Suicide

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3rdseason
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Nov 8 2004 12:21
Suicide

So according to anarchist thought and respecting everyones free will and freedom to control their own life and do to themselves what they want..

if someone had thought it over long and hard and really wanted to end their own life they should be allowed to??? or not???

neutral

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 8 2004 12:34

If its euthanasia then yes, the issue there usually arises because the person is incapacitated and unable to take there own lives. This makes euthanasia a seperate issue from sucide. I think everyone should have the right to euthanaisa.

However, Any free, well and capable person can end their own lives, you can save someone in some cases, but for the most part theres very little you can do. So I think you should try to stop these people committing sucide.

john

3rdseason
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Nov 8 2004 12:48
cantdocartwheels wrote:
So I think you should try to stop these people committing sucide.

john

Im playing devils advocate here. In real life I'd try and stop them too.. but isnt that being authoritarian??

If they're just in a bad mood or really depressed you can stop them and think they'll get over it. But what if they've been miserable for years and have wanted death all that time and have thought it through or if they'er not even depressed but just want to conclude their life and/or see if theres anything beyond it??

Im not talking about euthanasia here. Im talking straight suicide.

rebel_lion
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Nov 8 2004 13:12

I think i have pretty much the exact opposite position to cantdocartwheels: anti euthanasia, pro (assisted) suicide...

(not that i'm "pro" suicide in general, cos (unlike some deep ecologists) i think humans being alive is generally a good thing wink , but in favour of ppl having a right to it...)

The term "euthanasia" is often misleadingly used to refer to 2 very different things, euthanasia proper, ie the "mercy killing" of someone who is dying or in a coma anyway, and seems to be "brain dead" or incapable of expressing any wishes about death or life (such as the Hillsborough guy who was on "life support" for several years and finally switched off, or the baby who was in the news recently), and assisted suicide by someone who actively wishes to die but is too physically disabled to do this by him/herself, and so needs physical assistance (like the woman with the court case a couple of years ago, Diane something?). IMHO they are completely different - essentially the first is murder, and the second is suicide.

I think that if people can be said to have true autonomy over their own lives, then that must include the right to choose to end their lives (there are few choices more fundamental than the time and manner of your own death). Combined with the social model of disability and autonomy this means that if someone wants to commit suicide but needs physical assistance, then they ought to have that assistance to carry out their choice (however sad or negative their choice is, it's still their choice).

However, if someone is unconscious or unable to communicate any wish over whether they want to remain alive or die, and it's decided that medical convenience, or the wishes of their family, or whatever, mean they ought to die, then that's got at least a 50/50 chance of being murder. They might wish to die, but they might not... it's impossible to tell, kind of like Schrodinger's cat. IMO the presumption ought to be that they would prefer to live.

Good article by Thomas Szasz on suicide: http://www.szasz.com/iol18.html

(Szasz is basically a right-libertarian (he's a member of the US Libertarian Party), but his anti-psychiatrist writings have been taken up by anarchist organisations, such as Mad Pride in the UK, and i think his core principles of libertarianism stand for (at least individualist, if not all forms of communitarian) anarchism too...)

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wheresmyshoes
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Nov 8 2004 21:56

i personaly don't think its authoritarian to try to stop someone from killing themselves.i'm not talking euthanasia which i completely agree with, i'm talking straight up 'oh shit i want to die i hate my life' people who are deppressed or have been thinking long and hard about killing themselves need helping though how someone could be comtemplating suicide for many years i don't quite understand as if they had been doing this why haven't they done it already?but i can't really speak on that type of situation as i've never been in it so i can't say but thats my thoughts.

but to put it in my basic form of explanation as i like to always do, if my friend or someone i knew was going to kill themselves i'd do whatever it took to stop them from going through with it, maybe i'm lame but i think no one is a lost cause giving up on people sucks, trying to preserve someones life isn't authoritarian its basic humanity. i'm sure someone will come and say i'm wrong and that if they really want to kill themselves who am i to stop them and they'll be in more pain if they're living,well i don't think so because theres no way of telling that with a lot of help that that person might get better.i just wouldn't want to take the chance

Ghost_of_the_re...
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Nov 8 2004 23:35

Are we talking stop them killing themselves as in trying to convince them that its still worth living, or as in locking them in a small room with only crayons to write with and filling them with prozac?

I think its fairly obvious that actually physically restraining someone who no longer wants to live is wrong, as all you are doing is extending their suffering. As for talking someone down off the bridge, well, how many desicions in your life were not influenced by other people? I don't think anyone would see a friend about to kill themselves and not try in some way to stop them.

I'm not particularly against suicide, but i do feel it can be a very selfish act.

