Social Question

Polly_Math's avatar

Do you think it's wrong to take one's own life?

Asked by Polly_Math (1738points) January 9th, 2010

Do you view this as a moral dilemma?
Are there only certain conditions with which you’d agree it’s OK?
How do you feel about the cultural aspects (e.g., Japanese seppuku/hara-kiri)?

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77 Answers

dutchbrossis's avatar

I don’t believe it is ever okay. In most cases it is the most selfish thing a person can do if you ask me. In very few cases it might not be as selfish if you are completely alone and there isn’t anyone who could possibly miss you. I don’t think it is right though because there is a better alternative. Also once done there is absolutely no going back

Silhouette's avatar

I think it’s the ultimate freedom of choice. I think we should be able to choose when we want to check out.

JLeslie's avatar

Not “wrong.” I don’t want people to do it, because many times what is driving them to be suicidal is a temporary state. If they feel depressed, lonely, hopeless, most likely they will feel better in time.

If someone is living with a degenerative terminal illness, or in extreme pain with no possibility of relief, I am in favor of euthanasia.

absalom's avatar

I don’t even view it as a moral dilemma. I think someone who kills himself is pretty obviously way past thinking about the moral implications of his actions.

It’s not fair to say it’s selfish, or to say it’s anything, really, because so few of us actually know anything about it. I just reserve my judgment and hope I never reach that point.

Final answer being: No, it’s not wrong. (If that’s not too judgmental.)

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to comment on the cultural question. This of course is very pertinent to todays fight against terrorists who are willing to blow themselves up. I personally have a hard time wrapping my brain around killing yourself because of shame, or because of some promise in the afterlife, or for a religious cause. I don’t know if I can go as far to say it is wrong, seems like a very ethnocentric thing to say. I try not to be judgemental that way, but it certainly makes for a difficult enemy to fight.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@absalom I say selfish because it is not caring about what anyone who cares about you thinks or anything. Especially if you don’t at least give the ones who love you a chance to help you get through whatever it is that is causing you to do that.

It is kind of pointless to judge anyway, once they have done it what do they care if they are being judged or not

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, definitely not. It is our right.

babaji's avatar

If you take your own life, there is a pretty heavy rumor that you will have to come back and do it over again, but i would bet that there are always special circumstances.

absalom's avatar


I think they’ve reached a point where, unfortunately, none of that stuff matters. It has nothing to do with selfishness, in my own (uninformed) opinion, and many otherwise selfless people commit suicide.

fundevogel's avatar

Nope. I can’t tell you how to live your life, why should I have any more say in how it ends? It’s a personal matter. I would be very sad if someone I cared about did it, especially if I thought it was a bad choice given their specific circumstances, but ultimately it’s their choice not mine.

I think when asking if it is wrong to commit suicide you should also ask, “Is it right to impose life on someone?”

dutchbrossis's avatar

@absalom That is what I mean. None of that stuff matters. Like what it will do to the ones who care about them and love them, that is why I say selfish. Maybe so that some selfless people committ suicide, but even people who are selfless at times can be selfish or do a selfish act. Doesn’t mean they are an all around selfish person.

Your_Majesty's avatar

-We own our own life no other people will take away what is completely belong to you,except if one’s depend all his/her life on other who sustain him/her(in that case he/she belongs to who sustain him/her)
-We do not own our own life,it’s all belong to The God who create our life and allow it to develop(no one can take your life without His concern).

According to the second fact it’s a moral dilemma.
According to the first fact I agree.
According to the first fact I think it’s not completely wrong,in addition, people who act like that is someone who have been taught this tradition from their childhood and became overconsuming by their own culture,people nowadays do that more on personal problem(poverty,life pressure,etc) anyway.

filmfann's avatar

My mom worked in a retirement home, and suicide rates there are unbelievable. Often not reported, many, many retirees simply overdose on their meds after putting a plastic bag over their heads.

dpworkin's avatar

It’s generally an error. A permanent solution to a temporary problem. I work a suicide hotline, and I know a lot of people who are glad they didn’t manage it.

LeopardGecko's avatar

I believe that it is the wrong thing to do and that it’s always done prematurely. Some people are overwhelmed with the negative emotions in their life that they feel there is no way out. The truth is that there always is, some people fail to see this, and it is devastating when it happens.

