the sanctity of life
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11-03-2014, 04:07 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
(11-03-2014 02:01 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  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.

I agree with you.

*Overshare alert* (Apologies)

When I was 18, a close friend of mine hung himself. Due to my state of mind at the time, certain hang ups regarding separation and guilt and just not being mature enough to deal with the situation; I handled the situation quite badly (as would many I think) and went down a pretty shitty path. I started drinking, developed some habits and pushed some of my relationships to the limits. It was a very selfish period of my life. I decided to split with my girlfriend because I was a bit of a self-loathing black cloud and I lost sight of how good I had it. This caused her to spiral also and she lost a dangerous amount of weight, much to the concern of her mother and her GP. That was just my own experience following my friend’s fatal decision. I know that his other friends and family also suffered tremendously. Our whole social group took a huge blow. That’s my point essentially, that suicide is a decision that is solely focused on the person considering it and it is often a very selfish choice to make. I am not saying that it makes those who consider it to be bad people. I don’t believe in bad people. But when a person is in that state of mind, they can’t consider or fully appreciate the thoughts and emotions of those around them. Not only that but a mind is a fluid thing. If their decision is the product of a mind that has been molded by their experiences, then surely there mind is subject to change again if they have the appropriate experiences in the future. Just because someone feels suicidal now doesn't mean that they will not want to live given time and the necessary support.
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11-03-2014, 05:28 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
So you guys are saying that a person must stay alive to benefit others, whether they themselves suffer greatly or not?

Are you really that altruistic?

And Seldon also states that even when physical suffering has become intolerable, the family has a say? Not the person him/herself as autonomous being?

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11-03-2014, 06:05 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
(11-03-2014 05:28 AM)Dom Wrote:  So you guys are saying that a person must stay alive to benefit others, whether they themselves suffer greatly or not?

Are you really that altruistic?

And Seldon also states that even when physical suffering has become intolerable, the family has a say? Not the person him/herself as autonomous being?

No not at all.

I also said, "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."

I am saying that people who choose to end their torment and suffering via suicide is different. Surely if someone is in extreme pain, with a quality of life that they no longer wish to preserve then they must have come to this decision following full consideration. Suicide for a physically healthy person who's torment is psychological is different in my opinion. I also didn't say that they should be made to stay alive. I just said that the people around them should have the right to intervene and try to change their mind. It would still be their decision ultimately. Who can stop someone from taking their own life if they really want to? What I said in relation to this was, "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. "

Can I ask, what do you think would cause a person who is not suffering physically to consider suicide?
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11-03-2014, 06:15 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
Sorry I missed a bit. As for the family comment, I was implying that with euthanasia in most of the cases I've heard about it is usually a friend or family member that is asked to help the person who wants to end their life - given that many people who seek it are not able to do it themselves. At that point it absolutely becomes a decision on behalf of the person who is asked to help do it. That aside, I would like to think that if I was ever in that position that I would consider the thoughts and feeling of those around me when making the decision but yeah, if it was so painful to live that I could not bare it then I would come to my own decision regardless and hope that those who loved me understand. I
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11-03-2014, 06:55 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
(11-03-2014 06:05 AM)Seldon Wrote:  Who can stop someone from taking their own life if they really want to? Can I ask, what do you think would cause a person who is not suffering physically to consider suicide?

Ok, we are not talking about euthanasia here, that opens up a much wider territory and I think suicide by itself is enough to tackle at a time.

Erm, yes, people are stopped from killing themselves all the time, police is called, people are committed to mental institutions and put on suicide watch. Why do you think talking about it is such a taboo? Because people who are thinking about it have no way to "come out of the closet" for fear of life getting a whole lot worse for them in a jiffy.

As far as not suffering physically, do you group mental illness together with physical illness? Because in fact it is an illness of the brain, which is physical, and it can cause even greater pain and anguish that other diseases.

Do you feel you have the right to assess the extent of anguish a person with mental illness experiences and force them to live and endure that anguish?

