoccupation with attaining or avoiding will keep enlightenment forever out of your grasp and the dogma of organized religion will bind you to someone elses path.

[ Parent ]
That depends (none / 0) (#220)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sun Mar 18, 2007 at 02:08:31 PM EST

On exactly what you mean by preoccupation, and if you think that's what my comment implied.

[ Parent ]
Great article. (none / 1) (#108)
by The Amazing Idiot on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 12:46:11 AM EST

However, I disagree with your premise and reasonings.

I'm not trying to analyze every word, but read the following:

"Suppose a person of reasonable mental competence decides, after carefully weighing the available options and consulting with those around him, that life is no longer worth living. "

How do you define reasonable? There's usually not much anything that can be fixed, except for many diseases. Then again, by rationality, killing ones self off does prevent the chance of future cures.

I argue that you cannot declare someone "reasonable mental competence", nor can any test proctored by a psychologist.

Following that, is the "there are several cases where suicide can be beneficial". This idea scares the shit out of me. Simply, if the government has no restrictions on who can euthanize, then it most likely will switch to "active euthanasia". Illegal is the best policy, in that it would take massive support to give "permission" to do that via government mandate.

"Well, Mr Frump is getting old and we have paid out X$ of  the united health fund. He needs to pay out of pocket or we dont pay more. However, Suicide is always free."

"This is the 3rd kid from this unwed mother. The kid needs medical care due to the heroin addiction, but most likely has too many brain defects. We're going to have to let this one go in favor of better candidates."

Euthanasia hasn't much a chance to grasp hold of the USA unless we accept a universal health care. Then the system would be set in that one could be denied even basic care for whatever the reason (or lack thereof) the government gives. You, the dying citizen, truly has no recourse.

Lastly, I have issues on allowing the weak and the incompetent commit suicide just because of those factors. It is a sad day in which incompetent people wish to kill themselves just because they lack a skill set or social skills. Everybody is good at at least something. Even if it's drawing or music playing or something, that is better than nothing they will contribute when they die.

It is worse yet if the weak wish suicide. We, the stronger, should protect the weak. Our (USA) very  Constitution was to prevent tyranny of the majority. In doing so, it gave the weak a way to prevent passage of unfair bills. If anything, the weak need our protection from the majority, not an easy out to save them from the stress.

I thought this might not be a troll (none / 1) (#109)
by vera on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 12:57:29 AM EST

up until the point where it was initially suggested as a pro the role assisted suicide would play in combating overpopulation.  When quantity is prioritized in this fashion, I can not accept you as anything but a robot, bereft of empathy and genuine human compassion.

Suicide is just a universal selection function (none / 0) (#110)
by Pentashagon on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 02:02:40 AM EST

I have two conflicting views on this subject.

On one hand, science is clearly progressing exponentially. Probably most of the posters here will see the singularity, and it seems like an incredibly poor decision to choose death over the possibilities the singularity will give us. If you have a terminal disease, consider cryogenics. For the price of a (nice) new car you might wake up cured in 50 to 100 years. It's like pascal's wager without the arbitrary christianity.

On the other hand, I think modal realism is the best philosophical and perhaps physical explanation for how the universe ultimately works. In essence, everything possible exists in some alternate universe somewhere, which means that suicide is basically just a selection function for which universes you want to live in. Obviously I don't have enough proof to support this theory personally or I'd be dead here, searching for the universe where I'm a god or at least a movie star.

I still think my best bet is the singularity, but if I don't reach it at least I'll be able to empirically test modal realism.

perhaps it is by default (2.00 / 4) (#111)
by SaintPort on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 04:57:46 AM EST

first I must lay out my opinion that suicide must be kept illegal whereever it is illegal.
The reasoning is that by legalizing suicide you immediately cheapen the perceived value of life.

I am not talking about quality of life, simply life.

If we legalize suicide, we are saying that it is OK, you have that as a valid option, and we as a people have no real claim on you... you are expendable. That amounts to encouragement, and that amounts to manslaughter.

Secondly, that which you allow, you end up either subsidizing or providing an economic playing field. Oh, we'll have to regulate and tax the personal executioners in some way to keep it all tidy. And thus, we again become complicit.

Tangentally, once we have established that my life is worthless, then it follows that you are also worthless and murder becomes much less obscene. So, when I decide to off myself via car accident, a head-on with you might seem attractive.

And finally 'by default' means that since you cannot punish the dead very effectively, it is obvious to me that I am able to kill myself. Heck, I go to a lot of trouble to prevent myself from dying.