AstroChuck's avatar

It depends on the circumstances. If one is suffering chronically either physically or mentally then I don’t have a problem with it. Ultimately it’s your life. Whatever you get to choose. It’s your life. Just take into account those you leave behind.

fundevogel's avatar

@LeopardGecko It has been my experience that slowly succumbing to a terminal illness is a far more painful situtation to everyone involved than a well timed overdose. I had a great grandfather off himself quietly at 86, after having lost his wife and later his girlfriend. He was an old man who had loved life and gotten a lot out of it. I think he got all he needed out of it. I had a grandfather on the other hand that spent almost a year dying. It’s your best guess if it was ultimately the cancer that got him or the radiation they treated it with but it is certain that he suffered with every breath and we suffered to see him like that. It would have been better if he had killed himself.

Can you really say that death is premature when life has become nothing but months of pain, suffering and humiliation?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My life is my property to do with as I wish so long as I harm no other. If others were dependant upon me for their support, it would make the ethics more complicated. That does not apply in my case.

The Japanese ceremony is seen as way of cleansing mistakes and making apology to ancestors, as I understand it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Suicide is cowardly and selfish and certainly wrong in some cases, in my opinion. When someone takes their own life, they cause pain and suffering to loved ones they left behind. I’ve seen it because one of my first cousins committed suicide only a few years ago and I witnessed what it did to his family. Yes, it is a moral dilemma. Are there extenuating circumstances in some suicides as to whether the reasons were sensible for doing it? Quite possibly.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think anyone should ever say it’s cowardly until they’ve been there.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes, I do think it’s wrong to take your own life, but not for any religious reasons. I just think that life is a gift and treating it lightly, whatever that means in practice, is a mistake and a sign of disrespect.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I see suicide as a tragic choice. Dying people still can and have contributed greatly to society.
The families of those who die by their own hand are often more greatly traumatized than those whose relatives die from other causes.

Most suicides are needless because the person had access to help that could have relieved or eliminated their suffering while allowing them a life they might well have been pleased to live.

Is it wrong in some cosmic moral sense? Who am I to declare it so?

Is it a person’s right. Yes, and in some cases I can fully understand their choice.
I don’t have to understand for it to be their right.

Do I wish fewer people with long lives ahead of them refrain from killing themselves, yes.

dutchbrossis's avatar

I do agree about the part about if someone is like suffering from a real disease and are just really messed up and there is no chance of getting better it may be best for them to not have to live suffering anymore. For someone to take their life due to a build up of negative emotions though I have to go with @Bluefreedom says

CaptainHarley's avatar


No, executing violent criminals is not taking life lightly!

john65pennington's avatar

Its very deadly and there is no coming back. its also a law violation to commit suicide.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@john65pennington I thought it was a law violation to attempt suicide, how can it be a law violation to commit suicide. There is no way of prosecuting them

dpworkin's avatar

In my opinion, end-of-life euthanasia is an entirely different matter,and I pray that it is an option that will be open to me.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@pdworkin That is exactly what I was trying to say

DrasticDreamer's avatar

My best friend just killed himself on December 17th. The circumstances surrounding his death were very… unlike Tigh. He had been depressed, for a really long time, and the night he killed himself he happened to be extremely intoxicated, and high from smoking weed. Alcohol, and weed, coupled with severe depression is not a good combination. From the morning I found out to today… I have not been mad at him a single time, and I know I never will be. I have not thought for a second that he was being selfish.

I think what many people fail to realize is that when someone kills themselves, they are often in a state of clinical depression. When that happens, when the depression gets so severe, they are not themselves. Clinical depression can almost be likened to a creature in and of itself – a creature that manipulates almost any thought someone has, and eventually isolates whoever has it, to the point that they become trapped in their own minds. The night Tigh died, I believe that is what happened. Had he not been so intoxicated, I do not think he would be gone.

Because he was so drunk, and depressed, I truly believe that some part of him didn’t even realize what he was doing. The depression managed to grasp a complete hold because he was drunk, and he went to such a dark place that he couldn’t find his way out of the moment. I say this because another friend of his was there at the time, had just left the room to use the bathroom. He was at home, where he lived with his grandma. And I knew Tigh well enough to know that, if he had truly planned it, A) he would not have done it with a friend or anyone else there, and B) he absolutely would not have done it at home. He loved and respected his grandma far too much to ever put her through something like that. Which is why I know he was… Gone. He was somewhere else, not in reality. And that it was clinical depression, coupled with substances, can do.

