Suicide

Suicide is the act of intentional self-destruction. While most suicidal acts are selfperformed and are clearly recognized by the means employed (gun, rope, knife, etc) other acts may be judged as apparent suicides, as in some cases of drowning and falling. Undetected suicide also occurs and may be a factor, for example, in automobile accident fatalities Another kind of suicidal act involves using other people. For example, some murderers have committed their crimes in order to receive the death penalty; some criminals have asked the police to shoot them during apprehension; and many military personnel, during combat, have made solitary attacks to earn their death Beyond all these forms, psychologists indicate that there are those who subconsciously wish to die, with implications for everyone they come into contact with, and physicians attest to psychic suicides among the critically ill or very old - people who will themselves to die and actually do so. Suicidal acts may be committed during insanity, temporary insanity, or gross dysfunctioning of the mind due to disease, drugs, drug or alcohol addiction, brain damage, shock or neural depression. As such, they may be neither voluntary nor intended Thomas Aquinas views suicide as immoral because it deprives the group of resources and is an affront to its sensibilities. The obligations to other persons of a potential suicide make the act of voluntary self-destruction immoral. By killing oneself the groups one belongs to are deprived of the contributions: economic, psychological, political or religious, that one could make. Members of the group may be offended because they view suicide as immoral on other grounds. Suicide is not only an offence against self and society it is a violation of God's sovereignty. It is an inappropriate response to God's gift of live Hindu and Jain traditions view a kind of passive ascetic self destruction in which a person accepts death from hunger or starvation is often commended as heroic. Generally Buddhist traditions view passive self-destruction as a misguided way to find release, yet it is highly respected in many Mahayana traditions as compatible with the life of a saint. In east Asian traditions, self-destruction for honour or vengeance has been viewed with approval Suicide kills at least 1,110 people every day worldwide. Suicide statistics are subject to problems of faulty and incomplete record keeping, attempts at concealment and differences of definition. However, since the early 19th century it has been recognized that differences in rate between countries are too great to be explained away in terms of differential accuracy of registration. Examples are: Ireland, less than 3 per 100,000; Denmark and Hungary, over 20 per 100,000; France, Germany (West) and Sweden, between 15-20; USA, England and Wales, 10-12; Spain, Italy and Norway between 5-10; Chile, less than 3; Uruguay over 10 Suicide can occur as a result of mental illness, usually treatable; depression is by far the most common. Over half those who commit suicide were at the time or in the recent past consulting a doctor, and often a psychiatrist, although only the minority of suicidal individuals have a serious psychiatric disorder. Alcoholics and people with skin disease also contribute a disproportionately high number of suicides

Suicide often occurs when the patient seems to be recovering from an emotional crisis; approximately half occur within 90 days of such a crisis. Common motives include ill-health, domestic difficulties, and unhappy love affairs. Isolation is a risk factor. Up to 70% of people who kill themselves have given many clues and warnings, communicating their intent often to several people, and about 40% state their intent unequivocally. Most suicidal people are unhappy but not fully intent on dying; they are undecided about living or dying, and they gamble on death, leaving it to others to save them Suicide increases with increasing age and in both sexes there is a rise in the fifth and sixth decades, with a fall after 65 years. Suicide occurs proportionately among all levels of society. It does not run in families, but the larger the family, the smaller the risk of suicide. Suicides are more frequent among those who are divorced. Most suicides occur in the early morning hours and more occur on Monday and Tuesday than on any other day of the week. The spring is the season with highest incidence of suicide. Contrary to the myth, suicides do not increase over the Christmas and New Year holiday season. In fact November and December are months with the lowest suicide rates. April is the highest, perhaps when the disappointment of not living up to expectations hits the hardest. Men outnumber women by three or four times, but there is an increasing disproportion between male and female suicide rates. Over the period 1974-86, the percentage increase in the male/female suicide ratio is Scotland 75%, England/Wales 63, Australia 58, Greece 56, Northern Ireland 46, Japan 41, USA 37, Canada 35, New Zealand 26, and Italy 24. Figures for men for 1986 give, per million population: Finland 430, Austria 421, Denmark 337, Switzerland 330, France 329. For women: Denmark 199, Austria 158, Japan 149, Belgium 141, Switzerland 132 In the USA, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death and the third leading cause of death among teenagers. In 1998 over 30,000 Americans took their own lives 1. Ambulatory potential suicides may be vectors of nihilism, to whom nothing matters and by whom nothing is considered worth doing. They may be like black holes in society in which acts of interest, love and help can often disappear without a trace. Social apathy, political indifference and, in general, a torpid personality and will, may be characteristics of what Freud called the mortido, a kind of death-wish or destructive force in man's nature 2. Suicide is always as morally objectionable as murder. The Church's tradition has always rejected it as a gravely evil choice. Even though a certain psychological, cultural and social conditioning may induce a person to carry out an action which so radically contradicts the innate inclination to life, thus lessening or removing subjective responsibility, suicide, when viewed objectively, is a gravely immoral act. In fact, it involves the rejection of love of self and the renunciation of the obligation of justice and charity towards one's neighbour, towards the communities to which one belongs, and towards society as a whole. (Papal Encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, 25 March 1995) Suicide is a rare act which, in order to qualify as voluntary and consciously intended, must be free of any constraint or force. In this sense the suicide, who is supposed to be morally responsible for his act, must not only by in perfectly sound mind and body, but must be free from

