Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Should Shipman have been allowed to commit suicide?

  1. Mar 20, 2005 #1

    brewnog

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't know if this was discussed a while back (my search couldn't find anything about it), but the death penalty thread made me consider this.

    Should Harold Shipman have been prevented from committing suicide?

    Shipman was a medical doctor who was jailed for murdering 15 patients, and was later found to have killed between 215 and 260 patients. He hanged himself in his prison cell in January 2004.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3391871.stm

    Many people feel that he should not have been allowed the means with which he ended his own life, I am glad that he's no longer draining my taxes in all the costs associated with imprisonment. Discuss.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well i dont know who teh guy is, but..

    ""He was showing no signs whatsoever of pre-suicidal behaviour at all," she said.

    "He was behaving utterly normally. He was working as normal and doing education as normal.

    "There was absolutely no indication that this was coming and he was giving no cause for concern." "

    Thats all i really need to know. If no one thought he was going ot kill himself, then i wouldn't define it as "they let him commit suicide". Its like a child in a 2 story home. If the child goes upstairs and jumps out an open window and dies, its not right to say "why did the parents let the kid commit suicide". If the kid/this guy didnt show any suicidal tendencies, then oh well... cant really read peoples minds.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2005 #3

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I seriously think that anyone should be allowed to commit suicide as long as they make arrangements before hand and don't make a mess. I've lost a few friends that way, and the part that always bothers me is in not knowing why or if I could have helped them out and made it unnecessary. As for escaping justice... why is it that the death penalty is considered the ultimate sentence, and yet suicided prisoners are considered to have done so?
     
  5. Mar 20, 2005 #4
    er.. you lost friends through suicide yet you think that they should be allowed to anyway as long as they dont make a mess?

    I would do all within my power to keep my friends from committing suicide in the first place.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2005 #5

    ShawnD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I follow the ideology that you should be able to do whatever you want as long as it's not at somebody else's expense. Suicide seems to fit into that category quite nicely, so I have no problems with it.

    Of course I would try to talk someone out of suicide, but I'm not going to tackle them or lock them up "for their own good"; that's just crazy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2005
  7. Mar 21, 2005 #6

    brewnog

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't think people quite got this.

    The guy was a convicted mass murderer, serving a life sentence. ShawnD, for him not to have commited suicide would have been at the taxpayers' expense to the order of a few hundred thousand pounds per year. He was already locked up.

    Should people who are supposed to be living the rest of their days in a prison cell be deprived of any items with which they could reasonably improvise suicide apparatus?
     
  8. Mar 21, 2005 #7

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Why should I care if a mass murderer spends his prison years in misery, or if he sits in his dark cell gloating over his evil deeds?

    What I care about is to be sure that individual is never again able to commit further atrocities; I have no patience with persons who display a pathological eagerness to inflict pain upon others, whether or not that pain-infliction is illegitimate as in a crime, or "legitimate" as in meting out "punishment".

    Just to clarify my view: Good riddance, Dr. Shipman.
     
  9. Mar 21, 2005 #8

    matthyaouw

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think it would be hard to deprive someone of the means to commit suicide without infringing on human rights. What could you do, short of fully restraining every prisoner in a padded room? If someone is so set on killing themselves, then it would take some pretty drastic measures to stop them.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2005 #9

    ShawnD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Why? Their killing themselves saves tax payers a lot of money. I bet most of the victims families were pushing for the death penalty anyway.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Should Shipman have been allowed to commit suicide?
Loading...