Reply to post: Suicide is sometimes rational

MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK


Suicide is sometimes rational

Yet again the assumption behind the article, and the proposal it is reporting, fails to acknowledge that there are occasions when suicide, or assisted death, might be a genuine rational choice.

Let me start by saying that I do not in any way want to minimise the problem addressed. Some people have problems that seem out of proportion to them and need help. The reductions in finance and support of organisations that are there to help seems to me to be a cruel rejection of the caring society that most of us hope that we live in.

However, there are other aspects. The examples most often put forward usually involve people with a terminal condition whose circumstances such as extreme pain or total lack of mobility and who would like the opportunity to be able to decide they have had enough and know that their decision will be acted upon. The palaver and costs and potential liabilities involved in a trip to Dignitas should not be necessary and in any case that option is not open to all. Attempts have been made to make provision for people with a terminal date expected within 12 months and even this has been rejected by MPs.

For me even these proposals do not go far enough. We have all seen horrifying examples of people in care homes with extreme dementia, totally unable to even recognise their relatives, force fed and abused. I for one do not want to get to that state. I am happy enough now in my 70s whilst I can still walk up the village, do my shopping, cook for myself and keep the house reasonably clean. When it gets to the stage where I can no longer look after myself then I want to be able to end it easily and effectively. I totally accept that such decisions should be made whilst one is still rational; but therein lies a snag. Waiting until I am within the 12 months terminal category might be leaving it too late. I want to be able to make the decision now whilst totally compos mentis.

Those opposed to assisted dying are wanting to tell others what to do (or not do). I, on the other hand, am not wanting the right to tell others what to do; I am merely asking for the right to make a decision for myself. It is in the nature of the problem that implementing that decision might be down to someone else; but it should not be beyond us to come up with appropriate safeguards to avoid unfair pressure on vulnerable individuals.

So, to summarise, yes - there are many situations where suicide is perhaps not the right option; but there should be allowances for sane individuals to make a choice about their own continuing existence.

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