Anarch
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Nov 9 2004 00:29

rebel_lion, humans alive? What kind of deep ecologist are you tongue NO, I think that people should be able to choose to kill themselves, but I have to say that I might try and talk some one out of it if I felt that they were making the decision in a spur of the moment sort of way. I don't know if that is perfect as far as anarchsit politics, but I think it is human nature to avoid people dying if possible.

red n black star

rebel_lion
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Nov 9 2004 10:20

Of course talking people out of it is good... no one said there was anything authoritarian about rational/persuasive argument...

and of course it's human nature to not want people (unless they're the bastard that abused your kid, or authorised the war against your people, or something) to die... so i think we're agreed there...

i still don't see how an anarchist/libertarian can be in favour of euthanasia of a person who is not conscious or able to make a decision, tho... confused

(btw, i'm not a deep ecologist... that was sort of a joke... Bookchin-style social ecologist, if anything wink )

Ceannairc
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Nov 9 2004 11:30

Methinks that it's up to the person. But they should be given all encouragement to talk over their problems first with others and find a solution. They should be told what effect it would have on the people who know them and care about them. Then, if they can look friends and family in the eye and say that it's what they really want, then no-one has the right to stop them and they should be allowed a relatively quick and easy exit.

The only room for doubt is if they are actually mentally ill and imagine problems or threats which don't really exist. Then, I dunno...

bigdave
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Nov 9 2004 15:34
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though how someone could be comtemplating suicide for many years i don't quite understand as if they had been doing this why haven't they done it already?

Because evry day they find a reason not to do it. The day they can't find a reason is the day they go. For this reason I would try to stop someone committing suicide - maybe you can help them find a reason? As in the "antipsychiatry" thread, it has to be realised that the desire for suicide is often caused by just living in our insane, evil society. Their minds are so fucked about by what they are led to believe is reality conflicting with their experience of it.

bigdave
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Nov 9 2004 15:42
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fuck this thread is stupid!!

Don't you think the massively increasing rate of suicide in this country is a cause for concern or discussion? Is it because none of your heroes had anything to say about it?

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or for that matter seek to give it a political theory!

Again, the increasing madness, misery and depression caused by our system is not political?

bigdave
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Nov 9 2004 16:32
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bigdave this thread want and hasnt been about eamining increased suciced rates

So only one word answers allowed? I just thought the reason someone was considering suicide was important as it is in the "euthanasia/suicide" conflict.

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and sorry dickhead but who the fuck are my hero's?

You tell me, fannybaws.

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and may i suggest to u that ur concept of "animal conciosuness" and the other essentialist guff u spout are far from useful when trying to analyise the causes of mental illness.

Suggest what you like. I just drew some conclusions about how we are exploited/manipulated and use the term "animal consciouness" to draw parallels between elements of consciousness we share with animals. Freud described the same thing as the Ego. My point about the animal thing is to say that we are trained like you train an animal to develop an ego. The more this is left to those who want you to be selfish, greedy and ignorant (like the media controlled by the wealthy) the greater chance you'll turn out that way.

3rdseason
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Nov 9 2004 18:19

A few points...

Personally I think suicide isn't cowardly. Its gotta take a lot of guts to jump from life into the great unknown. Is it selfish? Probably yeah. The vast majority of the time.

Revol this is a prime example of you being a real twat. As bigdave said suicide is a widespread issue in this society. I found this thread interesting. If you dont like this thread why not just start one on a different topic instead of coming into a discussion and just being negative and slagging off the whole thread. We're just thinking about a serious issue.

3rdseason
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Nov 11 2004 11:53
revol68 wrote:
no 3rd season the thread wasn't about a serious issue it was a group f anarchists asking stupid 1st year Philosphcial Ethic's 101 questions! It was about whether suicide was legitimate or whether people should be stopped!

Well why didnt you fuck off and start your own thread rather than posting on this one just to slag off the topic? Or do all new threads need the "revol68 stamp of approval"??

Suicide and the ethics surrounding it was something I wanted to discuss and hear peoples views on. This is the "thought" forum so I posted it here. Not all of the topics here have to be strictly within the confines of political ideology or whatever. Its just a place to debate and think and bounce ideas off one another.

Ghost_of_the_re...
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Nov 11 2004 17:04

We all live in the same bastard world and its not difficult to see why it would be too much for some people to deal with. The thread was about people's views on the question of whether life or personal freedom should be preserved first and foremost, whic seems perfectly fair and relevant to me. Its not as if this is some kind of anarchist AGM, where the party line on the subject is to be cast in stone, its a 'general discussion', like it says at the top of the page.

Revol68's "this is what happened here, it was shit, this is what should have happened, I have spoken, act accordingly" post is clearly based on a deeply fallacious assumption that he is not at liberty to take his overblown ego and his delusions of authority and fuck off.

joy
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Nov 13 2004 17:59

to return to the question, i am thinking that theoretically you should not interfere coercively with the actions of another person, especially in such an individual decision which nobody else in the world can possibly fully understand or experience.

however, nobody either reacts totally rationally to the decision of someone else to end their life. therefore it doesnt surprise me that illogical scenarios occur; for example ive been physically dragged out of the road before by someone who took great offence to other people verbally opposing their self-harming. equally people who are attatched to someone but understand them very well can silently accept their choice, and even support them through it. it isnt likely any time soon that either suicides will decrease in number or that people will be less torn apart by their friends killing themselves. how to accept the decision of someone else to end is a difficult question.

