Monday, November 26, 2007

The right to suicide

On littlefoxling's blog, he asked a question:

it doesn't strike you as hypocritical to live in a society with the death penality(sic) but no right to suicide?

I think it is funny to even talk about the "right to suicide" because this is a right that no one an really take away (at least not easily in normal circumstances). I can choose to jump in front of a train tonite and no one can stop me unless I tell people ahead of time.

I think in general it is a very hypocritical topic - because as much as we talk as a society about the value of human life, in reality we show by our actions how little value it has. And I am not talking about just the death penalty. Look at the murders that happen every day, the wars.


Blogger Skeptodox said...

I agree, however the "right to suicide" has more to do with the legality of assisting suicide than of the suicide itself.

November 26, 2007 10:09 AM  
Blogger Tobie said...

Forbidding assisting suicide means that we value life- it doesn't mean that we think that life is an absolute value.

Besides, most of the people who perpetuate both the death penalty and war claim to do so in order to prevent a net loss of life. And few of the people who murder are heard to voice vehement statements about the value of life. So I'm not sure who exactly is being the hypocrite.

November 28, 2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Tobie, I wasn't talking about assisting suicide, but I am interested in understanding your point. Can you explain your first sentence?

I don't understand what "we value life" means concretely. Also I don't understand what the phrase "life is an absolute value" mean.

November 28, 2007 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irregardless, suicide is forbidden. Assisted or not. Opinions are rendered moot.


November 28, 2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


I don't understand what you mean. Forbidden by what - God, halacha, secular laws?

November 28, 2007 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think all of that. However, secular law while important is secondary. In my case I am more concerned with offending G_d. I think I blurted out forbidden because that is my gut reaction.

I know in European and North American countries my reservations are considered superstitious at best. Here in America most do not concern themselves of feel uncomfortable when people end their life.

On the books the secular laws are clear. But really what is the punishment? If you are successful then punishment is moot. If you are unsuccessful then you are held for observation for 72 hours so it’s treated as a mental disorder rather than a crime. If you are terminally sick the doctors make you as comfortable as possible until the family legally pulls the plug.

The issues are separate. There are just too many twists and turns to compare the two and charge governmental powers with being hypocritical.


November 29, 2007 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Silvana said...

Interesting to know.

November 10, 2008 3:43 PM  

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