To say someone is selfish in that situation is what is wrong. People can not control being clinically depressed, and can not, in many circumstances, control what happens because of the depression. I loved Tigh, and we talked about everything. One of our last conversations centered around the fact that he wanted to get on medication, to help himself. He had a doctor’s appointment set up and everything, but the depression wrapped itself around him, completely, before he got the chance. Tigh also knew that he was self-medicating with alcohol, and he wanted to stop, because he knew that the people who loved him were getting very worried about him, and he hated that he was causing us pain. He wanted, badly, to get better.

For the people that judge suicide victims, call them selfish as if the person is only thinking about themselves, all I can say is that I hope you never become clinically depressed. It is not something anyone can understand until they have been there. I have, and I’m lucky I made it through. Others are not so fortunate. And I would also like to point out that they are called suicide victims, because that is what they are. No one who is healthy, or in the right state of mind, will just decide to kill themselves. They are not ignoring that people love them, they are not choosing to turn their backs on loved ones… They just can’t see it, because of their depression, and it is not their fault, in most cases.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

A person has the right to die whenever they so choose. The real problem here is that so many people that take their own life are not mentally stable. This raises a whole new issue of the degree of control they have over their actions, and whether they are intentionally hurting others, getting back at the world, or are simply sick of living. I find it slightly ridiculous that we have an international agreement on the rights of people that includes the right to autonomy I think, but this does not include the right to choose the time of death.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I don’t think it is selfish or cowardly. Actually I think it is quite the opposite of cowardly. I know that I would never have the balls to do it.

When someone gets to the point where they are ready and willing to end their life, that decision has nothing to do with the loved ones around them. It is not that they do not love their friends and family that end up left behind. It’s not about anyone else. It’s a personal thing. Most people at that point probably believe their friends and family will be better off without them.

It is selfish to desire a loved one to live in pain just to spare yourself from pain.

absalom's avatar

@DrasticDreamer: Thanks for that. “Trapped” feels like the right word.

This is an analogy for suicide from one of my favorite authors, who committed suicide:

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

And @jamielynn2328 is absolutely correct in stating that it’s (also) selfish to say, “Don’t kill yourself; think of all the people (e.g., me) you’re hurting.”

JLeslie's avatar

I can’t couple the word selfish with suicide either. That is not what comes to my mind at all. Why selfish? Because the person’s parents will never be the same? Because the person’s family will now have to support itself? So we are supposed to stay alive so others don’t feel pain, when we are in intense pain? Whose pain is more important?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Thank you so much for that thoughtful insight. Depression is exactly as you describe it. It’s a horrible beast inside your head, paralyzing you, suffocating any feelings of hope. uberGA.

But when the medications don’t work and the pain and hopeless feelings get worse…What is a “reasonable” period of time before giving up? How can you decide how much is grief and how much is depression? Despite the depression I am a rational person. Life as I am experiencing it is unacceptable to me. If time and chemicals can make it more acceptable I will wait, but not indefinitely. How long is it supposed to take for meds to work? How long is the grieving process supposed to take?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@absalom Thank you. Reading that made me cry, because those words are very, very true. And yes, @jamielynn2328 and @JLeslie… That is true, too.

LeotCol's avatar

It is ok in some cases. If a person is in serious pain that will never end. Then it is ok, for example euthanasia. But in a depressed state then no. It is not ok. It is not right.

I am not holding the person themselves responsible inparticular. It is not right that anyone should ever have to resort to taking there own lives, therefore it is wrong.

But I personally would never take my own life. No matter how depressed I got. I went through a very very serious time of depression and concidered taking my own life. But the reason I didn’t do it was because of other people. I didn’t care if i lived or not. But at I cared enough about how that would impact on the people around me. I felt as though it would most definitely be selfish. But it is their choice. Nonetheless is it still wrong that they had to resort to it.

fancyfeast's avatar

You are being selfish if you are preparing to kill yourself. People love you even though you may not see it or realize it. If you are serious- I advice that you call a local help line, which you can find at the beginning of a yellow pages. I do not believe that suicide is the answer. Get Help.

fancyfeast's avatar

To Drastic Dreamer: I have been there and I know what you mean. It is a battle. I recall being told by a counselor that I would be selfish if I had ended my life and I believe that the counselor was right. It took years of battling my mind, counseling, and medication in order for me to become well again. I still have moments of set-back. I believe that we all have a choice to make in our everyday lives.