callous societies are their murderers Rapid and dramatic developments in medicine and technology have given us the power to save more lives than was ever possible in the past. Whether or not we as a society should pass laws sanctioning "assisted suicide" has generated intense moral controversy. A society committed to preserving and protecting life should not commission people to destroy it. As medicine struggles to pull more and more people away from the edge of death. and deterioration. Those who oppose any measures permitting assisted suicide argue that society has a moral duty to protect and to preserve all life. For most people. Lying in our hospitals today are people afflicted with excruciatingly painful and terminal conditions and diseases that have left them permanently incapable of functioning in any dignified human fashion. From this point of view. the world's figures concerning so called suicides are in reality statistics of victims. whose degenerating conditions cannot be reversed. the death of anyone whose life we deem worthless or undesirable? What will keep the inconvenienced relatives of a patient from . entitled the Humane and Dignified Death Act. it is cruel and inhumane to refuse their pleas. When such people beg for a merciful end to their pain and indignity. the right to end one's life is a right they can easily exercise But there are many who want to die. And. deteriorated lives be mercifully ended grows louder and more frequent. Despair. handicap. When such people ask for assistance in exercising their right to die.any motive. Supporters of legislation legalizing assisted suicide claim that all persons have a moral right to choose freely what they will do with their lives as long as they inflict no harm on others. Furthermore. the plea that tortured. medical technology has given us the power to sustain the lives (or. but whose disease. pursuant to properly executed legal documents. their wishes should be respected. what will keep us from "assisting in" and perhaps actively urging. prolong the deaths) of patients whose physical and mental capabilities cannot be restored. loneliness and selfish. Compassion demands that we comply and cooperate. To allow people to assist others in destroying their lives violates a fundamental duty we have to respect human life. If assisted suicide is allowed on the basis of mercy or compassion. some would say. and whose pain cannot be eliminated. or condition renders them unable to end their lives in a dignified manner. but assisting in suicide is. it is argued. however. laws that sanction assisted suicide inevitably will pose such a threat. This right of free choice includes the right to end one's life when we choose. Medicine has put at our disposal the means to cure or to reduce the suffering of people afflicted with diseases that were once fatal or painful. At the same time. Californians are now being asked to support an initiative. we ourselves have an obligation to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings and to respect their dignity. They can only look forward to lives filled with yet more suffering. opponents of assisted suicide claim that society has a duty to oppose legislation that poses a threat to the lives of innocent persons. Under present law. suicide is not a crime. They are in part victims of disease and in part victims of their fellow man. degradation. that would allow a physician to end the life of a terminally ill patient upon the request of the patient. Further.

but. The case for assisted suicide is a powerful one--appealing to our capacity for compassion and an obligation to support individual choice and self determination. . but because they are depressed. A study of terminally ill patients published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in 1986 concluded: The striking feature of [our] results is that all of the patients who had either desired premature death or contemplated suicide were judged to be suffering from clinical depressive illness. once having signed a request to die. the case against assisted suicide is also powerful for it speaks to us of a fundamental reverence for life and the risk of hurling down a slippery slope toward a diminished respect for life. rather than the terminal illness itself. where will we stop? When we devalue one life. once we accept that only life of a certain quality is worth living. the number suffering from depression reaches almost 90%[3]. because of their conditions. But. In order to satisfy the desires of a patient wanting to die. With legislation in the offing. we devalue all lives. although they have moved far beyond that category. Doctors and nurses might find themselves "pressured" to cooperate in a patient's suicide. Who will speak for the severely handicapped infant or the senile woman? Finally. 1) treatable depression. are unable to make their wishes known? And.persuading him or her to "voluntarily" ask for death? What will become of people who. it is argued that sanctioning assisted suicide would violate the rights of others. if assisting suicide is legalized. as this article will demonstrate. many terminally ill patients will be led to feel they are burdens and have a duty to die. usually accounts for such a patient's expression of a wish to die. and 3) given growing pressures to contain medical costs and prevailing social attitudes. Most terminal patients seek suicide not because they are ill. a valuable process that is cut short by acceding to a depression-induced request for assistance in suicide. it's unjust to demand that others go against their own deeply held convictions. USA Today has reported that among older people suffering from terminal illnesses who attempt suicide. But. we're compelled to choose which values are most important and to cast our vote. a person normally goes through a series of stages of coming to terms with impending death and resolving unfinished business in his or her life. 2) after a diagnosis of terminal illness. later change their minds. Proponents of physician-assisted suicide frequently begin by advocating its legalization for those who are terminally ill. that is. none of those patients who did not have clinical depression had thoughts of suicide or wished that death would come early[2].

Suicidologist Dr. And despite their compassionate motives. she indicated that her experience over the past 20 years tells her that suicide is wrong for patients with terminal illness. ." said at a court appearance that he considers anyone with a disabling disease who is not depressed "abnormal.[7] Competent and compassionate counseling. Lots of my dying patients say they grow in bounds and leaps. and finish all the unfinished business. depression. Especially for those who are terminally ill. anger. [But assisting a suicide is] cheating them of these lessons. the notorious "suicide doctor. That's not love. psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the 5 stages of the dying process -. bargaining. says. Many consider suicide primarily because they are pressured into seeing themselves as burdens on their families or society. former President of the American Association of Suicidology."[6] Indeed. and only irrational prejudices prevent the greater resort to such measures. Since that time. overcome by depression . it is not good to circumvent the dying process. are the caring and appropriate response to people with terminal illness who express a wish to die.[8] This "unfinished business" of considering the ultimate meaning of one's life."[4] But what Kevorkian and others who argue in favor of physician-assisted suicide ignore is that even though the disease itself may be untreatable. And psychologist Joseph Richman. together with appropriate medical and psychological care.This fact is not really in dispute. give up too soon in the process and kill themselves. Kubler-Ross has worked with thousands of dying patients and their families to help them deal with the dying process. Clark notes that depressive episodes in the seriously ill "are not less responsive to medication"[5] than depression in others. of coming to a final recognition and appreciation of all the good things that have been a part of one's life. and it is the depression. it's projecting your own unfinished business. which makes such persons suicidal.denial. David C. In a recent interview. the depression is treatable. of resolving old disputes and mending relationships. and acceptance. the suicide rate in persons with terminal illness is only between 2% and 4%. In 1969. like taking a student out of school before final exams. Even Jack Kevorkian. not the disease. those healthy bystanders who encourage or even assist in these suicides are in fact helping to steal the last precious moments of these patients' lives. "[E]ffective psychotherapeutic treatment is possible with the terminally ill. are all short-circuited by those who. Dr.

" originating in ancient Greece. "unproductive" consumers of medical services are increasingly made to see themselves as drains on society and the economy. centuries." and not the fear of being "dependent of machines." A. It is entirely ethical for terminal patients to reject these means that may simply prolong the dying process. if assisting suicide for those with terminal illness is legalized. Thus." Those practicing medicine recognize that while they have the noble goal of curing illness. .The principal reason people in a 1991 Boston Globe survey said they would consider some option to end their lives if they had "an incurable illness with a great deal of physical pain" was not the pain." "extraordinary" or "disproportional. that healthcare practitioners have the moral responsibility of providing "care" for their patient Assisted suicide can never be seen as a legitimate form of "care. When suicide is promoted as a socially acceptable "option. 4." but rather that they "don't want to be a burden" to their families[9]. Assisting in a suicide is not a "medical intervention. It clearly states that doctors are committed first and foremost when practicing their art to "primum non nocere" or "to do no harm. Family members who support the suicide of a terminally ill patient often unwittingly reinforce the notion that the ill family member's life has lost all meaning and value and is nothing but a "burden. the socalled "right to die" is very likely in practice to become a "duty to die. The "Hippocratic Oath. 3. Killing a person should never be seen as the moral equivalent of killing the pain." In an era of concern over escalating medical costs. This would include a right to be free from pain and a right to be accorded the dignity every person enjoys as a person. THE ETHICS OF ASSISTED SUICIDE: A NATURAL LAW ANALYSIS Assisted suicide has generally been considered unethical within human communities throughout history. there eventually will come the time when a "cure" is no longer possible. was taken by doctors for 2. not the "restricted lifestyle." the pressure to avail oneself of it is immense." Helping people to kill themselves cannot be construed as anything other than "doing harm" to them and a violation of the physician's oath." A person's right to liberty in the medical context involves a right to "care for one's physical life" until the moment of natural death. A right to a "natural death" means that a person also has a right to be protected from any medical procedures that are determined to be "heroic. 5. 1." This would mean that all terminal patients have the right to decide which medical procedures they wish to forego-and forgo those in which the burden of the treatment is not proportional to any benefit they may possibly occur. It is at that time.

