The following post is an addendum to my "Right to Die" video , please go ahead and watch that first if you haven't already.
I know that when most people are thinking about what suicide means, they have some images in mind... images of teenagers who cut their wrists in the bathroom or empty their mom's bottle of sleeping pills. This is usually far from the reality of someone who actually intends to take their own life. Wrist cutting and medicine overdose are (very often) deliberate forms of self harm or cries for attention, rather than suicide attempts. For the people who are indeed set to do it, the methods are much more brutal and the images much more shocking. The most common ways of suicide are by firearms and hanging. Other methods include jumping from hights, throwing self in front of a train or another moving vehicle, deliberate pesticide poisoning, intentionally crashing the car, setting self on fire or throat slitting.
So where am I going with this ? I am not trying to be morbid, but to simply point out that most suicide attempts are not really "attempts". The people who truly want to kill themselves are most of the time either successful or end up mutilated. The popular image of the depressed adolescent who "tries to commit suicide" is actually describing something else : a depressed adolescent who has indeed serious issues and fakes a suicide attempt as a cry for help. Most of them do it in their own homes, which is the place they are most likely to be found, and between the hours of 4 P.M. and midnight, which is the time of the day when someone is most likely to be around. These people don't really want to die, they want to be rescued. And don't get me wrong. These kids are NOT drama whores. They DO need help and if they are desperate enough to go to these extremes, it is a clear indication that they are going through serious issues. They must not be taken as a joke or ignored!
However, the people who intend to commit suicide are a different matter. They WANT to die. They will choose a way to make sure they end up dead. And they should not have to go through that. Weather you like it or not, some people make the decision that their life is not worth living. It is not YOUR choice to make, it is not YOUR life. And you shouldn't have a saying in it. Making assisted suicide available for them is not an encouragement, but an act of mercy and compassion. To believe that legalizing this will actually make more people want to do it, simply has no basis. People, as a general rule, desire to live. This won't change just because they have an option to die pain-free.
I know that most of you reading my blog and watching my videos are from the U.S. You don't have a social health-care system there yet, so this may sound strange. But my proposal is to make assisted suicide part of the health-care plan. It would be free, same as the psychiatric evaluation and assistance (those things are already free of charge in most European countries where a good health-care system is in place).
I'm going to stop here because I will probably make a second part ... I suspect it will be necessary once the comments to my video start piling up.