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Suicide Illegal ?

  1. Yes

    10.3%
  2. No

    69.2%
  3. Sometimes

    12.8%
  4. Haven't formed an opinion

    7.7%
  1. May 16, 2005 #1

    Gokul43201

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    Most countries have laws that make suicide illegal. Should suicide be illegal, in your opinion ? What is the rationale behind this ? Should not your right to life automatically come with the right to end it, as and when you so choose ? If not, why not ?

    (And I've not got any crazy ideas...:rolleyes:)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
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  3. May 16, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Im absolutely confused on the idea of laws and suicide. I mean, the obvious question is, if you kill yourself, how are you suppose to be tried?
     
  4. May 16, 2005 #3

    honestrosewater

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    Is the purpose of the law is to punish or deter (or both)?
    Attempted suicide may also be taken into consideration. Does it make sense for attempted suicide to be illegal but suicide legal? I don't think either should be illegal, but it's sometimes in the best interest of the individual for society to be able to intervene; For instance, if someone is temporarily unstable, say severely depressed, and would probably change their mind if they recovered. I think society should intervene in such cases and stay out of the others, but that may be easier said than done.
     
  5. May 16, 2005 #4

    brewnog

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    Life insurance policies won't pay out on deaths caused by suicide, or injuries caused by any attempt thereof, I believe this is a consequence of the law as it stands in most countries.

    If suicide were to be legalised, there is a worry that there could be an increase in cases where a full inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death is not carried out, thus making it easier for murders to be made to look like suicide.

    In any case, I voted 'yes'.
     
  6. May 16, 2005 #5
    It's always seemed like a pretty bizarre law to me. Usually if a person is comtemplating suicide, they've got some pretty big issues going on in their lives. I don't see how throwing them in jail (for attempted suicide) could possibly help the situation.

    @brewnog: I think the reason life insurance companies don't pay for suicide is they would feel like they had a hand in it. If a person was having severe financial problems and knew he could get $500,000 for his family by committing suicide, he would be more likely to try it.
     
  7. May 16, 2005 #6

    PerennialII

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    No, I don't think laws solve anything here .... punishing someone on the verge appears ridicilous considering the problems the individual is going through ... granted, making sure people get help might be tackled judicially.
     
  8. May 16, 2005 #7

    Monique

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    Jumping in front of trains or off of buildings ofcourse is illegal, but the reason that people resort to such measure is because suicide is illegal. It does protects citizens from making wrong decisions: if you really have problems a person should see a professional first. Maybe in the future you will be able to approach a board of experts and ask for mercy. Assisted suicide already takes place in certain countries, in case of terminal illnesses.
     
  9. May 16, 2005 #8

    plover

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    Yeah, it's not clear quite what it means to classify as illegal an act where by definition the main effect is to render the perpetrator dead. (What, the law is pissed off because they don't get to prosecute?) This is especially true as attempted suicide is apparently not a crime, like attempted murder. (And if it were, I mean, talk about blaming the victim...)

    I wonder whether making suicide technically criminal allows for some types of interventions that would otherwise be illegal if they were not being done in order to prevent a crime from taking place. It wouldn't be the weirdest legal fiction ever invented.

    IIRC, a fairly clear psychological distinction can be made between people who are thoroughly determined to kill themselves, and the more common case of those who will change their mind if given a chance, and the former are generally more likely to choose methods that are instantly fatal, so interventions are more likely to help the latter group. (Maybe someone else remembers the details of all this better than I do. I feel like this statement invites the response: "the ones who are 'thoroughly determined to kill themselves' are the ones who succeed...")

    I'm not sure why suicide would have to be a crime in order for them to write life insurance policies this way, but it does make me wonder what happens to your life insurance policy if you die by, say, being shot while robbing a bank? And does it make a difference whether you were shot by the police or by another robber?
    I'm not sure this makes sense. Given that murder is a crime, an investigation would still be required to determine if a crime took place, just like with some accidental deaths and deaths by 'natural causes'.
     
  10. May 16, 2005 #9
    This makes sense. People suspected of mental illness can't legally be held against their will unless they're deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. The part about "danger to themselves" may have it's legal underpinnings in the law against suicide.
     
  11. May 16, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    How in the world is the law meant to deter people? Are you really thinking up plans to evade the police after you successfully kill yourself?
     
  12. May 16, 2005 #11

    honestrosewater

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    Some people obey the law out of respect or a feeling of obligation or duty, as a matter of principle. And those who aren't serious, who are seeking attention or sympathy have reason to consider the consequences.
     