Siren's avatar

I think it’s wrong to take one’s own life, if only because a person will never give themselves (or the world) the opportunity to heal what is grieving them emotionally. Sometimes a person’s pain can be healed over time, and they just robbed themselves of that opportunity. This person is living in the then and now, not in the future, and in their pain that’s all they can see: misery. But time tends to change most of our circumstances, and that individual will never know what life would have held in store for them if they had given the world a chance to make it better for them. That’s my belief.

randomness's avatar

I think that in certain cases it’s not wrong. Sometimes it is though. If you just decide that you’re sick of life, and you want an out, then fine. If you’re really sick and can’t be cured, then go ahead, kill yourself, I think it’s totally fine.

However, if someone decides to kill themselves and leave lots of debt behind, or leave dependents such as children or pets without care, then that is wrong. If someone owed me a lot of money, and then he went and offed himself, leaving me out of pocket, I’d be mad as hell. I’d also be mad as hell if someone killed themselves and left kids or pets hanging around with no one to care for them. Sometimes it’s okay to just think about yourself, and sometimes it really isn’t.

LeopardGecko's avatar

@fundevogel – When it’s a situation of euthanization I do agree with the taking of one’s own life. But when it’s in any other situation where if the person takes his/her life is not in the criteria of euthanization, I stay with my previous answer. My uncle had committed suicide not more than 4 years ago. He didn’t lead a great life (which we had found out after he died and the police had checked his house and belongings). On the surface though you would think that he would be perfectly normal, he was a great people person, had a great social network, but something inside was not right. I still believe that if he had brought this to our families attention that we could have done something to fix his demons. It still saddens my family and I that his passing had happened like this.

fundevogel's avatar

@LeopardGecko Thanks for the clarification. Do you think euthanasia ought to be legalized then?

Trance24's avatar

I wouldn’t necessarily say wrong, but I do look down upon it. I think it is a very selfish thing to do especially if you have family and friends. You end up not only effecting your life by taking it, but you have disrupted and upset the lives of those who care about you. I also think it is a very weak way out of the problems you have. If you try hard enough things can always turn around depression can not last forever. I am also a believer in that if you are meant to die than you will, but by other causes than yourself.

This new years eve I encountered something I thought I never would, it was 2am new years eve/day and my boyfriend (Uberbatman) had enough compassion to help this poor man who was crying out helplessly and obviously drunk. the guys name was Sean he was drunk with no phone, no idea where he was, and was practically abandoned by the only person he had in his life. He had been out with his girl friend and some other friends from what I gathered his supposed girl friend liked one of the other guys that they were with, a fight ensued between them and he took off. He ended up at the train station because that is where they had originally arrived. He was trying to contact her because of how upset he was. This guy was crying his eyes out all he wanted to know was why she was treating him that way and that he loved her and that she was all that he had. This turned out to be true, we had discovered that at the age of what I think was 6 months put in a dumpster by his mother who is now in Ancora (mental institution). Since then he has been an orphan and was never adopted and is now 26. He has no family and no one else but this girl. Everyone in this train station besides Uber and I, just walked on by this poor guy crying out for help. We let him use one of our phones and after countless phone calls to his girl friend looking for help because he didn’t know where he was or how to get home, he finally slams the phone shut hands it to us and mutters the worlds “fuck it suicide”, and jets down the stairs to the where the train comes. At this point Uber and I are terrififed and run after him. Try convincing someone who has no one and has had nothing his whole life out of committing suicide. However, we managed to turn him around and convince him things were going to be ok. We got him on the train with us since he knew where he lived just not how to get there. He was very confused mainly because of being drunk and never having been to Philly by train. On that train ride I found out a lot of things about him, he really did have some things going for him. He was an artist, a musician, and was trying to go back to school. He had really given his heart to this girl and she let him down just like the other people in his life. I could only just tell him things would get better, and that he had to keep going. Finally he had to get off at his stop, which was not the same as ours. That had worried Uber and I but he seemed very relieved to be somewhere he recognized. He was supposed to go find her car at the train station and wait for her, but for safety reasons we notified a police officer to keep an eye on him. The next day we called the girl friend according to her he made it home that night, although I can’t say I completely believe her since I didn’t get to talk to him myself. The one thing I do know is I helped save this guys life, if it were not for Uber and I being the kind people we are this guy might be dead. I still think about him and wonder if he is ok. I feel like I have some sort of connection with him even though I only met him once, but after hearing his story and his life I feel more connected. If he had jumped in front of a train whether I knew him or not I know it would have impacted me emotionally. No life is not worth saving, and I can only hope this person is doing better today than he was that night.

