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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 18 2012: "That's right, emotionless logic is the only road to a better, more civilized future." ~ Erudite Explorer.

    If you were a robot that may be true but to human beings, it's a sign of mental illness.
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      Sep 18 2012: I've processed the emotions and settled them to a level that won't interfere with my judgement as to prudent policies. The total absence of emotion is a disorder, but controlling your emotions so that they don't effect decision-making is a sign of emotional intelligence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence
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        Sep 18 2012: So. where are you in the decision making palace? Have you made any decisions relating to this discussion that affect our society lately? I'm asking this in all seriousness, so I will know how to address you on issues such as this. Are you a judge or lawyer perhaps? Or is this simply your opinion as a common citizen?
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          Sep 19 2012: Just the opinion of an ordinary citizen who's been around the block enough times to show others the way. I think that forcing people to remain alive absolutely destroys the notion that life is a gift. I think that depression is compounded by the reality that suicide is prevented by any means available. I think that the prevention and stigmas associated with suicide makes it impossible for those considering it to do so objectively. I think that people considering suicide already feel like they have no control over their circumstances, like their choices don't matter. When they are told that they have no choice they fall victim to reactance; killing themselves in a final effort to prove that their choices do matter.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_(psychology)
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        Sep 19 2012: I find nothing to disagree with you about. The hard part is institutionalizing this "right". It's a scary mandate. It does place power over other peoples lives if we did.

        I don't know how to go about destigmatizing that act itself. I do know that there are websites where people ask question about technique, openly, and I've never heard of any repercussions about these inquiries in the news or on other websites.

        I believe (know) that sometimes searching for a way can lead to changing one's mind to follow through. They become more educated and aware of their problems associated with this desire.


        Thank you Erudite Explorer for letting me know this information. Have a good day :)
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          Sep 19 2012: I think that a shift in policy, an advertising campaign, and an education program targeted at pre-teens through young adults would slowly undermine those stigmas. The Catholic Church will scream and there will be a rise in suicide rates in the first year or so, but once the dust settles I think we will have reduced the total suffering endured by our society.

          "I believe (know) that sometimes searching for a way can lead to changing one's mind to follow through. They become more educated and aware of their problems associated with this desire."

          I know this too. When someone is searching for suicide methods they often stumble upon those websites you refer to. Not only do they discover that they are far from the only who feels as they do, their feelings and desires are accepted by the group. This acceptance combined with the knowledge obtained in the process is what truly changes their world and their outlook.

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