Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Checking out early

I've always been a bit fascinated by suicide, and a bit too relaxed with my humor. This explains the situation of when I was in 3rd grade the gifted program had us do an independent study. Basically it was a 5-20 page paper on something complete with citations a visual aid. Basic English 101 stuff, but when you're 9 it's a big deal. We all had to pick topics, and most people picked animals or historical figures, etc. I picked "suicide." My two teachers confronted me privately about this topic; I clearly underestimated the severity of their concern. They said, "we just want to know why you picked suicide as your topic." "Because I've thought about a lot," was my immediate response. Apparently, sarcasm is a lost art when 9 year olds are joking about suicide in the public school system. When I noticed they didn't find my humor appealing, I explained that I had an academic interest in what might cause somebody to take their own life. I was just curious. Granted they recommended I choose another topic. I ended up settling for the amoeba...

Should suicide be illegal? I've had some arguments about this. There seems to be a big rift between, "yes because [insert cognitive dissonance that usually points to Christian upbringing]," and, "no, it's a stupid law because you can't punish the person who is dead."

Here's my thought. Suicide needs to be illegal, but not for the sake of religious reasons, only for the purpose of helping with the legal aspects of someone punching their own card. If this person has debts... what do you do about those debts? This question (among others) should be answered in suicide legislation. What should the answer be? How should those imbalances be balanced to ease this person's self-departure? Now that's a tough question...

One weak theory might suggest always having all negative effects of suicide pushed to the family or closest people to the suicider (one who suicides)... with the idea this would deter some people from committing suicide, because it would harm those closest to them. Clearly this is flawed if for the mentally ill.

Another weak theory is that all debts should be erased... which means the entities owed the money have to pay for the act. This clearly isn't good either. Bottom line, random and uncontrolled suicide rarely happens without lots of negative consequence (both emotional and financial)

So while I think random suicide should be illegal (once again, only for the purpose of establishing legal ramifications), I do think assisted suicide should be legal (especially in the case of terminal illness). If someone doesn't want to live and they can demonstrate that their departure is either already imminent and/or would have minimal negative impact on the world, why should we keep them here? This is especially true for the terminally ill, but I'd extend the right to all legal adults. So to seemingly contradict my earlier statements, I believe people have the right to commit suicide; I just wish they would be polite about it.

What about the eastern cultures? What about suicide as atonement?
I apologize for the bit of coincidental morbidity that comes with posting a suicide blog on Halloween.


Blogger Cassy said...

Just let them do it. We're overpopulated. More suicide=less pollution and waste for everyone. Screw the credit card companies and big business. This from a future counselor...I will have an interesting career.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Brady said...

just because it's illegal doesn't mean they can't do it. it just means consequences are pre-determined...

I hope you find more beer and sushi this weekend. :-)

9:40 PM  

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