Me and a friend were talking about suicide yesterday and I did some research around the net and I thought it would be best to ask the questions I found on TA.

How should the community relate to the problem of suicide? Should there be any legal constraints at all? 

A. Might it be allowed only to stop the suffering of the terminally ill?

B. What about people whose illnesses deprive life of its meaning–not terminal, but severely handicapped, or dying over years, but not immediately terminal. Should they be allowed to kill themselves?

C. What about those who can't do it themselves? Should assisted suicide be allowed?

D. What about those who can't even decide? Should euthanasia be allowed in any circumstances? 

E. What about those who have failed to leave an advanced directive: If they are left in a vegetative state after an accident, stroke, etc., when is it okay to "pull the plug?"

Please post your thoughts.


Tags: suicide

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Even those who have wished to die sometimes don't know why. Calling them (us) selfish is a sign of true misunderstanding.

Mental illness MAKES people do things/ want to do thing beyond their control. This includes depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, and any number of other illnesses.
A. Yes
B. Yes
C. Yes
D. I don't think people who want to kill themselves for reasons other than medical ones should be assisted or given the drugs to kill themselves with. I think in these cases counseling is in order. But of course if a person really wants to end their life there are a number of ways it can be done and counseling and access to cocktails designed to end life are moot anyways. (Hopefully I understood the question.)
E. Yes - that decision is now in the hands of the next of kin. If you don't have an advance directive I hope you have let next of kin know your wishes regarding medical care and trust them to make the right decision for you.
That's a matter of semantics. You call it privelige, I call it legal right. But legal rights can change. We could change the law and make some form of suicide legal. In fact, we did in Washington, where I live.
I think that everyone should have the right to end their life when they want to, with a very large exception. I don't think anyone should be allowed (well, as if we could stop them) to do it without very seriously considering the consequences, both in terms of their not being able to do things they love later in life, and the emotional state of their family and friends after they go.

I think that if a person wants to commit suicide they should have to go to a certain amount of time in counseling to talk through those things.

I think tat if someone is in a persistent vegitative state with no chance of recovery, then keeping them "alive" is more of a game for the healthy than it s a virtuous act. The person in the vegitative state isn't there to appreciate their lives. Consciousness is already gone. You're just keeping the heart beating.
I believe on should have dignity in life and death. But I don't see any dignity in a person begging for someone just to terminate his/her own life while suffering a terminal or incurable wasting disease. It is pointless to prolong suffering for the sake of another's believes and/or world view.
My life, my business. period. My wife and I have already agreed that we're going to commit suicide together. In fact we decided that before we got married.
I agree. When the party's over, turn out the lights.
Really? You have any data on this? That suicide is contagious?

SWIM used to/recovered from PTSD and used to live in Tokyo where people would daily throw themselves in front of trains. Everytime SWIM saw that a train was delayed to a suicide, SWIM actually felt more determined to live and glad that SWIM was working through it.

Yep, just like population uprisings can be contagious ;)

Hope, loss of hope, they are both equally contagious IMO.

I'd agree with most everything that was said here.

As someone who has overcome depression and trauma, I think the role of the community is to offer support to people who are thinking of killing themselves or even way before then, because its a long road from initially depressed to suicidal. <-- Most people who kill themselves due to depression might be able to heal and recover or manage if they had the right support.

But people have a right to their own bodies and its clear that no one should be able to force you to be alive after you've really taken the time to think it through and (in terms of depression) all other options have failed.
ppl have the right to do wateva the f*** they want when it comes to there LIFE....

Canadian health services are spending massive amounts of money on suicide prevention campaigns. It is a public expenditure I disagree with. Stopping one's life is simply one's own decision I don't see any need for the state to consider it a within a social agenda. I had a relative who's suicide was prevented twice, he led a miserable life. Leading a miserable life is not an uncommon consequence of suicide prevention programs. Just like pro-lifers, I think individuals who act against individual suicides should enter in a lifetime contract to support the person they saved. Wouldn't it be interesting if we applied such a concept to pro-lifers? You want to save that life???? become responsible for it! If the "saving pusher" does not want the responsibility, then stay out of it.

 

My only concern with end of life legislations (assisted especially, but possibly unassisted too) is the opportunity for conflict of interest with organ donation and insurance benefits. What if a corrupt doctor (they do exist) misinforms a patient or patient's relative about the probability of a successful outcome, in order to access organs? What of the possibility of coercion even within/among family members? What if a corrupt spouse wants access to a profitable insurance policy?

 

I do agree with access to euthanasia on principal, but I think I would favour having only a select few certified euthanasia approved practitioners, keeping this ultimately irreversible action out of the hands of the many and in the hands of a select few, such as Kevorkian. This could manage medical corruption, but it still leaves the great potential for insurance pressures.

 

Maybe as part of our national identity cards, or driver's license, or upon first income tax report, all citizens should be under the obligation to sign a living will, safeguarded in a national registry. As it stands, living wills are not standardised and I also see potential problems arising from this. In addition, living wills should be upgraded every 10 years to take into consideration new technologies and survival statistics. Our aim as a society should be to reduce the necessity to decide on the spot, under pressure. It's a decision that should be made with a cool head.

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