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Ankit Sethi

Design Engineer, Amtek Defence Technologies Limited

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If a person atempts suicide and escapes, should he / she be punished?

In our society, when a person attempts suicide and fortunately (or unfortunately) survives, he / she is made to go through a more mentally exhausting conviction and punishment.
In my personal opinion, that person has lost the will to live and requires some counselling in order to rebuilt his / her faith in "life". Making them go through the exhaustive judicial process and presenting them as criminals is not a good idea.

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    Apr 20 2012: If we do punish someone for attempting suicide we are probably just doing it to follow a law or because we are so appalled by the action that we want something done about it and we dont think the person should be rewarded with free counseling. The punishment itself would serve what purpose? To make the person feel regret and remorse? Well obviously the person had already reached there max capacity of those feelings?
    If a person attempts suicide you have to look at the reason and go from there. Some of the most common reasons might be: They dont feel there life is worth living; extreme emotional pain; extreme physical pain; a chemical imbalance; or maybe for attention.
    The thing is if someone is going to try suicide there mind has needlessly narrowed. What I mean by this is that in our life we are all confronted with problems and stressors yet we see many different options as a way to deal with these. A person who commits suicide only sees one option...To take their own life. Drugs and alcohol limit the minds capacity to work and that is why a lot of suicides take place under the influence. People need to to be shown and convinced that they always have other options... Look at famous actors and rockstars that commit suicide while starving people in Uganda..being abused and oppressed still see their lives as worth living...One of them has to be wrong..I say its the rockstars.

    A lot of people commit suicide over a member of the opposite sex... If I could only take that person around the world and show them all the beautiful people in it..all their options...they might see that this one person is not their only option.
    PS: Romeo and Juliette is not a love story...It's a story about two stupid Emo kids
    • Apr 21 2012: Precisely how the outlook is required to be.
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    May 13 2012: Thank you for presenting this question.

    I am a failed attempt survivor and I was horribly punished by the system afterwards. But never once in the months that followed did anyone, not the counselors, doctors, fellow patients or family members ask me "Why" or address what happened. They were all too eager to lock me up, strap me down, give me pills, transport me in police cars, appear in court to make me sign an agreement with the Judge promising that I wouldn't do it again, put me on probation and above all not talk about it.

    I am still traumatized by the events that are standard procedure in my state after a failed attempt. The responding legal process magnified the shame and marginalized me even further. It has been only my fear of surviving another attempt that has kept me alive.

    I am determined that another attempt will leave no room for error and my advice to others is a warning that suicide survivors are treated as criminals.

    Death is NOT the worst thing that can happen.
    • May 14 2012: This is exactly my point. The explanation coming from someone who has experienced the wrath of the judicial system first hand. The kind of psychological torture the person goes through is simply ridiculous.
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    Apr 21 2012: What kind of punishment are you talking about? Is it based on legal or religious issues? Does it lead to remedial actions? Does the process lessen the tendency for suicide in any way? Do you understand the mindset behind the process? You have sparked my curiosity as to why a society would respond in this manner.

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Anyone who attempts suicide is suffering in some way and seeks to end that suffering. Often they don't consider how others will be affected, and probably don't feel they will be missed or that the world will be better off without them. Keeping people from suicide should be focused on giving them a will to live and providing them with an outlet for feelings of suffering or self mortification. Does your country provide any such programs?
    • Apr 22 2012: We are talking strictly in legal terms. Not much of a religious person..

      No my country does not have any such programs in place..!
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    Apr 21 2012: S/he needs treatment first of which counselling is an important part......many of our laws are out dated, unrealistic at times inhumane as well...
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    Apr 20 2012: if a person attempts suicide or escapes in order to relieve from the burden of what ever he has done i dont think he s considered as a criminal or rather he s engaging himself in a criminal activity. if a person escapes after engaging himslf in sme kind of assualt or sme kind of sexual harassment etc then he s a criminal and he has to be punished.
    if a person attempts to suicide due to some personal or professional barriers then they should be a proper counselling relating to the problem and guide him inorder to overcome it and make him move forward.
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    Apr 20 2012: Why not make suicide legal? Who is society to define who lives and who dies? The only thing we can do is prevent them from harming others, and if such a suicidal action is doing just that, then yes, they should be punished.

    If we have gotten to such a point were we are the judge on how people should live their life, then why is human engineering still such a major issue. In law there should not be a mid-ground, there should be certain levels, but those levels should only be defined by right and wrong. Confusion has never been any good to society, so why is it now?
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      Apr 22 2012: "Who is society to define . . . etc"?-- Society is the one power, under God, who decides who lives and who dies. That society's view of life, as to whether it is sacred or profane, will determine their laws. Murder; manslaughter; abortion; enthanasia; suicide; cannibalism; human sacrifice; slavery; capital punishment; etc. will be allowed, or disallowed, in accordance with the view of human life. There is another way to look at things, Mr. Tinholt. Thanks.
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        Apr 26 2012: Society doesn't decide who lives and who dies, society only makes the laws that decide what should happen to people that took or tried to take a life. Murder is committed by individuals or small groups at best. Suicide is very personal and rarely involves anybody else.

