Suicide attempts should
not be illegal
If we're supposed to be free to live as
we will in this country, I can't imagine why we shouldn't be allowed to
die as we choose. It is, as you probably know, illegal to
attempt to kill yourself in this country.
Mind you, that's only to attempt to kill
yourself; there's no law that deals with what to do to you if you actually
For once in the history of Western civilization,
common sense has prevailed over the modern man's tendency to legislate
everything under the sun. I mean, it wouldn't
make much sense to haul your corpse over
to the county jail after they scrape you up from the spot where you just
completed the most beautiful swan dive of your entire
life. Sure would feel sorry for anyone
who had to share a holding cell with the remains of someone who stepped
in front of a subway train.
So why then is it illegal to attempt to
kill yourself? Why are we not supposed to have the option to take that
one-way ticket to Nirvana Central whenever we feel like it?
Why is suicide so looked down upon in
our society (unless, of course, it's done by empty-headed rock stars or
manic-depressive poets)? Why do most of the major
Western religions condemn it so vehemently?
Jeez, according to those chaps, killing
yourself gets you sent to someplace where you burn and burn and never stop;
I imagine it must be like Houston before the
invention of air conditioning. I don't
really think that an omnipotent god should punish you for snuffing yourself.
If you did so, it's likely that the life your god gave you was
sucky beyond all reckoning. You should
get a refund, not eternal damnation.
I know Oregon has instituted a "physician-assisted
suicide" law which I suppose is a step in the right direction. The more
legal something is, the more widespread its
acceptance by the population at large.
Despite the old notion that you can't legislate
morality, there's a decent percentage of the population that uses legality
to classify all of the moral questions not defined in
detail by their holy text of choice.
But there's just something about the very
idea of physician-assisted suicide that strikes me as being kinda funny.
Seriously, how difficult is it to munch
a handful or three of Valium? Do you really need a doctor to shoot yourself
in the head? Or maybe you want to go more peacefully;
your friends don't need to have gone to
med school to give you a morphine overdose, do they?
The average person's inability to do anything
independently notwithstanding, your life ought to be yours to end at your
Sure, your friends and family might beg
you not to kill yourself; the suicide of a loved one is a pretty painful
thing to deal with. Of course, if they really did love you, they'd
stop making such selfish demands and let
you do whatever it took to escape the living hell that your life has become.
Right? And considering that you never asked to be
born in the first place, it ought to be
your call as to when it's time to exit stage left.
Now, I'm not trying to advocate suicide.
Sure, the rest of us could care less if you live or die, but unless you're
doing it to escape unbearable physical pain or just cutting
to the chase with some terminal wasting
disease, suicide's typically a bad case of taking yourself way too seriously.
C'mon, you're a sexy young college student
in one of the most affluent countries in the world; how bad can things
really be for you (and please, no one write in with their
personal version of "Why Life Sucks")?