November 2, 2008

Conversation III

We are told, from the time we are born, that everyone has the right to live. However, in this country at the present time, we do not have a right to die.

Of course. Assisted suicide is unethical.

But is living really a right if we have no other legal choice?


Well, to me it's like saying that we have a right to religion, but only the practice of Hinduism is allowed.

Nice paradox.


But if people didn't have the right to life, then homicide would be legal.

Homicide and suicide are close cousins with one vital difference: a homicide victim is not the one who decides upon his death.

So you're saying that a person should have the right to life and death, but only by his own choice?

I guess so.

What about abortion then?

Let's not even go into that. Maybe another day.


  1. It questions and thoughts like this that drive me crazy.

    Life itself is a big, fat contradiction.

  2. Well, to me it's like saying that we have a right to religion, but only the practice of Hinduism is allowed.

    Not true. It would be that everyone is allowed life, but only black babies can be born.

    The problem with euthanasia is that a person cannot calculate when is a good time to die. How does he know when dying would not only be accepted by his family and friends, but are in the persons selfish interests?

    We don't live in a laissez faire society, where everyone has the right to do what they want. Dying has a huge effect on other people, as yourself is proof of, so should it really be allowed?

    I'm not against euthanasia, and if 3 non associated doctors conclude that a patient has every reason to die, I think that it's his right. But I am against suicide.

  3. Well, to me it's like saying that we have a right to religion, but only the practice of Hinduism is allowed.

    Well if your making an arguement against people saying everyone is allowed to be born, but as long as their black, that's a fine paradox. But it doesn't work for suicide.

    When you die, you leave an impact on the world, as yourself is proof of. It hurts family and friends, and costs the state. We do not live in a laissez faire society, where everyone is allowed to do whatever they want, for a perfectly good reason, sometimes people need a higher authority to direct them. Suicide is one of those things. If 3 doctors who are not in any way associated conclude that a patient should be allowed to die, as they are terminal, and will die a painful death if allowed to live, then by all means, go a head. But to take your own life selfishly away from the world on a whim, is not your right, and never should be. As far as we know, we do not choose life, it just happens. So until someone proves that we do make the choice to be born, how can we claim death as a choice as well?

  4. @Jellyphish- Indeed. I've even heard a few people say that life, by definition, is a terminal illness.

    @ZoriN- Thanks for stopping by. I can't quite tell which of the comments you wanted published,they both contain good thoughts, and I guess you can delete the fluke yourself now.

    To clear things up, I endorse neither of the two views expressed in this post, nor in any of the "Conversations."

    Granted, your counter-argument embodies the thought better than mine.

    I've done quite a lot of posts about the selfish issue. I disagree your view that suicide is a selfish act, but you are free to think whatever you want to. In many cases, suicide is a extensively planned act, and people do realize that they will be leaving others behind, but the sheer pain they are in makes them decide that it is not worth it to keep existing.

    I'm not quite sure why you view doctors as a higher authority; they actually have an abnormally high suicide rate. And since this is mostly an ethics issue, I'd imagine a spiritual leader would be more effective.

    Yes, we do not choose to be born, but we CAN choose to end it from almost any moment forth. It is not only a case of choosing death, it is a case of rejecting life.

    Very good comment(s).

  5. I hadn't heard about doctors suicide rate. That is interesting. I place the judgement call in doctors because they would be able to tell if a terminal illness is untreatable, and brings great amounts of pain.

    Most religious leaders, IMHO, would disagree with euthanasia off the cuff, as most religions are against ending your life before god does it for you.

  6. The assumed reasons behind the high rate of suicide of doctors is that it is a very high-pressure job, and that the doctors have the knowledge to use and can more easily access lethal suicide methods.

  7. The higher suicide rate of doctors is entirely attributable to access to means, not to job pressure. We know this because studies show that other high-pressure jobs, like finance, don't have elevated suicide rates, but other jobs with access to means, like police & veterinarians, do.

    Why is a doctor in a better position to determine who is in a great amount of pain than the person suffering the pain himself?

    Isn't it selfish to demand that a suffering person stick around, despite desperately wanting to die? Isn't it like forcing a person to stay in a relationship with you who doesn't love you, because it will hurt you? Or forcing a person to keep a job he hates, because it will hurt his co-workers if he leaves?

  8. My opinions about the selfish question are here:

    and here:

    Generally, Sister Y, I agree.

    Also, is anyone else having trouble with the embedded comment form? I keep having to re-submit comments.