787
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Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Wed May 31, 2000 10:43 pm

I think that being truely free, is to do what you want to do, such as commit suicide if you really want to. What does everyone else think?
-Chris
787 Italia - Io, il comandante dell'aria
 
Matt D
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Thu Jun 01, 2000 12:30 am

If you want to stir up a lively conversation/debate, you're going to have to do better than that. I have a ton of them outlined already, but I'm only going to post them one at a time!
 
DeltaRNOmd-80
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Thu Jun 01, 2000 12:16 pm

Yes, but have you ever thought about what suicide would do to the people that loved the victim? People such as their mom and dad would have horrible pain because they would think they raised him wrong and its their fault, siblings, friends and others would be hurt also. Suicide isnt really "illegal", you dont go to jail for attempted suicide, you dont go to court I dont think, but you do have rehabilitation. So I do think people like Jack Kevorkian should be punished to the fullest and I dont think its right to commit suicide.
 
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sammyk
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Thu Jun 01, 2000 1:51 pm

Suicide IS illegal if you don't do it right, but if you do, then umm, can't really haul you into court for that can they? Its essentially a homicide on yourself.

I personally do think that if one wants to end his/her life they should be allowed to do so. Other peoples religious or moral convictions should not be placed on this person.

You ARE however free to practice SUCCESSFUL suicide  

Sammy

P.S. Matt, you have lively conversation all ready to go? No way! You??  
 
Samurai 777
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Thu Jun 01, 2000 3:57 pm

While suicide isn't really illegal, assisted suicide certainly can be, but people like Jack Kevorkian? I seriously doubt he was intending to kill people - he and others like him wanted to put them out of their misery. Terminal medical ailments and mental disorders are often major causes of suicide. Cancer and other illnesses can be extremely painful, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them do actually die not from cancer itself, but from the side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or even from overdosing on morphine or other painkillers, sometimes deliberately. Cancerous growths will press against internal organs or cause them to eventually rupture or malfunction, resulting in serious pain. Too many people don't realize the pain that terminally ill people go through, unless a loved one falls victim to a terminal illness. Chemotherapy is basically killing cancer cells with toxins that kill the cancer a little faster than it kills the patient. Radiotherapy side effects are only a milder version than what the victims of nuclear explosions like those at Hiroshima went through. In other words, patients undergoing radiotherapy will be suffering mild radiation sickness as a side effect.

This is not to say that Kevorkian or others who do assisted suicides are doing necessarily the right thing - the law will view it as homicide, but is it true homicide? This is a pretty volatile issue, as this is dealing with the lives of human beings. Others will say, we put animals to sleep if they're suffering in great pain, why don't they ever do the same to humans? To tell the truth, if a person wants to die because of intense pain due to an incurable disease, I believe they should be allowed to do so, but they should consider the effects that their deaths will have on their loved ones first. Medical advances are making cancer treatment less painful and better, so suicide will be less of an option. As for severe depression or other mental disorders as a cause, there is now better rehabilitation in place in most places. The same goes for the grieving of a loved one who has died. While I don't see anything truly wrong in suicide, there are far better alternatives.
 
747-600X
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Fri Jun 02, 2000 3:32 am

Suicide doesn't cause pain, so in my opinion it isn't a wrong thing. If there are people around who would love the missing person, and who would grieve at his/her absense, this is painful and thus immoral. Some people commit suicide just for that reason, to make others see that they never showed their love. However, once you're dead, you can't be there to appreciate the aftermath of your work, so its a contradictory pursuit. If no one loves you, you haven't got anything to live for, and want to kill yourself, there's nothing to stop you and rightly so. Chances are however, that someone will miss you. It is a far more worthwhile, entertaining, and lively experience to search out these people then to just kill yourself. Suicide is an option, and as with all, it must be carefully considered. Freedom and liberty have nothing to do with it. You cannot put laws on such things as this with any level of effectiveness.
Kevorkian, since the topic is at bay, was a hero. He helped those who did not have the courage to do it to themselves. Many of us don't have the courage to go up on stage, many don't have the courage to ask a girl out... suicide is just the same. Kevorkian helped those who wanted to get out of their lives. Granted, they weren't getting into anything, but they were putting an end to it. Unless what he did harmed others, it wasn't wrong. He, however, had no way of knowing if it would hurt others. If I go to McDonalds and order a Big Mac, it is not the duty of the McDonald's to ask if it will cause problems. They are there to do what they need to do, they have a job. Kevorkian was the same. The responsibility of making a moral decision is in the hands of his consumers, not him.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Fri Jun 02, 2000 6:24 am

Although there are indeed laws on the books which make suicide illegal, more often than not, an attempt at suicide belies a problem which needs to be treated, not punished, and indeed this is what happens. Someone who attempts suicide should (and often does) receive treatment to try and get at why someone would contemplate taking their own life.

As for Kevorkian, the man is no hero. Moral issues surrounding euthanasia/assisted suicide to one side for the moment, to put a terminally ill man to death on national television hardly strikes me as compassionate or thinking about the dignity of the individual and the illness he was suffering. He took a suffering individual and made his death a cheap act of sensationalism that was calculated solely to further Kevorkian's own agenda. I was appalled and disgusted by the specticle; he got what he deserved.

