the sanctity of life
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07-03-2014, 04:52 PM
the sanctity of life
So, I think we all agree that murder is a bad thing, we don't want anyone running around killing people.

Then, when it comes to what constitutes murder, it isn't all that clear cut anymore, as for example in the abortion issue. I guess we first have to agree on what life is. But that is not the point I am making.

I want to talk about suicide.

It is the total taboo. Try to discuss it with anyone - how you might want to commit suicide under certain conditions - and just about everyone is going to get their panties all in a bunch.

Suicide prevention is a huge thing, and all people who want to take "the exit" on their own accord are presumed to be off their rocker and eternally grateful if someone came along and "saved" them.

In 2010, in the US, there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.

That's a lot of suicides.

The suicides most of us would agree are a waste of a life are those by teenagers who lost their first love or similar. They don't realize how small the event is when compared to a life time, and how they won't feel that way for long at all.

Then there are the suicides in the late 50s and 60s - primarily over money, over losing jobs and being too old to find another that would pay a fair wage. The dwindling of hope to have a decent old age. The fear of being dumped in some care facility and left to rot...

Then there are the senior suicides. Mostly over health issues - the prospect of rapidly declining health, inability to care for oneself and pain.

So, what do you think about this? When is it ok to choose the exit? Do we have the right to keep people alive against their will? When and why?

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07-03-2014, 05:15 PM
RE: the sanctity of life
I'd generally advise people against suicide. But just generally.

In the case of serious illnesses, I believe someone should hold on as long as they can, in the hope of a new treatment currently unknown or of a, rare but possible, spontaneous remission. I like to be positive and hope for the best. People who may have a chance to survive should think about what their future self would have to say about their past decision to just give up (sorry, I don't know if that makes sense).

In the case of young people and/or cases of clinical depression, I think it should be prevented at all costs. These people do not realize that life will not necessarily be this way forever.

Finally, in the cases of senior suicides over health issues, I think it should be up to the individual, provided that they are mentally healthy enough to make a responsible and conscious decision.

My mother always tells us that in case she gets dementia or something, she doesn't want us to let her live. I know it would be impossible for me to let my own mother just die, but I can say I understand why people should feel so.

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07-03-2014, 05:24 PM
RE: the sanctity of life
It is indeed a taboo subject. I personally think assisted suicide, euthanasia, in cases when a person has no quality of life, should be always be an option. Luckily I've never suffered from depression. I've never felt so low that I wanted to end it all, so I cannot comprehend why someone would want to take such a drastic step.

I think all steps should be taken to prevent suicide, especially in young people. We must help them to see that there is always a better option, that life is precious. Of course there are always going to be some people who are determined to kill themselves, no matter what.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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07-03-2014, 05:36 PM
RE: the sanctity of life
(07-03-2014 05:24 PM)Marozz Wrote:  It is indeed a taboo subject. I personally think assisted suicide, euthanasia, in cases when a person has no quality of life, should be always be an option. Luckily I've never suffered from depression. I've never felt so low that I wanted to end it all, so I cannot comprehend why someone would want to take such a drastic step.

I think all steps should be taken to prevent suicide, especially in young people. We must help them to see that there is always a better option, that life is precious. Of course there are always going to be some people who are determined to kill themselves, no matter what.

Do you think that everyone considers their own life precious? What makes it precious?

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07-03-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: the sanctity of life
I agree with most in here, that when someone wants to end their life (and is not suffering from a tortuous terminal illness) we should do everything in our power to help them. Unfortunately there are som very sad mental disorders too. If a person has a miserable life coping with their mental illness, and is miserable coping with life on their meds, they should be allowed to make their own choices. It's a painful and unpopular truth that some lives will never get better.

Of course with young adults... This is where it gets difficult for me in regards to the law. Could we let people under eighteen petition for the right to end their life so that their case can be reviewed? I don't know. They should have similar rights though. With adults, it should be completely up to each individual.