Experts will agree that modern medicine has more than enough resources at its disposal to prevent the kind of pain that is often cited as a primary reason why a terminally ill patient would call for assistance in dying. which are protecting the person from pain and providing for their dignity. When societies truly embrace those who are dying with dignified care. Hospice care should include proper pain relief and the kind of dignified care that allows a terminal patient to live with as much autonomy as possible until the moment of natural death. Assisted suicide is an attack on the person and fails to address the real issues. B. It does not provide for a natural death. The founding documents of the United States make it clear that government has the duty of protecting every citizen's "inalienable" right to "life. liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It would be clear that any law that legalized assisted suicide would make a government complicit in an act that deprived a citizen of the right to life.  Health care dollars for care of seniors are diverted  " Heath care research dollars addressing senior health concerns are lessened. It can lead society down a very slippery slope. and protect their citizens' right to unnecessary and disproportional interventions. All terminal patients have the ethical right to demand any and all pain medication that is necessary to ensure their comfort.6." 7. to providing and even encouraging their premature death. they avoid the evil of assisted suicide and provide for all the goods sought by those who believe that assisted suicide is necessary.  Hospice care and the right to a dignified and pain free natural death are substituted by a societal option that encourages and is even complicit in killing."  Governments move from protecting a citizen's right to life. CATHOLIC MORAL CONCERNS: . Specifically in the US context: 9. Assisted suicide has consistently been evaluated by medical ethicists as immoral for the following reasons: a. b. even if such medications may compromise their life span. 8.  Medical care is no longer seen as right for all citizens but only for the young and healthy  The medical community is involved is "life-taking" rather than "life-caring. Medical ethicists and social communities generally agree that when society provides for and encourages "advance directives" as well as adequate hospice care there is no necessity for assisted suicide. as long as the intention of the medication is to "kill the pain" not to "kill the patient. Such a law would also make the medical community complicit in an act contradictory to the very notion of a healing art.

2. especially life of the most vulnerable: the sick. 5. Physicians are to use all knowledge. alleviate suffering. All life comes from God. However. disabled. The patient-physician trusting relationship is the . Duty and Role of Physicians Physicians have the duty to safeguard human life. Physical life is a basic. caring and commitment. and to uphold the time-honored values of our profession. elderly. Medicine and physicians are not to intentionally cause death. the church does not demand that one's faith call them to accept physical suffering as inevitable. skills and compassion in caring for and supporting the patient. including optimal pain management and the recognition and treatment of depression. poor. We encourage physicians to: heal the patient. Pain relief is a moral right as is a natural death. but not absolute good. educate health professionals and the public about the dangers of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. 2004 1. realizing that they are fundamentally incompatible with our role as healer. We encourage state of the art care for dying patients. many physicians in Oregon organized themselves into an organization called Physicians for Compassionate Care. We collaborate with other organizations to promote our mission.1. but they belong to God. chronic and terminal illness with honesty. We affirm that physicians' roles are to heal illness. avoid unnecessary therapies that will unduly prolong the dying process. but also always intrinsically evil and contrary to the church's moral teaching. As members of this organization we affirm an ethic that all human life is inherently valuable. 4. enhance support for patients who cannot be healed. 6. 3. We work to ensure appropriate care for our patients. to speak out for the inherent value of human life. We work to update health professionals on current pain management technology and palliative care for clinical use to help confront the challenges of serious. Catholic morality ensures both the right to a "natural death" and the right to be protected from any therapy that simply prolongs the dying process. and provide comfort for the sick and dying. WHY PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE IS WRONG AND DANGEROUS February 25. and those whom society may consider the most unproductive and burdensome. 2. Origin and Principles of Physicians for Compassionate Care When the voters of Oregon approved the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in 1994. ethnic minorities. We are stewards of our lives. Suicide and assisted suicide are then not only unnecessary. Physical death is not something that should then be avoided by all means possible when it is clear that death is near and inevitable.

5. Legalization of physician-assisted suicide takes away from terminally ill patients. Physician-assisted suicide is really doctor-ordered. I don't value you or your life. a doctor writes a prescription for lethal drugs. I want you dead. I direct you to die. you are better of dead. Assisted suicide is the ultimate abandonment of a patient by a doctor. by lethal injection or other means. unless you are a physician in Oregon and assisting a terminally ill patient to commit suicide. it is a very serious crime to assist another person in their suicide. The proponents of physicianassisted suicide want to change that criminal designation. the protection against doctors who order their death by a prescription for deadly drugs. is not on pain management. doctor prescribed. The Assisted Suicide Movement In the United States. Assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the doctor's role as healer. in not on palliative care. comforter and consoler. Euthanasia: Active causation of death of a patient by a physician. There is a constitutional right to consent to consent to and refuse medical treatment. or doctor-directed suicide. Physician-assisted Suicide is Doctor Ordered Suicide A prescription is a written order or directive to the patient. They desire that physician-assisted suicide be legal in the entire United States. Definitions of Physician-assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Physician-assisted suicide: A patient self-administers the lethal dose that has been prescribed by a physician. 3. When a doctor writes a prescription for physician-assisted suicide. the message to the patient is: your life is not worth living. Those who desire a "right to die" are giving to doctors the "power to kill". Those who ask for a "right to die" have to give someone else the "power to kill". 7. Who gets the Rights and Protection with Assisted Suicide? The legalization of physician-assisted suicide does not give any new rights to patients. The focus of this movement: is not on comfort care. What About Concern about Not Wanting to be on Life-Support Technology? Being on or off life-support life support has nothing to do with physicianassisted suicide. Morphine-like drugs are not being used for this purpose. 6. In The Netherlands and in Oregon barbiturates (sleeping pills) are being prescribed for this purpose. 4. You cannot be forced to be on life-support . They are working to change state and national laws for that purpose. Their focus is to make physician-assisted suicide legal. I order you to die.most important asset of physicians and is for the protection of patients. In physicianassisted suicide. Its purpose is to legally protect doctors who write prescriptions for lethal drugs.

