The suicide has raised questions of his treatment by state psychiatric authorities.
One of Walker’s friends said that he had been planning to kill himself in a public place for some time: “It was almost like he wanted to prove a point, like there’s no point in being scared of death because it’s going to happen to us anyway.” The friend reportedly told Walker’s parents who had him committed St Charles Medical Centre in Bend. The friend is quoted as saying
“I actually told him, I was like, ‘Dude, this is going to mess a lot of people up.’”
Beyond the tragedy itself, there is a question of the responsibility of state officials and the coffee shop. I believe the shop is not likely to face liability -assuming (as appears to be the case) that they had no reason to expect such an unforeseeable act. It would be hard to establish the basis for a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim as an audience member.
The hospital could be more vulnerable if a reasonable doctor would not have released Walker. However, again, such acts are hard to predict and make generally for a poor basis for legal action.
From a public policy perspective, however, there are increasing complaints over the treatment (and release) of potentially violent individuals. It is a difficult balance for a state. We have moved away from the large-scale institutionalization of the mentally ill.
After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in O’Connor v. Donaldson in 1975, states were ordered that they cannot involuntarily hold a person who is not imminently a danger to himself or others and able to survive on his own. That decision ended abuses across the country and allowed mentally disabled individuals to have functional lives. In any such case, there can be problems particularly if an individual does not receive or take necessary medication.
Source: Daily Mail
I copy-pasted the report as it is to avoid missing a certain point between the lines, or having to edit or re-write it all over again, but mainly, I wanted to focus on the incident, and the act of suicide, rather than who's to blame, or which direction to point fingers at.
So, I wanted to know your prospective of it all. What do you think of suicide? and of people who commit it? Do you consider contemplating suicide psychotic? And just what are your thoughts on this particular story?
I don't consider people who contemplate or even commit suicide psychotic. In fact, I think, maybe, they know too much... or just that they haven't found what keeps any of us from taking his/her own life, perhaps, a goal, a companion, or even a bunch of them.
I find the attitude people take towards suicide is similar to that of a believer to a non-believer, in a sense, that they think should be saved in the manner they see fit, which I find both very demeaning, and judgemental. Making up fairy-tales as a purpose to keep you from killing yourself is not very sane either.
"The first thing I thought about was 'Damn , this guy really went out with style!'" -Dustin
I must confess I am a little confused by the responses from the younger generation. I don't view taking one's life in the prime of their existence involves style or flamboyance. From an elder perspective the loss of an individual at such a young age to suicide is only a travesty. While the person has a right to make this gravest of decisions it is hard to justify the action. I believe everyone has at some point in time contemplated suicide but thankfully most realize there is "a light at the end of that tunnel." I have had friends choose this path in life and I have always had much difficulty coming to terms with their decision. As a friend and fellow human being I believe we have a responsibility to help others in time of mental anguish. If someone is old and infirm or dealing with a terminal illness or severe handicap then the decision is more justifiable. But in this case of an otherwise healthy young life society should feel compelled to make them feel loved and wanted. Have we become so callous and desensitized that the loss of a fellow human in their prime is perfectly acceptable in today's society? I hope not.
I'm not so sure that it has to do with my generation. One clear example of poetic suicide is Romeo and Juliet. That story is heartbreaking but also massively beautiful in a dark sort of way...the first time I saw a video of the scene my heart was stopping. He fakes death, she kills herself...he wakes up to find her dead and kills himself.
Jumping off a bridge is not poetic, nor is falling off a large building. Or shooting yourself in the brain with a pistol you have at home.
But stabbing yourself to death in front of an audience when they think it's an act, but it's not...I find a tad bit of a feeling that I can't quite describe...but it's not a negative feeling.
My level of empathy is also extremely low. I don't really care much about adults, I'm usually the boohoo cry me a river sort of guy...but my heart will break into a million pieces if I see a mother hit her child in a store or hear a story of a mother drowning her son/daughter. Or hear a story of a father who abandons his son because he is gay...these strike me as heartbreaking because the children are just so pure and innocent and there is no reason for it.
A young adult who wants to commit suicide in such a way I find poetic. Of course in a perfect world, he should have been loved more. He could have gotten help. But such is life. Who's to say living is preferred over death?
Suicide is definitely not the answer to a short term problem. Mental illness on the other hand can be a lifelong affliction.
Suicide should be a legal and acceptable option for the terminally ill and those who have lived long enough and have decided it is time to lay it down.
What this guy did was incredibly shitty. Doing that in front of a crowd of complete strangers with the possibility of causing one or more of them emotional harm was the act of an asshole. They got off lucky he did not physically harm them on his way out.
Subjecting those unwitting people to an act of life ending violence is in my opinion an assault.
I dont applaud him nor judge him for committing suicide. But what he subjected his unwilling audience to was the final act of a douche bag.
He could have just as easily done it alone and brought no harm to anyone else.
