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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Another suicide follow up

I had a very moving comment to my post about the BMJ's article about search and suicide prevention.

Here it is:
Thank you for writing this article. I agree with you and believe that suicide should be a private matter and if someone wants to kill themselves they should be allowed to. Why do we force people to suffer in ways we would never allow a dog or cat suffer in. In any case they will, no matter what laws are out there and no matter how much society frowns on it. The difference is that without resources they may die painfully or fail and end up a vegetable.

I have a progressive neurological disorder. I live everyday in varying degrees of pain and have lost much of my abilities, despite taking time released pain med (because god forbid I should become addicted to my meds) because the amounts are not adequate.

Perhaps if people were able to get good pain control and the support they need they might not be looking at suicide. But many of us have little choice. I know that when my disease progresses to the point I can't take care of myself (and actually because of the laws that make it a crime to "assist" suicide, I'll have to do this before I reach that point) I am not sticking around. I refuse to end up in a nursing home where I have NO CONTROL over my own life and I will not be more of a burden to my husband then I already am. Again because of the stupid laws by these so called compassionate Christians I will be forced to die alone without my loved one who will have to establish an airtight alibi so they don't go to jail This just isn't right. I'm a disabled veteran and an adult. I should be able to end my life WHEN and HOW I want. The worst part is that you can't even talk with a mental health professional because they'll put you in the loony bin "to save you" because the only reason people kill themselves is because of depression (what a load of horse pucky). Maybe if it was safe to talk with someone people might go for help but since we know they will try and talk us out of it or will commit us we don't have that option. It would be nice to be able to talk with someone who has no stake in what is going to happen. Just to make sure you're thinking ok. But I'm rambling. Laws need to be changed so adults can make the decisions they need to make and can die at home comfortably surrounded by their loved ones. Think of how less scary death would be if children could see this natural end to life. And even adults might not have such a fear. I stayed with my father in law when he died at the hospital last year. It was peaceful and the way I'd like to go. He had his family around him, enough medications to make him comfortable and he seemed so happy to end the pain he had been in. I'd like to see laws created that would keep our rights intact and keep the government out of personal matters.
Because I lived through too many AIDS deaths I'm probably 'hardened' to these issues. I'm practical. I'm realistic. I'm not 'moral'. I knew people who topped themselves before they descended into hell/madness.

But as far as I'm concerned, yes, I didn't actually say in this article that I "believe that suicide should be a private matter and if someone wants to kill themselves they should be allowed to" (it was about search and 'suicide') but I do think that. My experience tells me that the alternatives are perverse and cruel.

Thank you to my commentator, 'Charlotte'.

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