Anonymous
Nov 13 2004 19:23

Personally I think suicide is the most extreme form of alienation and is normally only contemplated by people in a moment of despair - if we can help people to get through that, it is a good thing in my view and they usually cope afterwards (I have been involved in this kind of stuff, bringing people through). Why are so many young men (and others) taking their own lives - it is shocking and unacceptable.

3rdseason
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Nov 18 2004 03:24
joy wrote:
for example ive been physically dragged out of the road before by someone who took great offence to other people verbally opposing their self-harming.

When I was self harming frequently I got angry when someone told me not to...

People can express concern and suggest people shouldnt do it and say it upsets them all they want (my parents did lots of times) but at the end of the day I think people have a right to do it.

(please dont think Im trying to attention seek in any way, I pretty much never talk about this and Ive never told the vast majority of my friends)

Ghost_of_the_re...
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Nov 18 2004 19:45

Self harm is all very well but i don't think you should expose other people to it if you can help it. It bothers me that consensus seems to think it's a way of getting attention, there are less painful ways of doing that for a start.

3rdseason
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Nov 19 2004 12:34

Hrmm... I disagree there. I think there should be greater awareness of it. So many people do it in secret and think nobody can understand etc.

But then again its one of those things where you can have all the awareness raising in the world but people will still secretly do it. neutral

Ghost_of_the_re...
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Nov 19 2004 13:21

Precisely, it is by nature a fairly antisocial way to spend your time.

Do you know that the latest government literature on the subject actually says that people do it to get attention? This why I hate psychologists, they seem to get paid to project their prejudices onto other people under the guise of 'science'.

In the words of the specials: "You only wanted to die in order to show off"

LiveFastDiarrea
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Nov 19 2004 14:20

My mum was telling me about a documentary about people who died in prisons and one of them was a self harmer. It went along the lines of she was getting better and managed to get her own flat, and then something went wrong and she tried to burn herself, the police were called and she got done for arson and put in jail, a few days later she was dead. Insane really.

3rdseason
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Nov 19 2004 15:51
Ghost_of_the_revolution wrote:
Do you know that the latest government literature on the subject actually says that people do it to get attention?

I read about that report in the newspaper I think. I don't remember them putting it that bluntly. If they did say that then its bollocks.

Interestingly other species of animals self harm when they are distressed. Birds pluck their own feathers out and cats can scratch themselves.

3rdseason
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Nov 19 2004 16:15

Yeah I agree, some people do it for attention of course and those people still need help and support.

Yeah and drink, drugs, smoking and over-working can all be seen as a form of self harm. Altho admittedly there are significant differences.

Its a shame that people who know fuck all about it can just see it as a goth thing. Altho I also think that people who are into goth type culture and music etc. and self harm might not do it for the image. they might have had underlying issues and SH tendancies then gotten into music with lyrics they can identify with and all that.

There are really any easy answers about self harm but I think awareness is growing (along with instances maybe??)

Anonymous
Nov 19 2004 21:13

I don't understand this self-harm stuff - why would people want to do this? I still think that it is alienation and a real insult to our ability to support and protect our own people. We are obviously not able to help in the way we should. Although we should not be 'social workers' we cannot let this happen without comment (and support).

Love & peace

Joe

3rdseason
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Nov 22 2004 10:47

Yeah I used to do it all the time and I suppose Ive never really understood it fully. I suppose different people do it for different reasons. It can be some sort of defense mechanism or something. Then it can become a habit.

neutral

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Steven.
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Nov 22 2004 13:25
joehill wrote:
I don't understand this self-harm stuff - why would people want to do this? I still think that it is alienation and a real insult to our ability to support and protect our own people. We are obviously not able to help in the way we should. Although we should not be 'social workers' we cannot let this happen without comment (and support).

Love & peace

Joe

I went out with someone who did it (not a goth in the least!)

It's hard to say "why" people do it. I think it's easier to understand when you put it in terms of the fact that shitloads of people self-harm in one way or another, whether it's in terms or alcohol or drug abuse, punching walls or engaging in some other kind of self-destructive activity...

3rdseason
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Nov 22 2004 15:58

It kinda sucks a little bit that we're discussing self harm in a thread titled "suicide". One of the most common misunderstandings is that people who SH are suicidal when for the majority its a way of keeping going not a way of ending everything.

Scale Enlie
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Nov 23 2004 01:57

People whould have the freedom to end their own lives if they wish.

But if they care about the people around them they should realise that their actions affect more people than just themselves.

A girl I loved gassed herself in her car 3 months ago. She knew it would effect others... I don't think she cared.

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Scale Enlie

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Anonymous
Nov 29 2004 23:52

Then the ruling classes win. We need to support each other through these situations - like I said before it's extreme alienation.

Anonymous
Nov 30 2004 22:46

Apart from terminal illness.