There are times in people's lives that the fabric of logic and morality becomes paper thin, and sometimes it is only prevailing law that keeps one from making a tragic mistake. Let us not violate that emotional safety net, please.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Perceived value of life (3.00 / 2) (#119)
by gndn on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 02:21:00 AM EST

You talk about the perceived value of life, but what makes your perception (or the government's perception) more valid than the person whose life is actually in question?



[ Parent ]
let me quote myself (none / 1) (#125)
by SaintPort on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 08:10:05 PM EST

Tangentally, once we have established that my life is worthless, then it follows that you are also worthless and murder becomes much less obscene. So, when I decide to off myself via car accident, a head-on with you might seem attractive.

As a society, we are safer when people hold life as sacred.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Does not follow (3.00 / 2) (#126)
by gndn on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 09:09:55 PM EST

Me choosing to end my own life would have absolutely no effect on the perceived value of your life - that is akin to suggesting that it's okay to put an innocent man to death against his will because, hey, that's what we do to convicted murderers.

As a society, we are safer when people hold life as sacred.

I don't necessarily disagree with that sentiment; I'm merely suggesting that there should be exceptions made for those who no longer consider life worth living, just as we already make exceptions for heinous criminals or enemy soldiers on the battlefield.



[ Parent ]
ok (none / 0) (#128)
by SaintPort on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 09:29:42 PM EST

I have already alluded to the realization that you can't effectively prevent people from offing themselves if they are determined to do so.

I guess I don't really understand the need to make it easier. I already support the idea of something a bit similar. If you are dying a painful death, I am totally in favor of letting you receive as much morphine (or whatever) as it takes to ease your pain, despite the fact that the drug will surely bring the end a little sooner, given kidney damage or such.

I think we can be resonable about comfort without opening Pandora's Box.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

there is no valid argument to take your own life (1.33 / 3) (#134)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:31:45 AM EST

save terminal illness

if your body is sound, then there is no argument that is justifiable in thinking your life is no longer worth living

sure, some people think that, but they are mentally unfit: depressed, bipolar, schizo, etc. being mentally unsound, their deicision to off themselves is not the right one: the route to making the decision is not founded on reason, it's founded on insanity


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No one's body is sound (3.00 / 2) (#138)
by gndn on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:09:54 AM EST

We are all slowly dying. Why wait?



[ Parent ]
durrrr.... (1.33 / 3) (#139)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:37:20 AM EST

which is more valuable?

10 minutes of life?

or 10 years?

durrrrr....

think hard now, i got faith in you cretin, you can figure it out


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not true (3.00 / 2) (#135)
by Eivind on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 07:16:52 AM EST

You're both wrong, and beside the point.

Choosing to end your life has negative impact on the perceived value of the life of others. This is perfectly plain. If a life is something that it is reasonable to, under certain circumstances, exchange for nothing, then it follows that it is less worth than if this choice wasn't seen as reasonable.

Secondly, by making suicide legal, or even actively assisting it, the state too says, indirectly: Yes, your life may have negative value. It may be that it is better overall that you be dead.

Death-penalties have this effect too by the way, they amount to the state making a powerful statement that under certain circumstances, killing a person that poses no immediate threat to you or anyone is the *correct* thing to do.

[ Parent ]

not true (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by m a r c on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:09:08 PM EST

what perceived value are you exactly referring to. If you are talking about the perception of the person ending their life, then yes since they are about to can it all i don't think they regard any form of life highly, theirs or yours.

But my perception of life, based on others ending theirs has no immediate impact. If anything it would re-inforce to me the implied standard of what a worthy life is. And by worthy i'm talking about that which is self defined by the individual. It is not for the state or the opinions of others to make my life worth living, but up to me to define it and live it.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]

strange claim. (none / 1) (#153)
by Eivind on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 06:41:17 AM EST

I'm talking of the cultural perceived value of life.

I'm saying that a state that accepts assisted suicide, that has capital punishment, sends a message.

The message from the former is: In certain circumstances, death may be the best choice. The message from the latter is something akin to: When people do certain things -- it is morally rigth to kill them afterwards, even if they pose no immediate threat to anyone.

Both messages weaken respect for life. I don't think you can grow up in a society that has both, and not be affected by it at all.

[ Parent ]

Murder... (2.50 / 2) (#146)
by Znork on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 03:42:19 PM EST

"murder becomes much less obscene."

Not if you view murder as a violation of someones will and right to self-determination. In which case it's more or less the ultimate obscenity.

[ Parent ]

doesn't matter (none / 0) (#143)
by m a r c on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 11:53:14 AM EST

there is a paralle between the taking of illicit drugs and suicide which is that people wishing to partake will do so regardless of whatever law applies. It could be argued that making suicide less available to people is a practical way of filtering out those who are really committed to doing it and those who aren't.