  13. May 16, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

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    What consequences though? If its illegal to attempt suicide then i understand, but if its simply illegal to commit it, it makes no sense. I think if you have the metal state that allows respect for laws, i think you probably dont have the metal state to want to end your life though... but i dunno... whole idea seems weird to me.
     
  14. May 16, 2005 #13

    Chi Meson

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    THe act of suicide, being illegal, allows for various insurance companies to not pay up on most life insurance contracts. I don't know if this is necessary, since the contracts usually specifically state suicide in an exclusion clause.

    I think that also the illegality of suicide automatically makes assisting in suicide illegal.
     
  15. May 16, 2005 #14
    I think they could exclude it even if it weren't illegal, couldn't they?
     
  16. May 16, 2005 #15

    Chi Meson

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    My thoughts too, perhaps a lawyer can pitch in on this. The illegality might be a legal basis for the exclusion. That's just a guess.
     
  17. May 16, 2005 #16

    arildno

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    It is simply disgusting to be in favour of making suicide an illegal act.
    There is no valid moral or rational arguments to this position; it is only to provide yet another "legal" opportunity to mistreat and abuse "losers" in a gleeful and sadistic manner.
     
  18. May 16, 2005 #17

    cronxeh

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    I think it all depends on circumstances. Consider initial conditions - the reason behind it, consider the final outcome - will the individual jumping from a building danger pedestrians walking down on the street?

    If initial conditions are so that the individual has lost an ability to enjoy life, either through the injury, disease, or loss of a loved one, then that individual enters a phase of decision between continuing his or her existance, only burdened with the consequences of actions on immediate family members

    If the final outcome will result in an injury of fellow human beings (jumping off from a building and landing on a crowd, blowing yourself up, smashing and airplane into a building, setting your house on fire, etc) then it is illegal

    But if a person has made all preparations and paid in full burial or cremation fees and services, as well as settled all his or her debt to society, then perhaps they have the full right to terminate their life as and when they chose to do so
     
  19. May 16, 2005 #18
    I can't find anything else in the penal code directly relating to suicide.
    I voted "sometimes" but I really don't think that suicide should be illegal or punishable. I believe that the only way in which anyone, in this country, is punished for suicide is if they survive. They aren't really even punished. They are sent to a county mental instatute for observation and are required to pay for the expenses they incured by being taken there. I think this works out pretty well for the most part except that the facilities available aren't very adequate.
    The vast majority of people who attempt to commit suicide don't really intend to kill themselves. It's a "call for help" or perhaps more accurately "a way of getting attention" and a very stupid one at that. I think it's quite resonable to make these people pay for the expenses and to throw them in a rubber room for a couple days.
     
  20. May 16, 2005 #19

    Pengwuino

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    No need to add all the emotion into it lol. Its not necessarily "disgusting" seeing as how nothing disgusting is being done. Just some silly legal technicality issue. There is no sadism involved here. I dont see how you can mistreat someone if they are dead. I suppose if you make it a law that you must poke dead people you find... then thats rather sadistic...

    I dont understand people who cant commit suicide correctly that actually want to. People who want to actually kill themselves and arent just doing it for attention or anything need to just get 2 guns, aim, fire. People like that need to get out of society because too many of them pull that psycho crap where they go out in public and start killing people left and right as some sort of last attack on this evil society that supposedly hurt them so much.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  21. May 16, 2005 #20
    I've had a great grandfather and a great uncle who both committed suicide after they were diagnosed with cancer. In those days there wasn't much that could be done for them. They were faced with death and chose the quick way out instead of a long suffering.

    I recently had an aunt who died of cancer. She spent years fighting the disease. The last month of her life was terrible. I think she chose to live until, but if she had made the choice to end her life I would have understood it. I'm not sure my family would have.

    I'm assuming that by suicide the quetion implies attempted suicide. I'm not sure yet how I feel about this. Making attempted suicide illegal prevents people from assisting in suicide. This may be a good thing, because someone would most certainly try to make a profit from people's misery. Then again, in the case of the terminally ill it might be a bad thing because it will prolong suffering that they may not wish to endure.

    Another effect of illegal suicide is that it prevents an opportunity to step in and give help to someone that tries to end their life. Once the problem is out in the open the person may get the help that they need. I think it's at least worth a shot. I don't see much of a purpose to keep them locked up in prison though. I don't think they will get the help they need in that kind of an atmosphere.

    I see more benefits for making it illegal than legal. People who are determined to commit suicide will do so whether there is a law or not. Those who would commit suicide if it were legal may find some hope somewhere and be glad that they changed their mind. But in specific cases I think assisted suicide may be a good idea.
     
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