TED Conversations

Erudite Explorer

This conversation is closed.

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,

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 18 2012: What's the difference between torturing someone to death and letting then die a torturous death?
    • thumb
      Sep 18 2012: There is a big difference between action (torturing) and inaction (letting them die.) It's like saying what's the difference between cooking yourself dinner and going out to eat. You could say "nothing" seeing as how either way you're going to eat, but it would be a fallacy.
      • thumb
        Sep 18 2012: You appear so emotionally detached from the problem where human life is concerned Erudite E.

        When you spend some time in Jail, your attitude will change. Hook up with some Occupy Wall Street people and get a feel for things. I am surprise by the many comments and conversations I heard from them about their experience in a Jail Cell. They, never, in their lifetime ever realized that jail was like that. The reality deviated greatly from their mental image of what it would be like. For many it was their first time coming face to face with the brutality that could be had at the hands of fellow human beings.

        It's an eye opening experience, that can't be obtained any other way.
        • thumb
          Sep 18 2012: That's right, emotionless logic is the only road to a better, more civilized future.

          I've been to jail several times in a few different states although never as part of a protest. I'm not given a hard time in jail because I empathize with the corrections officers, they do not have an easy job. I understand the desire to stand up for your self and disobey authority in the process, but once you're arrested there is no reason to agitate the police. They're just doing their (stressful, dangerous, unappreciated, underpaid) jobs.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.