The fundamental problem i have with the whole idea is that peoples reality is based on their perception and their perception can be quite fluid. Making a decision at a fixed point in your life may not exactly be wise and i'm sure we can all look back at that thing called hindsight to give evidence of this.

That being said i don't think the existence of people who are alive clinically but dead in the more important way adds any benefit to society and life in general. Prehaps those wishing to engage in finding their end should be forced to partake in certain activities to ensure that this is what they really want. I'm sure that a lot just want to escape and choose this because it is the most clear and immediate option.

Ok so someone wants to end it all, what should we do... In my opinion we should at least try some of the following i) drugs both perscription and otherwise. I would like confirmation from someone that they actually trust their perception enough to know that they know what they are doing here. ii) Taking them somewhere completely different to break their routine and view of their own life. I'm talking up in the mountains, away from civilisation kind of thing. iii) taking them somewhere where they can contrast what value their life has with those who have it significantly worse. There are quite a few places where you could show people worse off and this may impact them.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.

Authority (2.50 / 2) (#148)
by V1m on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 04:52:33 PM EST

I'd like to know by what moral authority anyone could claim the right to deny me my clearly expressde wishes in this matter?

As a child, I accept that my parents would have had that authority; as someone diagnosed with a clinical mental disorder, a doctor would be in 'loco parentis'. Who else? How?
"A very special kind of stupidity"

Two different questions (2.66 / 3) (#152)
by Eivind on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 06:37:30 AM EST

Noone can deny you suicide. Realistically, if you are sane, adult and free it is not at all hard to kill oneself in such a way that it cannot realistically be prevented.

This, infact, is a pretty strong indication that when people nevertheless choose to off themselves (or threathen to) in a way that makes it preventable, that they may infact wish it to be prevented. I don't think suicide-attempts as desperate cries for help are all that uncommon.

So, I'd try to prevent someone from comitting suicide based on the assumption that if you truly didn't want me to prevent it, you'd have offed yourself in some manner that makes prevention impossible.

Secondly, just 'cos nobody can really prevent you, doesn't mean it's morally rigth to allow someone to *assist* in a suicide. Assisting means accepting the argument that somebodys life is worth nothing.

In Norway there's sort of a special case for the very ill. You do *not* have the rigth to recieve any assistance in dying. But you *do* have the rigth to live pain-free. This means you can tell your doctor to give you morphine (or some other painkiller), *even* when the needed dosage is such that you may very well die from it.

In effect, the doctor won't give you meds to kill you. He will however give you meds to take away your pain -- even if death is a possible or even likely side-effect.

[ Parent ]

it's about logical coherence, not moral authority (1.33 / 3) (#155)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 07:47:34 AM EST

if you are end staged parkinsons you can kill yourself, for example. that situation makes sense: your mind is sound, but your body is unsound.

however, if you are a sane, healthy adult, you don't want to commit suicide

there is no such thing as a sane healthy adult who wants to commit suicide

therefore, it is not a question of moral authority, it is a question of logical coherence

no one is going to say you can't do what you never would want to do. because if you ever would want to do something you never would want to do, you're clearly not yourself

if i say "you can never jump off a cliff" are you going to reply "who are you to tell me what to do?! where is your moral authority over me!?" and then jump off the cliff? of course not

same with me saying you can't commit suicide

get it? it's not about morality, it's about logic

the desire to commit suicide is mutually exclusive from the state of you being a sane healthy adult making logical choices. so if you choose suicide, then the situation has nothing to do with morality if i prevent you from doing it. you ar enot yourself. logic is the issue, not morality


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

devil's advocate (none / 0) (#180)
by gndn on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:37:18 PM EST

there is no such thing as a sane healthy adult who wants to commit suicide

So when a Captain goes down with his ship, it's not a sense of duty or honour or seamanship, it's simply because he's certifiably insane? When a soldier storms an enemy machinegun nest, knowing there's a pretty good chance he's going to end up with a ventilated torso, it's because that soldier is a lunatic? There are many instances I can imagine where a healthy adult of sound mind and body would risk death or even face certain death without being considered insane.



[ Parent ]
Basic questions to ask (none / 0) (#170)
by stuaart on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:54:00 AM EST

I missed the voting, but +1FP anyway. Some issues, though.

I think that in order to judge whether suicide is permissible or not, we need to discuss what has mostly thus far been mentioned only in passing: suicide's social nature. Suicide is inherently a social act; it's impossible to have a `private' suicide.

A useful case to draw out the tensions in suicide is the most debated one: i.e., those who are in some kind of continual pain, and their right to end their life. Whether that pain is physical or psychological is another matter I can't really think about right now. In the case of continual pain, the suicide should be weighed up in two terms: 1) the suicide's impact upon the social world (i.e., no longer having to care for you, relief that you are no longer in pain, their pain at the inevitable loss, burdens of paperwork and general legacy...), and 2) the essential personal rights (i.e., the right to end life when there are reasonable impediments to a basic enjoyment of it, the right to control one's life).