Physician-assisted Suicide Destroys the Trust between Patient and Doctor The following is a personal story of Dr.machine. The doctors you don't trust to take care of you are going to be given the legal power to kill you. For three years my wife had been suffering from advancing malignant lymphoma. 10. There is a direct relationship between depression and favoring physician-assisted suicide. What about Cancer and Pain? There is an inverse relationship between cancer patients experience with pain and their favoring assisted suicide." He did not say it was for her to hasten her death. Patients with pain want doctors to kill the pain. She had received extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. "We had been married for 18 years and had 6 children. jury and executioner of their lives. not kill the patient.D. The proponents of assisted suicide acknowledge that pain is not an important reason for legalizing assisted suicide. M. Relationship of Depression and Physician-assisted Suicide Depression is the leading cause of suicide. not on killing them. It had spread from the lymph nodes to her brain. her physician said. As we were about to leave his office. we met again with her physician to review what more could be done. is that doctors can do a better job of killing patients than they can of caring for their medical needs. My patients have told me that they worry that the doctors will be the judge. Depression needs to be diagnosed and properly treated with counseling and medications. Stopping life-support is very different than physician-assisted suicide. only a small minority of patients dying of assisted suicide chose it because of fear of pain in the future. Depression is frequently overlooked in patients with serious physical illness. People with cancer are less in favor or assisted suicide than is the general public. In Oregon. This was not because they were having pain. she said. I could write a prescription for an 'extra large' amount of pain medication for you. 8. We should focus on improving the care of patients. but she and I both felt his intended message. 9. 1982. antidepressants and other supportive measures. "He wants me to kill myself. We declined the prescription. She required considerable pain medication." She and I were devastated. to her spinal cord and to her bones. Kenneth Stevens. "Well. It was obvious that there was no further treatment that would halt the cancer's progressive nature. As I helped her to our car. We knew that was the intent of his words. The message that the proponents of assisted suicide are giving to the public and to patients. How could her trusted physician subtly suggest to her that she take her own life with lethal drugs? We had . In late May.

hallucinations. assisted suicide poses the greatest risk to those who are poor. acute schizophrenia. "The state has stopped paying for my pain meds because of the Medicaid cutbacks. seizures may occur. requesting "assisted suicide". assisted suicide or caring for a patient? A newspaper report in 1998. members of a minority group. That is why they . Patients with HIV/AIDS lost funding for their medications. How Do People Die with Assisted Suicide? Assisted suicide deaths are a result of acute barbiturate poisoning. with a total duration of 3 to 4 hours. The normal duration of action of barbiturates is to have the onset of action in 10 to 15 minutes. or permanent brain damage. possibly death. nightmares.felt much discouragement during the prior three years. but not the deep despair that we felt at that time when her physician. Money and Physician-Assisted Suicide Derek Humphry. elderly. founder of End of Life Choices. Loss of mental-illness medications resulted in suicides. her trusted physician. has said that assisted suicide can help solve the problems of health care costs. The symptoms of acute barbiturate poisoning are: face reddened. coma. with dignity and at ease in her bed. anxiety or abnormal thinking. Loss of anti-seizure medications resulted in a patient going into a million dollar coma before his recent death. He said. the following may occur: recover completely. then ashy pale. then blue. This resulted in many serious medical problems and even deaths. subtly suggested that suicide should be considered. 12. Physician-assisted suicide does destroy trust between patient and physician. What is cheaper for HMOs or Medicaid programs. If the person does not die. loss of cough reflex." "If they won't pay for my pain meds. agitation. Half of Oregon doctors in 2003 will no longer take care of Oregon Medicaid patients. Significant state budget deficits stopped benefits for many Oregonians in the state's Medically Needy Program in 2003. Parkinsonism. His subtle message to her was. dementia. without the suggested lethal drugs. 11. or without access to good medical matter. "Your life is no longer of value. indicated that two assisted suicides paid for by Oregon Medicaid cost $99 for both of them. hallucinations for weeks. The typical drugs are Seconal or Nembutal. naturally. fluid collects in throat." Six days later she died peacefully. Patients needing organ-transplants were taken off the transplant list because would not receive state financial support for anti-rejection drugs. then they might as well pay for my suicide. respiratory failure with slowed breathing. 2003. Oregon has been in an economic and medical crisis. Patients lost funding for their pain medications. gurgling with breathing. ninety to one hundred 100-mgm capsules." With the social and financial inequality in our society. He said he had an 11-year history of chronic pain. One of the physicians in our organization received a call from a patient in March. you are better off dead.

In The Netherlands which is much more open in their reporting regarding assisted suicide than is Oregon. patients and families "doctor-shopping" until they find a doctor who will write a prescription. This is why these "safeguards" . The Oregon state Health Department obtains very limited information regarding how these patients die. selfadministration. This raises the question of actually how are these patients dying. patients with swallowing problems requiring assistance in taking the medication (not self-administered). Based on "autonomy" arguments. 37 hours in 2001. physicianassisted suicide resulted in complications in 7%. 26 hours in 1999. since they are living beyond the duration of action of the barbiturates. "Safeguards" were placed in Oregon's assisted suicide law because assisted suicide is dangerous. reports in the public press have described that among those who have died from assisted suicide there are: patients who are depressed. failure in completion of the suicide in 16%. The stated "safeguards" include: being capable. coercive family members. and he had only a two-month suspension of his medical license. The Oregon assisted suicide law actually prohibits investigation of many details of the deaths. he was not prosecuted. The longest time from ingestion of the barbiturates to the time of death was: 11 ½ hours in 1998. patients living as long as a year after being determined eligible. patients who are demented. 14. A doctor in Oregon unlawfully ordered a lethal injection for a patient. The Conflict of Autonomy and Assisted Suicide "Safeguards" The assisted suicide movement exploits autonomy and self-determination as their main argument for the legalization of assisted suicide. The Oregon physician-assisted suicide reporting information indicates that for each year from 1998 to 2002. Yet. 13. not being depressed. many patients have lived far beyond the usual duration of the barbiturates. those outside the boundaries want access to assisted suicide. Assisted Suicide "Safeguards" in Oregon are not being Followed "Safeguards" were included in the Oregon physician-assisted suicide law because of the dangers of assisted suicide. doctors being coerced/intimidated into writing the lethal prescription. and 14 hours in 2002. no coercion. and lethal injection used in 20% of patients. we are dependent on self-reporting from physicians involved in assisted suicide. 6+ hours in 2000. Are other devices such as suffocation bags being used in some patients? In Oregon. and life expectancy of less than 6 months. This would lead to lethal injections.are called short-acting barbiturates. The problem with "safeguards" in physician-assisted suicide laws is that they act as a "barriers or roadblocks" for access for those outside the boundaries of the "safeguards". A Deputy Oregon State Attorney General wrote that Oregon's assisted suicide law may discriminate against those who are paralyzed and can't swallow.

