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.

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So my thoughts are this.

I feel there should be some sort of legal constraints, but if a human wants to kill themselves they should have that right.

A. Yes

B. Yes

C. Yes

D. Lets look at the cost. If it puts a whole family in debt, say 50k+ I say yes. Sure this is a tricky sticky situation! But, I honestly feel no family should be in ruins because a family member died!

E. Another icky tricky sticky situation! I say the family should be given all the monies equally and not the government.

I am also curious why do you think so many people stick their heads into the sand when the death topic comes up? Why must families be ripped apart because of money? It is such a terrible waste.
Oh yeah.
I mean, seriously.
If the human population were in serious decline as a species, and threatened with extinction, even THEN it should still be legal. Advancements in cloning, IV, fertility...hell, there are ways to repopulate without a living, breathing sperm and egg donor.
Our individual good is only (and rarely) less important than our survival as a species, and in the worst case scenario, there is still no justifiable reason to take that freedom away from the individual.

So yeah, in all cases except for the last, I say YES!
Oh. And except for D. I don't understand the question.

In the last case, I think it falls to the wishes of the family. If there is no family, then the closest friend. No friends and no family? That means the tax payer is supporting it, right?
My instinct is to say no. I don't want to pay taxes for a pile of meat to take up much needed resources in a hospital, but then again, there is always the chance that a loved one could come forward in the future. I'm not a big fan of taking an action that can't be undone in those circumstances, and cremation is pretty hard to reverse with our current technologies.
The legal constraints are pointless anyway. If someone really wants to end their life, they'll find a way and there's nothing anybody can do to stop them.
What if they are incapacitated?
First of all, the suicide-discussion is pretty much useless. If people want to kill themselves and they are able to do so themselves, whether or not you find it morally appealing or not is not going to stop or encourage them.

When this becomes interesting is when people are not able to end their own lives, and requires assistance, or when people want to end their lives in a more humane way and require assistance in doing this. So I will give you my opinion as the questions all relate to euthanasia instead of suicide:

A. Yes
B. Yes
C. Yes
D. When people are not able to express their wishes, because they are in a coma or when suffer from dementia and it is not clear whether or not the wish for euthanasia is pronounced with a clear mind, the family and doctor should look at the circumstances. Is there an advanced directive, has the person spoken (hypothetically about euthanasia, is there a case of 'prolonged suffering'? Quite a number of countries have laws regarding these circumstances. I would say yes, this should be allowed, but since the person is unable to communicate their desire, there should be guidelines for doctors and family members.
E. See D - I already answered that. I would say there needs to be a case of prolonged suffering, severe brain damage and / or no hope that the patient will recover.
Yes for all but D, unless it falls under E. I think that people should be able to be euthanized if they wish, however there should be a waiting list to make sure that it wasn't a quick decision that they only momentarily wanted.
I believe that the only restraint on suicide is the conscious thoughts of the effects that your loved ones will experience.
What community? TA or the catchall term atheists?

The simplest summary of my sense of morality states that whatever a person wants to do is fine so long as it doesn't harm another unnecessarily or without certain outcomes where the good outweighs the harm for the harmed individual. Anything else is fair game. So...
A Yes
B Yes
C Yes
D See above. Are they suffering? Are they self aware? If they are aware, I hesitate to say kill them, but I also hesitate to leave someone who cannot communicate their wishes in a state of perpetual suffering. Is there truly a point if they derive no enjoyment from life and can't be productive? If it is obvious they are suffering, I would say yes, but I'd also defer to the family.
E If permanently vegetative, as soon/late as the family wants.

More interesting to me is depression. I would say most of whatever you want to do yourself is ok - but we should try to help depressed people. However, if they suffer from severe, chronic, treatment-resistant depression, it is cruel and controlling to force continued suffering on them.
I believe that it is your life and it is your right to end it under any circumstances. Depression being on of them. Death is a painful experience for anyone who cared for that person no matter what the circumstance. To force yourself to go on living when you feel the futility of life and want to end it all might be selfish, but why should one's wishes in this matter be over-ridden by the wishes of others? I do not think that suicide should be taken up on a whim, and believe that all other options should be employed before one seriously considers the taking of one's life, but to me it's clearly the best option in many dire circumstances.

'Yes', to all the above situations in your poll.
At the same time it selfish to wish someone to stay alive while they are miserable or in pain. It goes both ways. Where does family loyalties and self divide?
yet, we are considered selfish cowards and get condescending pity, for attempting, which furthers the pain. From experience.
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.


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