Trance24's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Your story is very touching, I too know what it is like to have a friend to commit suicide. I did not read your response before I posted mine and it made me re-evaluate my response slightly. Selfish in some cases would be considered the wrong word, and I can see your point. There are many cases were people are so gone and trapped within themselves that they are not the people who they used to be. I am sorry to hear about your friend, my deepest wishes go out to you. I have lost a friend to both suicide and one to murder so I do know what it feels like to lose someone who is close to you and someone who you love.
Alcohol can destroy someones life especially if they are already depressed, and alcohol obviously got the better of your friend unfortunately before he could do anything about it. I was fortunate enough to be able to intervene between alcohol and the persons life I saved, but many others like your friend are unable to escape that, and I admire your courage to be able to not let your friend be made out to be a selfish person. You obviously cared for him very much. You are truly a very good friend to have.

wundayatta's avatar

There was a time when I believed I was doing the right thing by taking myself out of the picture. I knew I was hurting my wife by attacking her and telling her I hated her, and that I was hurting my children by being depressed, and I thought that I needed to get out.

I didn’t want to die. But I couldn’t see what else to do, except to make it a really slow suicide. I imagined leaving—ostensibly moving out to my own place—but we all knew that was just a means to an end. I would stop taking my meds, and I would get worse, and I would lose my job and then my apartment, and end up homeless and paranoid and I saw myself in a gutter—in NYC, in the Bowery. When I learned that NYC doesn’t let people be homeless, I was at a loss.

But it never came to that.

Is it wrong to take your own life? I believe that people don’t want to die. They just want the pain to stop. I know that it can become impossible to imagine a time when the pain will lift.

I was really lucky. I had a number of people who really cared about me, and they kept on talking to me, and urging me to stick it out. My wife did this even though I had cheated on her and I had attacked her mentally, using all the hurtful things I could tell her in order to drive her to a point where she would stop caring about me.

She had had a prior boyfriend kill himself. He had launched himself off the roof of a hospital for the mentally ill. She knew what it did to her, and I think she didn’t want that to happen to our children.

That is a powerful argument. I love my children so much, and I could not burden them like that. Although, it took me a while to see that. At first, I thought I was doing them a favor.

Yet, down at the bottom, I didn’t want to die. I couldn’t even believe I was thinking I wanted to die, because I had always wanted to live—forever, actually—before. It was just too hard. I couldn’t imagine going on with the pain.

I think that thinking of suicide is mostly a metaphor for how much it hurts. Sometimes the metaphor becomes reality, but mostly it is an appeal to someone, anyone, to lift the pain. There is no language to describe the pain. There is no metaphor to describe the pain. The only thing I could think, over and over, was that I wanted to die. Even though I didn’t want to die.

For me, thinking that way was about asking for help. And I was lucky. I don’t drink or smoke and I have people who really love me (although I didn’t believe it at the time).

I don’t know if other people think the same thing. I don’t know if they have this idea, way down deep inside, that they really do want to live. But I believe they do. I don’t know if they think suicide because there is no other thing to think when you feel like that. But I believe they do. I don’t know if the only thing they really want is to end the pain, but I believe they do.

If people really don’t want to die, then suicide is wrong. It’s wrong because there are other solutions to the problem, which is pain. When you are desperate, it’s almost impossible to believe there is any other solution, but I don’t think people, in their hearts, want that solution.

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to hurt. I just want to be loved. But there’s a hole inside me that is bottomless. It can only be filled by love, and yet, all the love in the world can’t fill it. I’m sorry. It’s too hard to think about. Although, it is amazing I can get even this close to thinking about it without spiraling down. The meds really help me.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

My uncle hung himself a couple years ago. He was depressed for awhile but nobody ever expected him to do what he did. I cried at his funeral not because I felt sorry for him, but because I felt sorry for his wife who walked into the garage that morning to find her husband hanging from the ceiling. I felt sorry because his wife had to be the one to tell their son that his father was dead. And because she had to see their only grandchild, who he had grown so close with, grow up without their papa. Suicide is a very selfish thing to do. If you feel the urge to kill yourself, do your loved ones a favor and get help. Talk to someone. But for Pete’s sake, (Pete was my unlce’s name. No pun intended) don’t resort to suicide. Sure, you’re pain will finally be over. But just think of all the people you’re hurting in return.