In this and most other civilized countries.are not always being followed. the argument against this is that while emotional pain may seem transitory to most people. any choice that one might make that would deprive one of the ability to make further choices should be prevented. neither enforced by law nor by opinion. an engagement by which a person should sell himself. for Mill. emotional pain. A common adage in the discourse surrounding suicide prevention sums up this view: "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. even through counseling or lifestyle change. is apparent. One popular argument is that many of the reasons for committing suicide – such as depression. In describing reasons for assisted suicide. or economic hardship – are transitory and can be ameliorated by therapy and through making changes to some aspects of one's life. and why the boundaries around assisted suicide have stretched and will continue to stretch like a rubber band. as a slave. depending upon the severity of the affliction and the person's ability to cope with their pain. The nature of unbounded autonomy ultimately leads to loss of autonomy. in the future assisted suicide and euthanasia may be the only "choice" for some people. 15. Concerning these matters. by playing on the "horror of dependency" for those with serious illness. The Arguments in Favor of Assisted Suicide are Harmful to People with Disabilities. for example. in his influential essay "On Liberty". There have been many philosophical arguments made that contend that suicide is immoral and unethical. and is very clearly seen in this extreme . but it is sometimes considered a sufficient reason for releasing them from an engagement. in other cases it may be extremely difficult or even impossible to resolve. lifelong mental illness. Mill writes in "On Liberty" Not only persons are not held to engagements which violate the rights of third parties. The ground for thus limiting his power of voluntarily disposing of his own lot in life. that since the sine qua non of liberty is the power of the individual to make choices. Thus. or allow himself to be sold. Assisted suicide advocates de-value those who have disabilities.[1] Classical Liberalism John Stuart Mill argued. would be null and void. People with disabilities have expressed fear that they may become the next targets of the assistedsuicide movement. and in many cases it is. that it is injurious to themselves. the proponents of assisted suicide demean and demonize people with disabilities." However. selling oneself into slavery or killing oneself should be prevented in order to avoid precluding the ability to make further choices. Examples of this are incurable disease or severe.

It is not freedom. Kant argues that choosing to commit suicide entails considering oneself as a means to an end. or at the least endurable. but must in all actions always be considered as an end in himself. which is considered an honorable way to redeem oneself for transgressions or personal defeats. It was generally seen as a right only permitted to the samurai class. in his own case.[citation needed] . unless for the sake of others. and his good is on the whole best provided for by allowing him to take his own means of pursuing it. with a person's voluntary acts. is such that every man has "a right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. civilian criminals would thus not have this 'honor' and be executed. His voluntary choice is evidence that what he so chooses is desirable. But by selling himself for a slave. Hobbes claims in his Leviathan that natural law forbids every man "to do. and claims that one is ethically required to consider whether one would be willing to universalise the act: to claim everyone should behave that way. he abdicates his liberty. he says. The principle of freedom cannot require that he should be free not to be free. according to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He therefore defeats. He is no longer free.." Breaking this natural law is irrational and immoral. In accordance with the second formulation of his categorical imperative. Honor Japan has a form of suicide called seppuku. [edit] Social contract The social contract. that would be afforded by his voluntarily remaining in it. He uses the example of a man about to cross a broken bridge: we can forcibly stop that person and warn him of the danger. beyond that single act. Mill believes the individual to be the best guardian of their own interests. must not be used ". The reason for not interfering." Hobbes and Locke reject the right of individuals to take their own life. that which is destructive of his life. Yet at the same time. This reflects a view of suicide as brave and correct rather than cowardly and wrong. but is thenceforth in a position which has no longer the presumption in its favor.merely as means. he forgoes any future use of it. Kant argues that. Hobbes also states that it is intuitively rational for men to want felicity and to fear death most. "He who contemplates suicide should ask himself whether his action can be consistent with the idea of humanity as an end in itself. is consideration for his liberty.. or take away the means of preserving the same. It was widely accepted in the days of the Samurai and even before that." Therefore. [edit] Deontology Immanuel Kant argues against suicide in Fundamental Principles of The Metaphysic of Morals. the very purpose which is the justification of allowing him to dispose of himself. to him.case. to be allowed to alienate his freedom. but ultimately should not prevent him from crossing the bridge—for only he knows the worth of his life balanced against the danger of crossing the bridge." Kant's theory looks at the act only. which he rejects: a person. it is unethical to commit suicide to satisfy oneself. and not at its outcomes and consequences.

Hume argues that suicide is no more a rebellion against God than is saving the life of someone who would otherwise die. Hume claims that suicide can be compared to retiring from society and becoming a total recluse. an example might be a person with a painful terminal illness. In cases such as these. owing to circumstances outside of a person's control. Leonard Peikoff states in his book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand: Suicide is justified when man's life." . It was widely accepted in the days of the Samurai and even before that. is no longer possible. although the comparison would not seem to justify a suicide that leaves in its wake children or dependents who are thereby rendered vulnerable. This reflects a view of suicide as brave and correct rather than cowardly and wrong. such as incurable disease and old age. which is not normally considered to be immoral. It was generally seen as a right only permitted to the samurai class.Honor Japan has a form of suicide called seppuku.[citation needed] [edit] Other arguments David Hume left an essay on suicide to be published after his death. suicide. Though the death of a depressed person ends their sadness. which is considered an honorable way to redeem oneself for transgressions or personal defeats. As for duty to self. including suicide. it may very well be their tragic reaffirmation. people who face irreversible suffering should not be forced to continue suffering. or a prisoner in a concentration camp who sees no chance of escape. though he also thinks it ridiculous that anyone would consider suicide unless they first considered every other option. the person's family and friends may grieve. and acknowledge that all things are equally meaningless. or an argument against. suicide is not necessarily a philosophic rejection of life or of reality. Hume takes it to be obvious that there can be times when suicide is desirable. civilian criminals would thus not have this 'honor' and be executed. He spends much less time dismissing arguments that it is an affront to one's duty to others or to oneself.[citation needed] [edit] Utilitarianism Utilitarianism can be used as a justification for. Those who support the right to die argue that suicide is acceptable under certain circumstances.[4] Most of it is concerned with the claim that suicide is an affront to God. or changing the position of anything in the one's surroundings.[citation needed] [edit] Nihilism Nihilist thinkers reject this emphasis on the power of the individual to create meaning. The idea is that although life is in general a good. I will not accept a living death as a substitute. On the contrary. Self-destruction in such contexts may amount to the tortured cry: "Man's life means so much to me that I will not settle for anything less.