Obviously there is always a tension in society between personal rights and social rights. Lots of people cite the argument that personal rights always supersede societal rights `as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.' But clearly it's never as simple as that and there are very few actual cases where personal rights and societal rights are mutually exclusive.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


wrong (none / 1) (#179)
by gndn on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:35:10 PM EST

it's impossible to have a `private' suicide.

Not true - it's entirely conceivable that a suicidal person, given enough time to prepare, could tie up all his loose ends, say his goodbyes, and take a nice long walk away from civilization, never to be seen again. In fact, it might even be the preferred way of doing it if you live in proximity to the right kind of place (barren desert, dense jungle, etc... use your imagination).

Not saying that I think such suicides are common, just that they are not "impossible" as you suggest.



[ Parent ]
Ok (none / 0) (#196)
by stuaart on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 07:54:55 PM EST

I admit---`impossible' was something of an exaggeration... Basically it's incredibly rare and unusual that a suicide won't be a public event to some extent.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


[ Parent ]
How About Just ... (none / 0) (#228)
by icastel on Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 02:41:25 PM EST

killing oneself if that's what one wants to do? Once dead, you're not going to be caring about society and tensions and stuff like that.


-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]
Yes, next question! (none / 0) (#192)
by V on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:10:58 PM EST


---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
Death in our times (1.00 / 2) (#197)
by stock on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:11:01 PM EST

Death is a sad possibility on how your life on earth ends. Currently its the default way. humans die, cows die, chickens die, trees die. I know of a living tree over 1000 years old. In the Old Testament (a Testimony under God's oath of old times) it's reported that Noah lived over 900 years :

Book of Genesis :

9:28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Well Noah was one blessed man under God for sure. The troubles rise for people who never made it to the Ark, and were under the force of evil. The ultimate evil grounds were swamps in Vietnam where the American G.I. after being dropped had a projected living time  of less than 45 secs. Compare that to dropping mice into a snake pit. Want to improve the life time of mice? Remove the snakes from the pit. In general, want to improve expected lifetimes? Make sure evil is removed from your areas.

Robert
Issues concerning the Desire of a New World Order

Hmmm ... (none / 0) (#227)
by icastel on Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 02:33:23 PM EST

Death is a sad possibility on how your life on earth ends.

Really? You must be kidding us.


-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]

Life is so much easier with religion (none / 0) (#205)
by johntheblonde on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 01:00:58 AM EST

You don't have to think about complex moral issues that have no definite answer.  Just do what the church tells you!  

Will you help me? $ (none / 0) (#206)
by whithery on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 01:03:24 AM EST



"We're all a bunch of too tall, spoiled, overeducated, wired, drug addicted, urban-dwelling, indulged elitists with no siblings. That is our problem," Sgt York.
[ Parent ]
Is that so? (none / 0) (#216)
by Zombie Gautama Buddha on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 01:33:17 PM EST

The religion that I follow tells me that I should question and analyse the hell of everything, including the religion itself. But I do agree, life is so much easier in terms of complex issues if one follows a suitable religion.

[ Parent ]
I never thought I would agree with a john (none / 0) (#226)
by icastel on Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 02:30:46 PM EST

especially a "blonde" john.  But I'm with you on this one.  Follow religion and the decisions are pretty much made for you.


-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]
What we need to do is actively encourage suicide (none / 0) (#223)
by IceTitan on Mon Mar 19, 2007 at 07:36:24 PM EST

in certain groups, ala the movie Heathers. Paris Hilton would be a good candidate. Tell her all the cool kids are doing it. Simon Cowell would be a fine example also. Lawyers, politicians, elected officials. Frat boys, college republicans and dirty hippies. Fundamentally religious and non-religious people, basically anyone in a personality cult. There are too many groups to list. So I'll just say do it. Kill yourself.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
precedence in practice (none / 0) (#235)
by blufox on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 01:02:55 PM EST

The jain practice of Santhara (Fasting to death) is a wilful act of suicide that is not looked upon as crime. Some one committing Santhara gets enough time to contemplate on their decision before the life ends, but is very prolonged.

The japanese practice of seppuku (harakiri) is at the opposite spectrum. It is quick and generally committed to attennuate shame. (The failure to commit might be a greater shame.)

Mention must also be made of Sati which degenerated into a criminal and forceful practice (due to the involvement of interested parties).
.

Is death a human right? | 230 comments (228 topical, 2 editorial, 12 hidden)
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