And I agree with you about some of the responses.
But they are not really that surprising.
It is unlawful in the State of Texas to have a green burial and the body farms are not accepting anyone. Being old and in failing health, I have decided upon an inexpensive, rational solution. For 350 bucks one can hop on a Caribbean cruise, get 3 days of good dining, perhaps an affaire-de-amour with a lonely widow woman and, going off the fantail on the return, get a free burial at sea. A note to the Captain, apologizing for any inconvenience would be in order.
After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in O’Connor v. Donaldson in 1975, states were ordered that they cannot involuntarily hold a person who is not imminently a danger to himself or others and able to survive on his own. That decision ended abuses across the country and allowed mentally disabled individuals to have functional lives.
It's also one reason for all of the homeless people sleeping under bridges and begging on city streets.
Now he is a civil servant. Says so in the handbook
Doing that in front of a crowd of complete strangers with the possibility of causing one or more of them emotional harm was the act of an asshole.Subjecting those unwitting people to an act of life ending violence is in my opinion an assault. .... But what he subjected his unwilling audience to was the final act of a douche bag.
Oh get real. Day in and day out people willingly and gluttonously pay Hollywood a shit ton of money to watch goreporn movies like Saw, and see the most realistic and gruesome deaths that technology can provide, in 3D no less. THEY APPLAUDED THIS GUYS DEATH. Reread that and let it sink in. They enjoyed the thought - and the SIGHT - of someone stabbing themselves repeatedly. But when the idiots finally realized that it's real and their wishes actually turned into reality, all of a sudden it's assault? What's that if not hypocrisy. I guarantee you that if you would legalize murder on stage every theater in the nation would sell out, and people would come with tissues to jerk off to it. And not just the fat creepy type you'd expect, I mean everybody.
People aren't the easily-scared, innocent, pure, kindhearted beings you mistake them for. Society is a cruel meat grinder. Drop the sap-cannon.
I must confess I am a little confused by the responses from the younger generation.
I respect your view, because I liked the rest of your post, but what's up with this? What do the responses have to do with age? Or was that just a heavy-handed attempt to imply that old age somehow equals to more wisdom? See the fact of the matter is that some of us don't enjoy life, and some us respect that. This guy wanted to leave with a show, humor him. He died in applause, that's admirable. It's better than rotting in a cubicle 5 days a week for 40 years and then dying in some shithole apartment or hospital.
Life just is not for everybody, some don't enjoy the show and we have the right to walk out of that show if we think it blows.
Yes it's sad when really young kids kill themselves because they didn't really give life a chance, but then again what do young people have to contrast their feelings against? Nothing. When you're that young, and naive, and have always been sad there is no "better times" or anything you can remember and look forward to again. You think it's all there is.
And it's like you said, society should help, but they don't. On the contrary, society is what drives people into suicide. And if you want to show people that it was their fault on the way out, be my fucking guest.
It's disingenuous to drive these people into suicide, however passively, and then claim sadness for their deaths. Frankly it would even be more appropriate to stand on their corpses and yell "We did it! Another one down."
@ korsan - I sincerely hope you are not oblivious to what your replies reveal about yourself.
And you will have to forgive me for not responding to you ever again.
I really dont want anything to do with you.
And you will have to forgive me for not responding to you ever again.
Yeah I'll forgive you for using my tone as an excuse to sidestep the points I've made. I'm used to that.
I sincerely hope you are not oblivious to what your lack of replies reveal about yourself. It's easy to sling an appeal to emotion around but hard to back it up when you're called out for it.
Here's the summary in case you missed it.
1. People love watching violence and death. Fact.
2. Someone provides exactly what they want.
3. They applaud.
4. You claim assault.
6. Something doesn't add up.
THEY APPLAUDED THIS GUYS DEATH.Reread that and let it sink in. They enjoyed the thought - and the SIGHT - of someone stabbing themselves repeatedly.
Not necessarily. The assumption that is was fiction dramatically changes what people appreciate about a given act. They may not have appreciated the idea of a man stabbing himself to death in itself, yet still admired it as an artistic statement, valued it as a symbolic gesture, valued that it provoked a powerful emotional response in them (good or bad), or merely applauded sheepishly because that's what you do when someone is done performing. Unless it has been stated some where, we can't assume that the audience was delighting in the idea of a man stabbing himself to death.
On the contrary, society is what drives people into suicide.
Lots of things drive people to suicide. Society can certainly be a factor, but even then, that doesn't necessarily mean fault.
They may not have appreciated the idea of a man stabbing himself to death in itself, yet still admired it as an artistic statement, valued it as a symbolic gesture, valued that it provoked a powerful emotional response in them
Right, look, people didn't cheer because it provoked anything other than an erection maybe. People don't watch torture movies for the art either. I'm with you on the sheep thing though.
Meh. Cynical bullshit. Gimme a break.