and other loved ones. 5. The illness may even resolve itself.whether age three or twenty-three -. For children -. Indeed. 3. You need to be here to benefit. the survivors will be haunted by "Why?" We cannot inflict that kind of pain on others. They cannot ever truly recover from such a loss. 2.people you'll appreciate. or next year. You can help. These might include a grandchild. a delightful neighbor. There is much room for hope. You can generously give to those who are still struggling. a special friend. and love. 6. an intimate soulmate. It has happened to others -.the suicide of a parent is a blacker-than-black tragedy.Bioethicist Jacob Appel has criticized "arbitrary" ethical systems that allow patients to refuse care when they are physically ill. Each individual can look forward to mastering new coping skills in order to improve his or her life with illness. a long-distance pal. New and better treatments may be found next week. you can throw yourself into learning such skills. Suicide is too horrible a legacy to inflict upon your family. while denying the mentally ill the right to suicide. Suicide leaves deep canyons of pain. cherish.many of whom also experienced periods of despair and hopelessness in the midst of life-wrenching sickness. a . a friend's. The symptoms may improve. You have much to offer. a lover. You can seek help. There are new people yet to enter your life -. limits.[5][6] 25 Reasons to Avoid Suicide ©Susan Dion 1.in spite of awful symptoms. There are always new and better ways to learn to live with the losses. Your experiences in learning to successfully live with illness may assist others in similarly mastering such approaches. Each and every day. You'll want to be the beneficiary of such gains. and chaos for each person touched. sorrow. 4. You can consciously choose to live better and smarter . and pain imposed by sickness. an unexpected child (your own. friends. next month.

and prayer all contribute to a successful battle over depression. more creative pursuits. more garden tomatoes. Each human being has a multitude of gifts to share with the world. one sees the momentum for further significant advances.sibling's. other patients. 7. You've got to be there to do so -. It does not help others to learn about the illness. Suicide kills. perhaps some travel. friends. 9. counseling. 8. . pets. These volunteers are absolutely essential to finding cause and cure. more. a stranger at the bus stop." 12. This is true even when we're uncertain as to our purpose and abilities at any given time. The value cannot be overstated. more friendships. larger family. more books. 11. We must repeat to ourselves and others: "Suicide is not an option. Suicide is not an option. you can encourage others to participate. Many. There is light at the end of the darkest tunnel. Time. and patience.even when one is paralyzed from the neck down and a respirator is required to breathe. Each person is valuable. They've gone on to live and love. or severely restricted. finding the causes will lead to a cure.with courage. and more. medications. grandchildren.regardless if it is next week or ten years from today. You may be needed to offer a crucial piece of advice to a loved one or a friend facing a crisis. You may contribute to significant medical research by volunteering to participate in scientific studies. A cause or causes for the illness may be uncovered sometime in the near future. As different pieces of the puzzle are put in place by researchers. . more. We're all in this together. Suicide does not promote advocacy or activism. or one you tutor). There is life with sickness . more food. There is so much more to enjoy: more sunsets and sunrises. . Suicide is not an option. more films. it is treatable. or bedbound. And. partner. more. You want to be there for them. If you're unable to do so or if you don't fit the research criteria. support. It will come . It is one of life's great magical mysteries to welcome new people into our lives. Your innate curiosity requires that you find the answers. self-love. more . persistence. and more. 13. Depression can be overcome. Each individual is filled with promise. This is true even when one is homebound. still yet unknown companions. children. You'll be needed to sustain others: your parents. 10. lifechanging illness and disruptive pain. Suicide is not an option. 14. 15. While it is a common response to debilitating. many people have made it through the darkest depths of depression.

You would seek assistance and intervention from professionals.16.") 23. 22. despicable illness.despite the rotten. Suicide lays waste to the value. Scott Peck's book. lack of a cure. and failures by others. (Read M. lengthy illness to give up and die. There are many. suicide is the decision of one individual.in whatever ways are open to me. 21. 19. 17.S. We all are a part of many stories. You'd compassionately urge your loved one to value his or her self -. I want to be around to observe. You would not counsel a loved one living with a difficult. to the nation? What will be discovered about our illness and other poorly-understood medical problems? Will Liam Neeson and Will Smith still be making movies? Will I be symptomfree? Will the Phillies make it to another World Series? Will I be able to be more physically active? Will we finally elect a woman as President of the U. It confuses the public. promise. Forever. It does not aid anyone. If that individual were ill with CFS or FM. "A Bed By The Window. We need to do a better job acknowledging and receiving help for depression in its earliest stages. It cannot be blamed on insensitive doctors. There is much more laughter to embrace. debilitating illness. life-affirming manner in which you would counsel another. What will happen by 2001 or 2015 -. There are more smiles yet to enjoy. While all of these things may exacerbate emotional lows. that person would never ever choose suicide. Living on offers so many possibilities.? Will I have less oppressive daily "flu" symptoms? Will my children have children? Will parts of California be lost under the sea? Will I be able to resume gainful employment? Will UConn continue to foster powerhouse women's and men's basketball teams? I want to know how zillions of stories unfold. Do not confuse living with doing. reflect. 20.to family and friends. A rich life is possible even in the midst of dismal symptoms.R. *** Counsel yourself in the same loving. More importantly. You would not tell a person living with CFS or FM that she or he is of no value and therefore is not worthy of living. unsupportive friends. Suicide is the result of lousy judgment rooted in depression and pain. to the neighborhood. 18. You'd recount how you and others have made it beyond the darkness. Suicide hurts everyone. You wouldn't pick up the phone and solicit help from "Dr. Suicide is bad P. It would be incomprehensible. No. Death" just because a person faces depression while suffering with a painful. but not suffering from depression. . Life is also be-ing. You would fight relentlessly to have the person find a ray of hope. and gifts one has to share. There are so many angles of life to watch unfold. and participate . We need to help each other. many stories-in-progress (including our own) to follow.