Charles
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
747-600X
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Ctbarnes/Charles

Sat Jun 03, 2000 3:06 am

Mr. Kevorkian's televised work was made entirely to show to the world what he was doing and that he was doing it. It was in contrast to those who were attacking him for his work, not of his own desire to brag about what he did. What he deserves is to be bailed out of prison as soon as someone with a bit of sense has the money.
You also commented that people considering suicide should seek help. While I'm sure this will not be heard, I feel it necessary to point out that I live a happy and full life, and that I can find no reason for which, if that situation changed, I shouldn't end it. If I don't enjoy life - why live?
 
ctbarnes
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RE: 747-600X

Sat Jun 03, 2000 6:03 am

I'll take these in reverse order:

"You also commented that people considering suicide should seek help."

What you say is correct, however that's not quite what I said. There is a lot of truth in the old cliche that a suicide attempt is a cry for help. You're right in surmising someone who is suicidal or severely depressed may not seek help if offered, therefore it is sometimes necessary to intervene against a person's will if a doctor or court is convinced that person is a danger to him or herself.

You mention that anyone who does not enjoy life should have the option to die ("why live?" as you put it). This misses a crucial and very complex question: Why is the person not enjoying life? Does it have to do with the fact they may be unhappy temporarily or perhaps pathologic (i.e. a psychiatirc condition) which means they are not making an autonomous choice.

In any case, I get very uncomfortable with demands for full and complete autonomy over our own lives. There are other factors which outweigh autonomy such as doing what is good, what is just, and preventing harm to others (and to oneself!). We need to hold all these factors in balance, but to say we have complete control over life is neither moral nor desirable.

As for Kevorian, the world already knew full well what he was up to. There were news reports galore about his suicide machine, and the fact he had been twice prosecuted (unsuccessfully) for using it. All of which generated an increadible amount of publicity. There was no doubt in anyone's mind he was doing the things he did, espeically as he freely admitted it as did the families of the deceased. It was bad enough that he committed active euthanasia, but he did it by using a man who was suffering greatly simply to ratchet his arguement up a notch. In my book that is a callous disregard for the PERSON who is suffering which goes against every value I have for respecting human life and human dignity. If he did not want to brag, why televise it?

Charles

P.S. Have you seen the 60 Minutes piece?

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Carioca Canuck
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 6:06 am

If I was a quadrapeligic I would not hesitate to kill myself.

If someone wants to end their respective lives so be it.....and I don't think that society should stand in their way either.
 
ctbarnes
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Carioca Canuck: May I Suggest...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 6:13 am

There's a book along these lines I just finished reading that you might find interesting. It's an autobiography of a quadrapalegic and a recovering alcoholic who is a writer, humorist and cartoonist in Portland, Oregon. It's called "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot" by John Callahan. (availiable through Amazon.com). Beware though, it's a frank, graphic (and very funny) account of his accident and recovery. Well worth reading.

Charles
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Guest

RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 6:25 am

I would rather die than live in agony.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 6:36 am

LB Steve:

You don't have to: there's a branch of medicine dedicated to the care and comfort of the dying called palliative medicine. It is practised in hospices and is geared toward doing whatever it takes to make a dying and/or suffering patient comfortable and at peace. It is an effective, viable alternative to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

I encounter your observation a lot from many people. It's sad that the Hospice movement has not captured the public's interest. I worked in a hospice for a while and am convinced of its benefit and piece of mind for those who are dying

Charles
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
dk
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 7:25 am

At this point I must say something, there have been a lot of good points for and against suicide but really unless we ourselves are in the situation of being sick, depressed,dying etc. how are we to know what we would really do? I have watched friends die of AIDS and someone die of cancer and if I were ever to find myself in that situation I would probably want to end it way before the disease really had a hold of me, it is not pretty. But on the other hand as I have said how can I really know? Each of us is different and have different opinions which is wonderful!Thats one of the things that makes life interesting! Maybe we should let people decide for themselves, the people that Kevorkian helped die wanted him to help them, they were very sick and terminally ill!
 
DeltaRNOmd-80
Posts: 1979
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 10:09 am

I agree with CtBarnes, Why would you want to kill yourself? It brings shame upon your whole life and your whole family. Whatever you accomplished in your life will be erased and marked with "commited suicide". I wouldnt want to bring that kind of shame on myself and those around me. It is a hard situation for the terminally ill and dying but I couldnt think of killing myself...
 
Guest

RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sat Jun 03, 2000 11:51 pm

Since we will all die anyhow, I at least would rather have some control over that process. Isn’t it my body my right? As it is I have an advance directive (with option to reconsider) should I end up brain dead or something? I would want my organs put to good use while they are functional so as to enhance the life of someone who needs them. Sorry if I sound morbid.
 
787
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RE: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Suicide...

Sun Jun 04, 2000 2:14 am

I agree with the idea of living, but at the same time if I wanted to end it I think that I should have the right. Then at the same time, you all have very good ideas, and thank you for sharing our ideas, even values with me.
-Chris
787 Italia - Io, il comandante dell'aria

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