The only thing that ever gives me pause, is that we are not islands. We touch people in our every day lives, and barring terminal illness, I'd like to think we should try to live on and make our lives better for those who love us... But I'm really conflicted on this point. Confused haven't made up my mind on how I feel about that part. I think that relates to the question "what makes life precious?" Sometimes it may be the value people find in the lives of others. Suzy may be suffering from severe depression, but for Suzy's mother, Suzy's life is precious, even if Suzy doesn't think so.

Any of this making sense? I'm all over the place on this one.

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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07-03-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: the sanctity of life



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07-03-2014, 06:51 PM
RE: the sanctity of life
(07-03-2014 05:36 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(07-03-2014 05:24 PM)Marozz Wrote:  It is indeed a taboo subject. I personally think assisted suicide, euthanasia, in cases when a person has no quality of life, should be always be an option. Luckily I've never suffered from depression. I've never felt so low that I wanted to end it all, so I cannot comprehend why someone would want to take such a drastic step.

I think all steps should be taken to prevent suicide, especially in young people. We must help them to see that there is always a better option, that life is precious. Of course there are always going to be some people who are determined to kill themselves, no matter what.

Do you think that everyone considers their own life precious? What makes it precious?
I don't suppose that everyone would consider their own life precious. I'd imagine that some people with suicidal tendencies would not think about "life" per se. In their mind they may have a sense of hopelessness, regard themselves as useless, they feel that those close to them would be better off without them.

What makes life precious or special to me is that you only get one chance. Life is short and when it ends it's over. There's no second chance. There's no heaven or hell.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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10-03-2014, 09:56 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
When it comes to questions regarding choices my thoughts always gravitate towards causal determinism. I think that the choice to take one's life is the product of that person's experiences and we should consider that their mindset is subject to change given the necessary support and influences. I agree that an adult should have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to their own life, as that is the freedom afforded to us as self-aware beings. However I believe that any person who cares enough to intervene should also have the right to act as a free agent in trying to prevent it and remind the person considering suicide of the potential pain and suffering that is likely to occur after they have ended their own, as well as reassure that person that they can change the way that they think and feel if they take the chance. Taking your life goes against every instinct that we have and if it becomes an option for someone then it is quite clear that their mental state has become unhealthy, but that can be treated. As for euthanasia and suicide performed in order to end a person's suffering, I think that this is very different and should be the choice of that person alone and respected as such. I think that in most cases, a person and their family would only reach this ultimate decision after they had struggled in their efforts to battle their illness and preserve their health, providing ample consideration.
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10-03-2014, 02:06 PM
RE: the sanctity of life
Well, I can't speak for others but when I get to be old and life becomes intolerable or there's incredible physical pain, I plan on getting some sleeping pills, cashing my chips in and calling it a day....or a life.

I live in Oregon. It's the only state that has an assisted suicide law called The Death With Dignity Act which allows a prescription for a lethal dose of medication to be given. There have been only a few people go out that way and usually they're the ones who are terminally ill. There's some controversy over the law but even with the law in place most people exit without using Death With Dignity. I personally think it's a good idea though for people who are in terrible pain and find that there is absolutely no way out of the situation.

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11-03-2014, 02:01 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
It's my life. Nobody has any rights over it except me.



Of course, then there's another issue. We base many of our laws on the harm that certain activities bring upon another individual. You can't start hitting someone because that hurts them and they don't want to be hurt. You can't rape someone because that hurts them and they don't want to be hurt. You can't steal from someone because that hurts them and they don't want to be hurt.

If I kill myself and that hurts those who love me…? Say I have a daughter. Say I raise her until she's 18 and we have the closest of relationships. Then I kill myself. She is emotionally hurt by this. So much so that she ends up killing herself because she can't bear the pain of not having me around.

How do I, Miso, justify keeping things illegal which harm another individual, and yet advocate having complete freedom over my own existence when that may entail hurting someone close to me if I choose to end it? Where do I draw the line in deciding what sorts of harm are acceptable? Where is the line drawn that states I'm not allowed to murder someone, but I AM allowed to destroy myself and, in doing so, cause them to murder themselves?



/thinking out loud.

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