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11-03-2014, 07:30 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
Suicide is the ultimate "end of the line" choice. Because of that, it's rarely going to be the best answer for most problems; there are some things worse then death, however, so I would support a persons use of it in those cases.
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11-03-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
(11-03-2014 07:30 AM)Juv Wrote:  Suicide is the ultimate "end of the line" choice. Because of that, it's rarely going to be the best answer for most problems; there are some things worse then death, however, so I would support a persons use of it in those cases.

You are assuming that every person feels the way you do about death.

To me, there are many, many, many things that are worse than death. I see very little bad about death. I sleep every night, death is no different from deep sleep. Nothing bad about it.

If a 90 year old had as much fear of death as a 20 year old, they would perish because of constant acute fear. Tripping over something means death - old people break limbs much easier because they are brittle, and few live for more than a year after that because they do not heal. Aches and pains are not measured by how bad they hurt like a 20 year old would, but by whether they could be symptoms of something that will bring imminent death. Heck, if you were scared of death in old age life would be such hell that even healthy seniors would kill themselves. At this time it is mostly ailing seniors who do take the exit, and in great numbers. It may take humans a long time to become friends with death, but if we live to old age, we all do.

Death is most scary during the reproductive years, we have the lowest suicide rate then and people of reproductive age like to play the knight in shining armor and "rescue" people from choosing to exit. This is normal, instinctively you don't want to die when you are reproducing, preservation of the species at that time overrides even self preservation.

But you can't assume that people of all ages and in all life situations will share your fear of death. It would be horrific if old people were that scared of it.

And, if you think about it rationally, there is really nothing scary about death - just that you don't want to leave your kids/wife etc. to fend for themselves. For you - when you're dead you're dead. Why would you be scared of a nice deep sleep? Now, when you are young, there are so many possibilities, and so many things you still want to experience, you'd be cutting yourself very short by choosing an early exit. As you get older and your body starts to betray you, that list becomes shorter and shorter.

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11-03-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
People who kill themselves suddenly, due to irrational thoughts (reactive/long lasting depression etc) is of course a shame. I think in some cases more could be done but when people are determined enough to put a brave face on for others, yet still kill themselves, there is very little you can do.

People who have a "legitimate" reason, who are totally aware of their situation, their choices and options in the now and for the future and are fully informed. Who see suicide with "clarity" and a realistic escape from a logically attained fate. Those people are very brave indeed and they (and the ones closest to them) deserve my respect.

Because people are people, I would not like to see anybody coerced into suicide, so a certain lawful system should be in place to attempt to ascertain if this is the case or not, entrenched within a larger system that offers the support and help to achieve the suicide with dignity and respect.

What that system could be I do not know.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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11-03-2014, 10:28 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
(11-03-2014 10:20 AM)bemore Wrote:  People who kill themselves suddenly, due to irrational thoughts (reactive/long lasting depression etc) is of course a shame. I think in some cases more could be done but when people are determined enough to put a brave face on for others, yet still kill themselves, there is very little you can do.

People who have a "legitimate" reason, who are totally aware of their situation, their choices and options in the now and for the future and are fully informed. Who see suicide with "clarity" and a realistic escape from a logically attained fate. Those people are very brave indeed and they (and the ones closest to them) deserve my respect.

Because people are people, I would not like to see anybody coerced into suicide, so a certain lawful system should be in place to attempt to ascertain if this is the case or not, entrenched within a larger system that offers the support and help to achieve the suicide with dignity and respect.

What that system could be I do not know.


Well, the death with dignity act in Oregon is pretty good but still too restrictive.

It allows people with terminal illnesses to obtain meds from doctors which they can then choose to take or not. It has actually proven to be an encouragement to live longer and happier, as now there is no panic to put an end to things while you still can - as long as you are able to take a pill you are able to take the exit anytime. There is a lot of solace and peace in that.

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11-03-2014, 10:32 AM
RE: the sanctity of life
Shelly kagan, professor at yale university has a lecture entitled "death," which is available online. He devotes the last three class periods to suicide, the morality of suicide and when, if ever, suicide makes logical sense. If anyone has about 3 hours to burn I would recommend them.
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