DrMC's avatar

for the question of ethics, there is a non legal definition or formula that has helped me.

For a “wrong” there has to be a victim.
– someone else
– society
– etc

For suicide – the simple version, is the victim has given consent for the injury.

There are however collateral victims to consider. I knew this instinctively when I was younger, but research has confirmed it.

Relatives, children are significantly more likely to commit suicide once a parent, sib does so.

There are communities where there is the appearance of epidemics. Wyoming is special for some reason there.

In a society, every person has value – loss of an individual translates into tangible loss.

Suicide is not a victimless crime then under this style of reasoning.

We must reconcile our needs with our moral obligations

DrMC's avatar

I do think in terminal illness it is considered OK to use pain relieving doses which may accelerate death. This is not my specialty, and I prefer not to cause death at all cost.

This is where the philosophers meet Dr. Kevorkian.

It’s a grey area, but when my time comes, I’d like to skip the pain part, unless I need to communicate. There are just some icky ways to go I’d like to avoid.

Sophief's avatar

I agree with it completely. We should all have the right to live or die. If we want to die then we should be allowed to without all the guilt being put on his to stay for our families. ‘Our families’ don’t have to live our lives and they just spent a day inside the head of a depressed person then they would understand.

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

I dont think that it is wrong, but if i knew someone who wanted to take their life id just tell them “It WILL get better, no matter what” if they cant be saved then you know what to each his own.

OpryLeigh's avatar

No, I don’t think it is wrong. Who am I to judge someone who feels that they have no other option. It’s so easy for people who have never been so low as to consider suicide to sit their and claim that suicide is a selfish act and maybe it is but chances are that all rational thought has left that person and so, if you can’t think logical, clearly or rationally does selfishness come in to it?

john65pennington's avatar

2nd Answer: first of all, i am not Japanese and i do not live in Japan. i live in America and this is not my tradition. have you ever wondered why suicide and attempting suicide is a violation of the law? i understand that your life is your own personal property and you can do with it, as you wish…....maybe. this law is on the books for one reason… if you have already committed suicide, then naturally its too late to help you. if you have attempted suicide and failed, this is where the law comes into play. in order for the police to intervene in your botched suicide attempt, there must be a law in place for the police to act. and, there is. this law has a main purpose… arrest you in order for you to be taken for a psychological evaluation. without this law, the police would be helpless to help. that only a family member could make this decision and this takes time.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@john65pennington Am I right in thinking that there is no punishment for attempted suicide as such? When someone says something is against the law I automatically think that if you are caught breaking the law then you will be punished in some way but when it comes to attempted suicide I don’t see how punishment would help any situation other than suicide attempted in terrorism.

AstroChuck's avatar

Man. This question is a real downer.

LeopardGecko's avatar

@fundevogel – Yes I do believe that Euthanasia should be legalized, but it should have certain guidelines. Mainly in situations where the person (because of physical pain or disability) prefers to no longer live, especially if that person is terminal. It should be done in a way as to arouse no confusion as to whether the person was murdered or Euthanised, possibly documentation and a psychological consult required. My reasons for this is that, although life is precious, when it no longer becomes so, a person should be able to relieve themselves. It is their own life, taking it will hurt no other person physically other than them.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@daloon GA I agree. I am glad you are still here :-)

I fail to see how it is selfish for people to try to talk someone who is thinking of committing suicide is the selfish ones. Maybe if it is only for themselves it is kind of selfish. The reason I would tell people I love though that suicide is not the only option would be for both of us. There are many options that are not permanent. I get depressed and I know the feelings of depression, not sure how severe they are. I have thought of not wanting to be alive anymore, I would never take my own life because I know there are more options than suicide. Also because I don’t want to hurt the people who love me, that is being not selfish.

