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Erudite Explorer

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Should we be allowed to control our lives in the most fundamental way; to choose between life and death? Should we sanction suicide?

The suicide rate is double the homicide rate in the US, and the #1 cause is untreated depression.

The current policy of prevention via societies most powerful corrective measures including arrest, loss of rights, physical restraint, isolation, humiliation and the like are part of the problem. The desire to be successful in ending your life forces you to do it in secret using whatever barbaric means at your disposal. It forces people to the fringe.

How much of the suffering of those affected could be prevented by not discovering the bloody corpse of a loved one in the bedroom with a gun in his hand and his brains splattered across half the room. How much suffering could be prevented if your suicidal loved one could talk to you without the fear of knowing you can quite easily prevent their desire with overwhelming force? How many suicides could be prevented if depressed people confided in their peers without having a badge of "mentally ill, sinful, weak, or selfish" pinned over their heart?

People are going to commit suicide regardless of legalities, prejudgemental stigmas, passion filled lamentations of loved ones or anything else you might thing will get them realize the err of their ways. Suicide is a tangible aspect to humanity both caused by suffering and the cause of suffering. If we as a people want to reduce damage it has to be done through acceptance, availability of the least traumatic method of termination, and counseling to not only determine(undermine) the conviction of the suicidal, but also to guide all parties to a mutual understanding or possibly peaceful resolution.

Provided that those desiring it would have to subject themselves to a period of intensive inpatient counselling and treatment, would a policy that universally offered euthanasia prevent more suicides than the current policy?

What other effects could this level of personal freedom have on people.

edit* Please remember that UNTREATED depression is the #1 cause of suicide,


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    Sep 15 2012: I really like this question. I've served as a Suicide Prevention counselor, answering the phones and it is an enlightening service to the community.

    I have to believe that some people have a valid reason for crossing over, as I like to call it. I have to believe because some people have defeated every skill I was taught about preventing suicide. While I am not ever allowed to comment or suggest that I agree with them, I've had some silent moments. It's one of the reason's I quit the service.

    The degree to which euthanasia could be abused is large and numerically expanded. I'm sure most people can think of such situations without me listing them. It's a touchy subject and deserves some objective and sympathetic review.

    I do know this: if euthanasia were allowed in the Prison system. It would be elected often. Setting up a review of someones choice would be attacked by every known stance on philosophy, politics, and religious perspective.

    My simple answer is "yes".
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      Sep 18 2012: I do some online suicide prevention and you're right, it is very enlightening. It's so much easier to find reasons to be happy when you're trying to help someone else. I think it makes great therapy.

      I don't think that prisoners should be able to opt for suicide. They have lost their rights and would need to pay their debt to society before they're returned.

      I would like to hear some of the ways that you think euthanasia could be abused.
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        Sep 18 2012: It could be abused the same way people abuse their freedom by justifying such notions that prisoners should not have their rights. Have you ever been a prisoner?
        • Sep 18 2012: It wouldn't be a good idea to let prisoners opt for suicide: there's just too much potential for abuse because prisoners can be forced into it without the outside world knowing.
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          Sep 18 2012: You're correct, we should totally let prisoners have their rights. We should start with their right to freedom.

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