        Society might allow or disallow, but it is up to the person in question wether they go ahead and do it anyway. Only in the case of capital punishment and euthanasia does society, but not even society as a whole, have influence on who lives and who dies.
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          Apr 26 2012: Laws are a product of society. Laws reflect the moral view of a society. Law abiding citizens are influenced, controlled even, by the law. I question your assertion that society has no influence on people's decision making processes. For example in America since 1973, when killing an unborn baby was ruled to be a matter of personal choice, abortions have risen dramatically. This rise must be evidence that law abiding citizens were influenced by society. I vehemently disagree with your statement that suicide "rarely involves anybody else". The truth is every suicide involves others. I think your opinion on this issue resembles anarchy.
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        Apr 26 2012: Ofcourse society has an influence on people's decisions, but in the end it's the person in question making the final choice, not society. Society makes the rules, individuals choose to either obey or ignore those rules. When something is illegal, people are less inclined to do it, true, but murders still happen, even though there's laws against it.

        I'm not promoting any viewpoint here, so I don't understand how my opinion can resemble anarchy. I'm just pointing out that people are responsible for their own deeds and society as a whole can't stop people from doing what they do. They might deter them with punishment, but that's not always enough.

        If god and society are the only two powers that decide over life and death, then logically only god and society can be held responsible for it. Now that, in my eyes, is much closer to anarchy, since it's either nobody's murder (god) or everybody's murder (society).

        Then another point, suicide involving others. The road leading up to the suide (or attempt) is littered with other people, I know that. I meant to point out that the act of suicide itself is a personal one. If you really mean to kill yourself, and it's not just a scream for help or attention, you won't tell people. You might leave a note, maybe even give little signs, but you're not involving others into the act itself.
        And even if you involve others, it's not society ending your life, it's you ending your life. Society is not the one pulling the trigger. The only reason society might decide in this case, is because the society he lives in is so malfunctional that it leaves them no other option then to commit suicide. In that case it's plain murder by soceity and everybody is indeed responsible.
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          Apr 26 2012: Should attempted suicide br punished? I say, again, no. If you wish to pose a related question I will be watching and gladly give you my two-cents (estimated value only) worth. Thanks Mr. deKoning.
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    Apr 20 2012: i would not recommend the death penalty
    • Apr 21 2012: That is funny... :P
      But on a serious note, a penalty itself in any form whatsoever, would further push them down the same road.
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    Apr 20 2012: If they truly tried to end their life but failed, continuing to live is suffering for them. Civilized society does have an obligation to such a person. To ignore them would be uncivilized. Should the attention they get be punitive?. . . absolutely not! It should be remedial.
  • Apr 24 2012: I am not mad, but this conversation has got nothing to do with going forward or backward or any matter or energy getting transformed. I think that the question is quite simple to understand. I don't see a reason why you're struggling with it.
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    Apr 22 2012: No matter where Ankit, just left behind, assuming that when you die you go forward.
    • Apr 23 2012: When you die, you go forward??????
      Where????
      There is something you need to know....when you die, you're DEAD..!!
      Worm food...that's it...!!
      We are talking about people who have survived suicide attempts. It has to do with their psychologies and mental state and let me make it clear....this has NOTHING to do with GOD or any other religious theories.
      If you want to talk about people who have moved forward or left behind...please start off your own religious conversations...There seems to be no room for all that here.
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        Apr 24 2012: This is not a religious talk assuming that you will keep respect for any opinion. If is not the case i don't see why i will waste my time.
        In regards of going forward, backward or any direction, is a proven fact (scientific fact) that all things are not only matter, but also energy. And energy never gets destroyed but transformed.

        Why are you so mad at me?
  • Apr 22 2012: No one can tell you how to live.
    And no one can tell you how to die.

    Those two things happen to be the same but you'll really have to personally research it yourself to understand what I mean.

    No, they shouldn't be punished.
    Help should always be available and even offered but what I really can't stand is how people will not only try and steal someone's life from them but also their death.

    People who believe in a God always want to play God! Why?
    If they believe in a God, why then do they think they can play God?

    We need to get rid of laws. They don't solve problems. They create more problems.
    The misery, suffering and difficulty of human lives serve as means to capitalize and profit from the suffering of human beings and then laws are made to prohibit them from escaping.

    Moral people are the most evil people in the world and create the most misery for others.
    • Apr 22 2012: You certainly can't get rid of the law and order. That is no solution.
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    Apr 21 2012: No, I dont think the person should be punished, he/she already have done it to him/herself by attempting against them.
    I think they should be understood on why they did it, and some counselling should be provided, to prevent another suicide attempt.
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    Apr 20 2012: There is no legal master on your life then yourself. The legal punish for trains to kill yourself is inherit from a feudalistic slavery system where the slave master had to be sure he is not loosing his livestock because of the bad treatment.

    Mostly since the slave was successful in his attempt, the family (if any) will support the penalty, like starvation or beatings.
    Since no human has the right on life or death (only tirans believe they do) this matter is a personal choice.

    Moreover, from religious point of view (from where the current law penalty question arise) is punishing the suicidal with the fact that he/she will not have a proper religious service at the funeral. Is this just the situation i was talking with the slave master.

    Religiously, is you kill yourself, you will not go to Heaven - what if you kill yourself to save others? but this is a logical argument that has nothing to do with religion.

    Humans, protect your life, protect your liberty to choose on your life and your own death.
    • Apr 21 2012: Our topic focuses on suicide attempts.
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        Apr 21 2012: So only the survive scenarios are permitted? What about the ones that are left behind?
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    Apr 20 2012: my recommendation is this:

    only successful suicide attempts should be punished, and the punishment can be anything, does not matter
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    Apr 20 2012: Perhaps better training is in order?