Why is unassisted suicide illegal?

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Why is unassisted suicide illegal in some countries and not in others? What is the reasoning behind both?

Info can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_legislation or just google: Wiki suicide legislation

 
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Well in the cases where you end up half dead because of a shitty job, it makes more sense.

 
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obviously it should carry the death penalty.

 
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they should rathre turn it into a business. like abortion clinics. you should have control over your own life and be able to choose to end i whenever YOU want to. this way its cleaner

 
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Originally posted by PaperCap:

they should rathre turn it into a business. like abortion clinics. you should have control over your own life and be able to choose to end i whenever YOU want to. this way its cleaner

Futurama did it.

 
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There are a plethora of reasons, but a primary one is that suicide is most-often considered by those who are clinically depressed. These people are not in their right minds because of said depression. If unassisted suicide was legalised, it would work to say that it is okay to take your own life, and that would affect those at their most vulnerable times. The risk is, that they would be eencouraged to take their own lives by those to whom they are considered a burden.

Similar problems exist with heavily disabled individuals who might decide to ‘suicide’ with a little help. If suicide is legal, all you have to do is make it look like a wilful loss of one’s own life and you escape a murder charge.

I accept there are some times when suicide is in the patient’s best interests, and that is why I believe in euthenasia as an option. Signed off by at least two clinical specialists, there is then no doubt that this patient is in their right mind and absolutely wishes to end their own life.

Even with suicide illegal, if someone of able body really wishes to end their life, they will. However, their death will be treated as suspicious, until the probability of ‘help’ can be effectively ruled out.

 
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I disagree with vika. Everyone has the right to life, and everyone should have the right to death. If you want to end your own life, do it. Anyone who wants to kill themselves should be able to do so. I don’t see why you should infringe upon someone’s willingness to kill themselves if all they do is depress others, themselves, and be a burden to society.

 
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So-called depression is actually extreme mood swings. Bi-polar people get incredible highs as well as deep gloomy lows. When they are on a high they can inspire others rather than depress them. And in what way do they become a burden to society?

 
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The problem is, if you do that, you’re opening a whole can of worms. You can now effectively kill another and get away with it. It only has to reasonably look like a suicide and the police won’t investigate further.

Additionally

if all they do is depress others, themselves, and be a burden to society.

That is a terrible way to pressure someone into offing themselves, just because they are an inconvenience to you. With enough pressure leveraged over time, you can push someone to suicide even if they don’t really want to die. They’ll do it just to get away from you and the hell you have turned their life into. Making suicide legal, again opens up a great way for those who for example, are sick of caring for a relitive with ME, to get rid of them, by using emotional pressure to remind them how worthless they are, day in and day out.

With the system as it is now, there are help systems available for these people to turn to, talk it out, expose what the relatives are doing and have it dealt with. By changing the law as you are suggesting, you are essentially depreciating the value of such mental health services, and risk increasing fatalities in the more vulnerable populations. Individuals who don’t really wish to die, but feel they have no choice, as they are being pressured into what has now become a legal option.

 
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Originally posted by JaumeBG:

I disagree with vika. Everyone has the right to life, and everyone should have the right to death. If you want to end your own life, do it. Anyone who wants to kill themselves should be able to do so. I don’t see why you should infringe upon someone’s willingness to kill themselves if all they do is depress others, themselves, and be a burden to society.

And I think you’re grossly misunderstanding the situation.
These are people who are not in the right state of mind- they have something wrong with their brain chemistry, something you and I don’t have to deal with. Especially for people with depression, it’s possible for them to live relatively normal lives and not want to kill themselves- by allowing them to kill themselves, you’re giving up on them, you’re just letting them sit in their misery and kill themselves. You would be abandoning them- whether or not it’s a right to have a mind that’s like that is another matter, but it’s not a matter of a right to death.
Furthermore, I would probably punch you in the damn face if I met you in real life. “A burden to society?” Seriously? It’s not their fault-they were born that way, or events outside their control made them like that. You’re honestly a part of the problem if you think that.

 
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If the insanity argument is the case, why do some countries actually put suicide survivors into prison instead of giving them proper treatment? It does make sense to create a law allowing the police to intern the mentally ill in hospital, but to actually throw suicide survivors into prison makes no sense to me.

Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by PaperCap:

they should rathre turn it into a business. like abortion clinics. you should have control over your own life and be able to choose to end i whenever YOU want to. this way its cleaner

Futurama did it.

Favorite show, and joke or not, interesting concept.

 
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Depression isn’t just limited to manic depressives. A wide variety of people can find anxiety and depression hitting them through circumstances beyond their control. Losing control of their own lives, everything spiraling down, circling the drain. Sometimes it might be through the death of a loved one, loss of job, loss of home, being hit by one calamity after another like a train that keeps on coming.

Sometimes its a result of fighting to come off of drugs, like nicotine, or heroin. The craving response sends the mind into a whirlpool of depression.

Mental health facilities exist to help these people. Most in time, fully recover and get on with their lives. By giving them suicide as a valid and legal option when they are at their worst, almost encourages them to die rather than seek help, when help is what they truly need.

There are a variety of physical problems for which assisted suicide is a valid option, but those only apply when the damage is cumulative, ongoing, irreversible, and there is no measurable quality of life. That is absolutely not the case in depression.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:

Depression isn’t just limited to manic depressives. A wide variety of people can find anxiety and depression hitting them through circumstances beyond their control. Losing control of their own lives, everything spiraling down, circling the drain. Sometimes it might be through the death of a loved one, loss of job, loss of home, being hit by one calamity after another like a train that keeps on coming.

Sometimes its a result of fighting to come off of drugs, like nicotine, or heroin. The craving response sends the mind into a whirlpool of depression.

Mental health facilities exist to help these people. Most in time, fully recover and get on with their lives. By giving them suicide as a valid and legal option when they are at their worst, almost encourages them to die rather than seek help, when help is what they truly need.

There are a variety of physical problems for which assisted suicide is a valid option, but those only apply when the damage is cumulative, ongoing, irreversible, and there is no measurable quality of life. That is absolutely not the case in depression.

Are you saying that outside of a terminally incapacitating, or dissociative, disease that life in general is worth fighting for? Where and why do the laws come in?

I have a lot of mixed views on this and want to hear what other people think.

 
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vika, I agree with all that, except for this bit.

By giving them suicide as a valid and legal option when they are at their worst, almost encourages them to die rather than seek help…

When you are ready to die, you aren’t going to worry about the legalities of suicide. You just go for it, and let someone else sort out the mess you leave behind. Not every suicide attempt is genuine – many are just cries for help. Some years ago, I became acquainted with a man who regularly took drug overdoses, and then admitted himself to casualty. He didn’t want to die, he just wanted to be institutionalised. Unable to deal with the rigours of everyday life, he was happy to be told what to do and when to do it. He needed a routine which he was unable to provide for himself. If attempted suicide became a criminal offence again, people like that could end up in prison instead of a psychiatric unit. We have left those unenlightened days behind, and I would not like to see them return.

 
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True Beau, but by making it a legal path, you are in essence, making it an acceptable choice. What is a cry for help now, would legally just be seen as a personal choice. Without that extra legal push, it is going to be harder to convince the authorities to step in, and deal with this cry for help in the proper way.

We both know what the NHS is like for example. Unless there is a bat up their backside, they won’t do anything. The added pressure that someone is driven towards suicide, when it is legally unacceptable, is an extra bat to kick their ass into gear and start sorting out the problem with the individual.

I have no problem with it being a minor offense, so long as it is seen as an offense – as opposed to a lifestyle choice.

The difference being one will kickstart the help and support systems, whereas the other will not.

 
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Originally posted by Azolf:

If the insanity argument is the case, why do some countries actually put suicide survivors into prison instead of giving them proper treatment? It does make sense to create a law allowing the police to intern the mentally ill in hospital, but to actually throw suicide survivors into prison makes no sense to me.

It wouldn’t make sense to anyone if they thought about it. It’s a problem that’s largely swept under the rug because no one cares about shitty treatment these days, or is just hideously misinformed.

 
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Futurama did it.

been in serious science fiction as well.

If suicide is legal, all you have to do is make it look like a wilful loss of one’s own life and you escape a murder charge.

uhm… i am pretty convinced suicide is legal. i’ve never heard of anyone being prosecuted for attempted suicide. you’re arguing against social acceptance.