There are so many better alternatives, and if people love you they will talk to you and tell you how much they love you. There are also help lines, counseling, medications, there are even natural cures now to depression. You need to try everything literally and with how many options there are one of them is bound to help. Suicide hurts loved ones, and is the most permanent solution to pain or whatever is causing the suicidal state, once done there is no going back. Therefore I don’t ever think it is the right solution to a problem unless it is someone who is seriously suffering from a disease that is impossible to turn around.

DrMC's avatar

Euthanasia is a tricky one. Not quite ready to fire up the ovens there.

It is however legal to perform suicide on a fetus.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@DrMC How is suicide on a fetus “suicide”, it isn’t the fetus’s choice whether it lives or dies

DrMC's avatar

My point exactly

DrMC's avatar

Up at the top there is a “ultimate freedom of choice” point.

There is a greater freedom of choice…..The needs of the state

This should make you concerned. This should make you wonder.

This should make you want to know everything possible.

fundevogel's avatar

@DrMC You know there are a lot of questions specifically about abortion. You might want to take the debate home to one of those. You could even start a fresh one if you want.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@fundevogel We weren’t having a debate. I think we are both against abortion. Thank you for your suggestion though

fundevogel's avatar

@dutchbrossis I know, but it’s the second time I’ve seen him bring up abortion in a question that has nothing to do with abortion in as many days. I think was he was specifically looking to talk or debate about it, but he wasn’t doing it in places he was likely to find a very full interaction.

Edit – His debate will reach the people that want to talk if he uses the right question, right now no one else that might be interested has any way of finding the discussion.

DrMC's avatar

this is an discussion about death of people by the state. If we allow suicide we can do so, only so long as we prevent:


“No, it is not for such reasons that these unfortunate patients must die but rather because, in the opinion of some department, on the testimony of some commission, they have become ‘worthless life’ because according to this testimony they are ‘unproductive national comrades.’ The argument goes: they can no longer produce commodities, they are like an old machine that no longer works, they are like an old horse which has become incurably lame, they are like a cow which no longer gives milk.

What does one do with such an old machine? It is thrown on the scrap heap. What does one do with a lame horse, with such an unproductive cow?

No, I do not want to continue the comparison to the end—however fearful the justification for it and the symbolic force of it are. We are not dealing with machines, horses and cows whose only function is to serve mankind, to produce goods for man. One may smash them, one may slaughter them as soon as they no longer fulfil this function.

No, we are dealing with human beings, our fellow human beings, our brothers and sisters. With poor people, sick people, if you like unproductive people.”

A dissenter in nazi germany

Someone else has raised the Freedom of choice issue already.

Will you be like this pope who risked his life, or will you run the ovens?

dutchbrossis's avatar

@fundevogel Ok I understand now. Sorry

DrMC's avatar

no, don’t worry, I moved the debate to new question. It’s been bugging me lately. Doesn’t help much that I feel partisan too.

fundevogel's avatar

@DrMC Good to hear, Fluther is good for this sort of thing after all.

shilolo's avatar

@DrMC In the future when citing someone else’s words, it would help if you linked to the original reference. FYI, the speech was from a Cardinal, not the pope. There is much debate about the role of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust, but the bulk of the evidence points away from a helpful role (certainly, the Pope was mum on the subject).

DrMC's avatar

whoa shilo, haven’t seen you in a while – wanted to save time – is the difference that important to the question?

I love statements that include the terms “in the future”

In the future I hope to see it more

shilolo's avatar

@DrMC Yes, it is important. Otherwise, it would be considered plagiarism. This is a famous speech that many who have studied bioethics will recognize. You also erroneously claimed it was from the Pope, perhaps to strengthen the argument (under the assumption that a “Pope’s” words are accorded automatic respect.)

DrMC's avatar

Good, I’ll take that, I was just wondering if I was to become your next whipping boy

lynfromnm's avatar

I think each of us has the right to determine whether suicide is a right choice for ourselves. Personal rights trump religious considerations for me. I strongly think each person has the inviolable right to self determination, regardless of what the laws say.

I cannot imagine making the choice to kill myself and hope I never have to face that. However, some instances in which I would consider that option are:
– terminal disease which is both extremely painful and a drain on my loved ones
– being imprisoned, either as a criminal or a prisoner-of-war
– if in some way my death could revent someone I love from suffering.

KimKourtKhloe's avatar

Not only is it wrong but the person will dearly regret it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@KimKourtKhloe How can they regret it if they are dead??

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