lost. Friends or family members may grow so despondent that they. if only you were not here. The Impact of Suicide Please take a moment and think about the following before you hurt yourself. Find strength and inspiration in the stories of so many severely disabled persons who courageously pursue life's challenges and joys. Think about the situation in grisly fact. social. It means that some part of you is reaching out for life. It is wrong to judge a person as "unfit" to live because of horrific. You do not get a second chance. You will not be able to say. Do not ignore it. clergyman. Your life depends on it. unhappy. or scared. If You are Feeling Suicidal If you are thinking about killing yourself. moral and emotional impact than most people ever realize. Call 1-800SUICIDE in the United States for 24 hour counseling help. Someone will have to find your body. It is not wrong to have fleeting thoughts that things would be so much easier. such as laying in front of a car or train or forcing a police officer to kill you. painful illnesses. take their own lives. They will blame themselves. It is not wrong to feel depressed." Another is a dog tag which requests that "no expense be spared" to keep you alive. You do not get to wake up. These people will suffer forever in guilt. It is terminal." There is no turning back. parent or counselor. While it is normal to have suicidal thoughts. They will bear this in their memory for the rest of their lives. There may also be a crisis hotline . ugly. knowing that you are in pain and wishing that they could help you. There may be people standing on the sidelines. I want to stay. The philosophical and political slants are readily apparent. Get angry. Disability rights activists have several slogans. It is not wrong to feel paralyzed in a bad situation or hopeless about the future.24. Tell a trusted friend. Suicide ends life. Most newspapers will not even mention your name after death by suicide. 25. know that these people will bear the brunt of the emotional turmoil and will always wish that it could have been different. The repercussions go far beyond this. teacher. one of which labels Kevorkian a "serial killer. out of control. in turn. wondering if there was more they could have done or said to change your mind. • • • • • • Suicide is FOREVER. suicide has a much larger physical. Get mad. you must first and foremost tell someone. Do not be afraid of getting help. and most likely it will be someone who loves and cares for you. If you kill yourself at someone else’s hand. "Wait. Don't succumb to false images of what it means to lead a "normal" life.

but also the obligation incumbent on man to preserve his life. ruin etc. It may be difficult to think about this at the time. It may seem cliché. take a bath. Try to get outside in the fresh air. Remember that every person has potential for greatness. five years. One year. Suicide is direct when a man has the intention of causing his own death. as long as it takes. Avoid alcohol and drugs. know that you do have talent that should not be wasted. You may surprise yourself. Remove any dangerous objects or weapons from your home. feelings and actions. Do at least one thing you enjoy every day. • • • • • • • • Feeling depressed and suicidal often feels like being locked in a closet. You are only aware of your own thoughts. It does not have to be something difficult or even important. or force yourself to do something for someone else. Use distraction – listen to music. From a moral standpoint we must treat therefore not only the prohibition of positive suicide. Set one goal to give you motivation. give it just ten minutes. It will move on.listed in the front of the phone book. Try to create a routine to get you through the day. and situations can change. but the outdoors can do wonders. as by inflicting on himself a mortal wound or injury. or by omitting to do what is necessary to escape death. Talk to someone every day. and not usually called by this name when a man does not desire . either by positively destroying his own life. you never know who will come into your life down the road to fulfill these things for you. Although you may feel that no one loves or cares about you now. as when a man kills himself to escape condemnation. It is indirect. disgrace. Even if you don’t think you will enjoy it. whether as an end to be attained. or as a means to another end. but your life is not just this moment. The notions and divisions of suicide Suicide is the act of one who causes his own death. Some other tips: Read This Next • • • • Understanding the Suicidal Trance Major Depression Complications Teen Suicide Warnings Signs Make a promise to yourself that you will not harm yourself for at least 24 hours. Some people believe that we are all here on earth for a reason. No matter what you believe. as by refusing to leave a burning house. Try to spend time with people who are not depressed or who are not part of your circumstances. just a goal to achieve. or ten years later you may find it hard to believe that you ever felt this way.

since to be an owner one must be superior to his property. for a sane man deliberately to take his own life. to carry out the sentence. that this practice. weakness. Moreover. hence also the malefactor himself. paternal. Thus do some authorities justify the conduct of certain saints. Finally. since by his act he deprives himself of the greatest good in his possession and the possibility of attaining his final end. except in cases of insanity. who. To destroy a thing is to dispose of it as an absolute master and to act as one having full and independent dominion over it. nevertheless. in hatred of the sin and to arouse the horror of its children. as a general rule. with the charge of protecting and preserving the substance. denies the suicide Christian burial. To this injustice is added a serious offence against the charity which man owes to himself. He is the owner of its substance and He has given man only the serviceable dominion. Moreover. since suicide is in absolute contradiction to everything that the Christian religion teaches us as to the end and object of life and. namely. impelled by the desire of martyrdom and especially to protect their chastity did not wait for their executioners to put them to death. prevalent in certain countries of the East. the preservation of life. God has reserved to himself direct dominion over life. the sin may be aggravated by circumstances. The reason we have advanced to prove the malice of a suicide. likewise justifies the modification of the general principle: God being the master of our life He may with His own consent remove from suicide whatever constitutes its disorder.it. but man does not possess this full and independent dominion over his life. the Divine will should be certain and clearly manifested in each particular case. basing their argument on the right which society possesses to punish certain malefactors with death and to commission any executioner. but sought it in one manner or other themselves. the right of use. Consequently suicide is an attempt against the dominion and right of ownership of the Creator. is usually the natural termination of a life of disorder. We share the most widely accepted opinion. or filial piety. suicide is directly opposed to the most powerful and invincible tendency of every creature and especially of man. The morality of suicide The teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the morality of suicide may be summarized as follows: Positive and direct suicide Positive and direct suicide perpetrated without God's consent always constitutes a grave injustice towards Him. is not . which he could and should perform. such as failure in conjugal. but when he nevertheless commits an act which in effect involves death. that is. and cowardice. he must. The question is asked: Can one who is condemned to death kill himself if ordered to do so by the judge? Some authors answer this question in the affirmative. life itself. if by taking his life one eludes existing obligations of justice or acts of charity. God's right and dominion. which condemns the act as a most atrocious crime and. first have annihilated in himself all that he possessed of spiritual life. That suicide is unlawful is the teaching of Holy Scripture and of the Church. as when he devotes himself to the care of the plague-stricken knowing that he will succumb under the task. failure in justice or charity. either as an end or as a means.

