Checking out early
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.