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Is this woman's suicide any different than the average suicide? (Details inside.)

Asked by SuperMouse (30723 points ) February 20th, 2012

I came across this article about a woman who was quadriplegic and starved herself to death because she could not adjust to her new life and no longer wanted to be a “burden” to her friends and family. She did deal with some health issues related to her disability, in the end though, it was about not adjusting to her new body and not wanting to be a burden. I have known a couple of people who committed suicide, all of whom were healthy and able-bodied; their reasons for taking their own lives were essentially the same, life was too much to stand and they couldn’t go on burdening others with their problems.

So why are we calling this woman and others like her noble when people without disabilities are called selfish and short-sighted for taking their own life? Is there a difference? If there is, what do you think the difference is?

FYI, it is my understanding that she broke her neck at the C6 level. At that level typically there is no finger or thumb movement, but there is arm and shoulder movement and paralysis is usually from approximately the armpits down. It looked as though she could breathe on her own without a ventilator. As a comparison, Christopher Reeves’ injury was at C2.

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