if there be an evil result it is largely compensated for by the good and useful result which they seek. sleep.. Positive and indirect suicide Positive but indirect suicide committed without Divine consent is also unlawful unless. Hence. e. all the circumstances must be weighed. or to the bedside of the plague stricken. the greater or less certainty of its being attained. . In fact man has over his life only the right of use with corresponding obligations to preserve the object of God's dominion. death. moreover. Negative and direct suicide Negative and direct suicide without the consent of God constitutes the same sin as positive suicide. it is not a sin. it follows obviously that he fails in this obligation of usufructuary who neglects the necessary means for the preservation of life. thus exposing themselves to danger of death. to escape from an infuriated animal when it may be done without difficulty. the greater or less danger of death. with the direct intention of suicide. Finally. the substance of his life. drink. nor is it a sin for workmen in the discharge of duties to climb on roofs and buildings. Thus. that is. If a man as usufructuary is obliged in justice to preserve his life. to win a wager. Negative and indirect suicide Negative and indirect suicide without the consent of God is also an attempt against the rights of the Creator and an injustice towards Him whenever without sufficient cause a man neglects all the means of preservation of which he should make use. but an act of exalted virtue. to go into savage lands to preach the Gospel. and. Vindictive justice — and for that matter all justice — requires a distinction between the subject of a right and that of a duty. To judge whether or not there is sufficient reason for an act which will apparently be followed by death. it follows that he is equally bound to make use of all the ordinary means which are indicated in the usual course of things. direct. the importance of the good result. the same principle which forbids anyone to personally compass his own death also forbids him to advise.g. hence in the present case between the one who punishes and the one who is punished. there is sufficient reason for doing what will cause death to follow. although they who do so have before them the prospect of inevitable and speedy death. to minister to them. all questions which may in a specific case be very difficult to solve. such as to eat. On the other hand there is sin in exposing oneself to danger of death to display courage. moreover. namely: • • he should employ all the ordinary means which nature itself provides. and so on. to flee from a burning house. or command. and this with the intention of destroying the latter.lawful. and consequently violates the rights of God. that will follow. for in theory the persons in question have not in view either as end or means the evil result. he should avoid all dangers which he may easily avoid. namely. that another should slay him. All this is lawful precisely because the act itself is good and upright. etc. etc.. everything considered. etc. because in all these cases the end does not in any way compensate for the danger of death that is run.

The Church rejects this theory and. but we cannot accept the opinion of a large number of physicians. one is not obliged to undergo a very painful surgical operation. but he is not bound to employ means considered extraordinary. while admitting exceptions. nor a considerable amputation. Again it must be borne in mind that with the addition of a reasonable motive the thing may be entirely lawful and even an act of virtue. and thus a person may by an objectively unlawful act take his life and nevertheless consider it permissible and even an act of exalted virtue. although it is to be feared that life may be shortened even by several years. etc. thus the workman does not sin by devoting himself to rough labor. such as to procure the latest novelties invented by science to prevent or extinguish fire. The frequency of suicide and its chief causes The plague of suicide belongs especially to the period of decadence of the civilized peoples of antiquity. To use a comparison. but the same is not true with regard to extraordinary means. and at present has reached such an intensity among all civilized nations that it may be considered one of the special evils of our time. considers that those unfortunates who. considering one's condition. The Christian Middle Ages were unacquainted with this morbid tendency. moralists. A and C) that one may not have in view this hastening of death. Greeks. has developed constantly since the Renaissance. the lessee of a house is bound to take care of it as becomes a good father of a family. This suicide rate obviously includes suicides attributable to mental illness. led into error by a false philosophy. the application may not always be equally easy. so great is the horror which this act inspires in every man of sane mind. but. this hypothesis aside. it is not a grave but only a venial sin. etc. This is the case with the drunkard who by his intemperance causes his premature death. . for instance. however. it may be said on the one hand that to expose oneself without sufficient reason to a considerable shortening of life constitutes a serious injury to the rights of the Creator. Application of principles The principles which have been outlined in the four propositions or divisions above given should serve for the solution of particular cases. nor to go into exile in order to seek a more beneficial climate. lay it down as a general rule that suicide is always due to insanity. and the saints performed a very meritorious and highly virtuous act when in order to overcome their passions they lacerated and tortured their flesh by penance and fasting and were thus the cause of their earlier death.. to make use of the ordinary means for the preservation of the property. impelled by despair or anger. are regarded as extraordinary and involving extraordinary expenditure. but it has reappeared at a more recent period. and Egyptians. Romans. to extinguish a fire which he may easily extinguish. It may be asked whether by performing or omitting a certain act a person may injure his health and shorten his life. To apply the foregoing principles: it is first of all clear (1st and 3rd propositions.In fact to neglect the ordinary means for preserving life is equivalent to killing one's self. but on the other hand if the danger of death be not imminent. and jurists who. Thus theologians teach that one is not bound in order to preserve life to employ remedies which.

despair and anger are not as a general thing movements of the soul which it is impossible to resist. and especially the Catholic religion. in a word it is of a nature to prevent the causes which are calculated to impel a man to the extreme act. instructs us with regard to the true destiny of life and the importance of death. belief in the immortality of the soul and in a future life of rewards and punishments. it alone furnishes a solution of the enigma of suffering. . the increase in suicides keeping step with the de-Christianization of a country. confidence in God. By its doctrines of the efficacy of repentance and the practice of confession it relieves the moral suffering of man. the ravages of alcoholism. the influence of the media and the sensational news with which it daily provides its readers. But it is undeniable that the religious factor is by far the most important.attempt their life often act through malice or culpable cowardice. often ending in cruel deceptions. but rather on an assemblage of factors. France presents a painful example parallel to the systematic de-Christianization. the ever more refined search for pleasure. Religion alone. it forbids and prevents to a large extent the disorders of life. a more precocious and intense stimulation of sexual life.32 in 1852 to 29 in 1900. especially if one does not neglect the helps offered by religion. a more feverish pursuit of what is considered happiness. The reason is obvious.000 of population increased from 8. In fact. but it is more correct to say that it does not depend on any one particular cause. intellectual overwork. the influences of heredity. such as the social and economic situation. etc. inasmuch as it shows man living in a land of exile and suffering as a means of acquiring the glory and happiness of a future life. Widely different reasons have been advanced to explain the high frequency of suicide. the number of suicides for each 100. the misery of a great number.