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September 06, 2011

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Erik Davis

To the extent that suicide is caused by treatable mental illness / trauma, this is fine. But what about individuals that have made a conscious and rational decision to commit suicide?

Terminal medical conditions are the most common example...yet even so few jurisdictions have enacted Right to Die legislation. But beyond that, shouldn't people have the right to decide that their *chronic* life condition -- medical, financial, emotional, or otherwise -- are too great a weight to bear and that the alternative is better?

If life has few joys and many hardships, and one hasn't any means to do anything about it, why should a bunch of well-meaning busybodies try to stop them?

[Also: this is not a cry for help, just a morals debate. Honest.]

Romeo  Vitelli

I'm glad that this isn't a cry for help but this debate represents a very slippery slope. Is the problem leading to thoughts of suicide a short-term or a long-term problem? Is there no possibility of life getting better in the future if the suicide doesn't happen? In any event, this is not a decision to be made in isolation so, whatever the grounds for suicide, it's essential to reach out to others for help and advice.

ErikD

The main point I was raising is that the IASP is unlikely to give a balanced view of the issue to those seeking help -- they're predisposed to think all suicide is a problem. It would be like consulting a priest for pre-abortion counselling. We need more enlightened support groups, and more enlightened legislative frameworks for them to operate within.

Otherwise, you end up with more of this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-14802369# . (OK, maybe not, but (providentially!) saw that today and laughed.

Romeo  Vitelli

As I said, it's a slippery slope. Would "right to die" organizations necessarily be predisposed to intervene if the suicidal impulse isn't justified? And who should make that decision?

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