So-called depression is actually extreme mood swings. Bi-polar people get incredible highs as well as deep gloomy lows. When they are on a high they can inspire others rather than depress them. And in what way do they become a burden to society?

uhm…that’s not really how that works. someone in a manic episode isn’t really doing great, helpful things. it’s not a good thing. in fact their overconfidence can be quite dangerous.

 
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Vika, your argument relies on the assumption that life is better than death.

 
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Originally posted by Captain_Catface:

Vika, your argument relies on the assumption that life is better than death.

No, my argument relies on the assumption that a person is not in full control of their faculties when suffering from a brain-chemistry altering condition, and should not be making life-or-death decisions when it is the mental illness talking, not them.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:

True Beau, but by making it a legal path, you are in essence, making it an acceptable choice. What is a cry for help now, would legally just be seen as a personal choice. Without that extra legal push, it is going to be harder to convince the authorities to step in, and deal with this cry for help in the proper way.

We both know what the NHS is like for example. Unless there is a bat up their backside, they won’t do anything. The added pressure that someone is driven towards suicide, when it is legally unacceptable, is an extra bat to kick their ass into gear and start sorting out the problem with the individual.

I have no problem with it being a minor offense, so long as it is seen as an offense – as opposed to a lifestyle choice.

The difference being one will kickstart the help and support systems, whereas the other will not.

That’s an interesting way of looking at the problem. It’s not exactly a straightforward idea, so I wonder how the politicos would go about selling it to the public. I’d certainly be happy to see it treated along the lines of a breach of the peace – not technically an offence in itself, but enough to make the police arrest and detain you in order to defuse a potentially violent situation. Make it just strong enough to oblige a doctor or the police to take action without all the added trauma of dragging an already distressed person through the courts.

uhm…that’s not really how that works. someone in a manic episode isn’t really doing great, helpful things. it’s not a good thing. in fact their overconfidence can be quite dangerous.

Perhaps “inspire” wasn’t the best choice of word, and you’re right, it is a sign of somebody out of control. But all that energy can rub off on to others and have a positive influence on them.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:
Futurama did it.

been in serious science fiction as well.

If suicide is legal, all you have to do is make it look like a wilful loss of one’s own life and you escape a murder charge.

uhm… i am pretty convinced suicide is legal. i’ve never heard of anyone being prosecuted for attempted suicide. you’re arguing against social acceptance.

So-called depression is actually extreme mood swings. Bi-polar people get incredible highs as well as deep gloomy lows. When they are on a high they can inspire others rather than depress them. And in what way do they become a burden to society?

uhm…that’s not really how that works. someone in a manic episode isn’t really doing great, helpful things. it’s not a good thing. in fact their overconfidence can be quite dangerous.

Soylent green is people!!!

There are still lots of legal repercussions for suicide, it leaves the spouse and children with nothing. Insurance policies throw it out the window. (No pun intended.)

Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by Captain_Catface:

Vika, your argument relies on the assumption that life is better than death.

No, my argument relies on the assumption that a person is not in full control of their faculties when suffering from a brain-chemistry altering condition, and should not be making life-or-death decisions when it is the mental illness talking, not them.

Jokes aside I believe that life is better than death. Simply holding on to that as a personal truth is very stabilizing for people, and society as a whole.

 
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Soylent green is people!!!

call.

There are still lots of legal repercussions for suicide, it leaves the spouse and children with nothing. Insurance policies throw it out the window.

that’s not a legal thing. that’s conditions layed out by the insurer. in fact, i did a quick google and found out that some USA state laws prohibit exclusion of suicide for people that have been insured for at least two years.

 
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Un assisted suicide?

What is the penalty for that crime? The death penalty? Do the cops slap the cuffs on and read you your rights if you choose to break the law and kill yourself?

 
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Originally posted by QuabbinHiker:

Un assisted suicide?

What is the penalty for that crime? The death penalty? Do the cops slap the cuffs on and read you your rights if you choose to break the law and kill yourself?

In Singapore and India, a person who attempts to commit suicide and survives can be imprisoned for up to one year.