Adult Content Warning

This community may contain adult content that is not suitable for minors. By closing this dialog box or continuing to navigate this site, you certify that you are 18 years of age and consent to view adult content.

Tuesday Sober Thread: Right to Die

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dr. Rob, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Dr. Rob

    Dr. Rob
    Expand Collapse
    Experienced Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    124
  2. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
    Expand Collapse
    The White

    Reputation:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,571
    After today I'm not fully sure this won't turn into a shitstorm, but Dr. Rob is a special member. A very special member. And here at TiB, we like to think of our special members as friends. Now, as an ordinary member Dr. Rob might have to post a less controversial thread, but as a friend we are willing to overlook it.



    As usual in sober threads, the no-politics rule is suspended for THIS THREAD ONLY. Also as usual, the no-asshole rule REMAINS IN EFFECT. If this thread turns into a shitstorm, I will lock it up faster than you can say "thundering assholes." Be nice to each other and respect each others' opinions.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. hotwheelz

    hotwheelz
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    14
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,356
    Yes, I don't understand why not. People should have complete control over their bodies.
     
  4. KIMaster

    KIMaster
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,870
    Sure; why can't people do what they want? As long as it's not hurting anyone else? And I can certainly commiserate with an older person who is dying from a degenerative illness and wants to end it all. Why shouldn't they be able to?

    With that being said, many suicides, such as those committed by teens over "love" or depression, are the height of disgusting, pathetic cowardice. Kill yourself if you want over a girl who dumped you, or your life not going according to plan. However, first realize that you are spitting in the face of the parents who raised and loved you, your friends, and everyone who ever helped you out.

    Realize that many millions of peoples in this world leading truly difficult lives would KILL to be in the position you're on. (You think the challenges many of these people go through are anything compared to what hotwheelz deals with on a daily basis?) Realize that you're not "showing" anyone, or doing anything brave, but you're proving anyone who has ever doubted or hated you RIGHT. You're confirming their victory, and proving yourself an awful loser in the process.

    Realize that the brave, tough path is to continue fighting onwards in life as long as there is some hope, no matter how miserable and depressing it often becomes.

    While I'm 23, I have had several acquaintances in college that killed themselves, as I'm sure many on this board have. I felt genuinely bad for their families and the horror they must go through for the rest of their lives.

    But as cold-blooded as it sounds, I didn't feel a shred of sympathy for the deceased themselves.

    But hey, if they want to, why stop them?
     
  5. hotwheelz

    hotwheelz
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    14
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,356
    While I appreciate the ego boost, I think ranking people's problems in terms of scale is foolhardy. Every person views and deals with their problems differently. And we can't know what their feeling unless we're in their shoes.
     
  6. KIMaster

    KIMaster
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,870
    Of course, and I agree.

    But that's not really the point I was trying to make there; while the same problem affects people differently, there are a great many miserable things in life, some far worse (for just about everyone) than the malaise of problem sets and not having a girlfriend.

    Ultimately, it's about having perspective on one's problems, and realizing that if there is legitimate hope, one should try to fight through it. Every human being has to go through trying and saddening times. The question is, how will they respond to it?
     
  7. Luke 217

    Luke 217
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Provo. Spain?
    Years and years ago I had an employee who offed himself. I sorta knew that he was going through some tough shit because his wife left him for another man. At the time I was a 23 year old punk who didn't have the clarity or wisdom to know exactly what the fuck he was going through. I tried talking to him, tried to get him out on the town to play pool, drink some beers, and surround him with people that were his friends so he could, if only momentarily, take his mind off the situation.
    A couple weeks later he didn't show up to work and I couldn't find him. I found out he killed himself.

    I remember his ex-wife standing in my office a week or so later with his three sons in tow. I felt sorry for those kids. Because fuck him. That's why. He had a responsibility to them, and he shirked it. That attitude I had back then is still my gut reaction to the situation today.
    I don't know if that reaction is right or wrong. I agree on the whole like most, that it's your life and you should do with it what you will. But goddamn it, there are three boys (by now young adults) that never really knew their father. Who knows what kind of step-father, if any, they grew up with.

    On the other hand, maybe he would of been a shitty father, maybe he woulda beat em, maybe they're better off for him not being around. Lets face it, if your going to run when there is a little adversity in your life..... You're probably not going to win any parenting awards.
     
  8. Juice

    Juice
    Expand Collapse
    Moderately Gender Fluid

    Reputation:
    987
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    9,648
    Location:
    Boston
    Physician assisted suicide is a tough call. If someone is slowly and painfully dying from an illness, I definitely think they at least deserve the option. However, mental state comes into play. How would a doctor know a patient's intentions if their mental state has been affected? Is it what they truly want?

    In cases like Terri Schiavo, I think putting her down was the correct decision. But for the elderly or people with mental illness, I'm really torn.
     
  9. Dcc001

    Dcc001
    Expand Collapse
    New Bitch On Top

    Reputation:
    348
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,151
    Location:
    Sarnia, Ontario
    In November of 2008, my 18-year-old cousin collapsed and died in her dorm room. Turns out she had a disease that no one knew about and that the ER doctors missed, and she subsequently had a seizure and passed away. A month later I left Canada to live in Uganda with a group of volunteers. One of the volunteers had an older brother who, at around the same time as my cousin, committed suicide. That was my "a-ha" moment, kind of, because I saw then that my family's reaction to an unexpected, accidental death was pretty much the same as his family's reaction to an unexpected, on-purpose death. When someone you care about dies, I believe it causes the same pain no matter what the circumstances are.

    Yes, people have a right to end their life if they wish. How could anyone possibly stop them? That being said, it would be wonderful if we could somehow impose restrictions on it. Must be of age of majority, must have previously sought counseling, etc. Of course, this is foolish and completely impossible to enforce. It would be nice, though, to ensure that no one killed themselves because they were 14 and being bullied and had no perspective that high school is brief and life gets better afterward. Or if no one could kill themselves because their first girlfriend just dumped them and they don't realize that the sadness will pass. Those particular suicides, to me, are especially sad because they REALLY didn't need to happen.

    Just a note about people who, as KIMaster mentioned, "really" have bad lives. I found it so interesting when I was living in developing countries that the people there - particularly the children - are some of the most extraordinarily happy people I've ever met. You didn't see "depressed" kids there; none of my students had ADD or needed Ritalin or therapy, and some of their lives were unbelievably fucking harsh. It's almost like the human brain is programmed to deal with hardship, and when it doesn't truly exist (as in the average North American home), it finds something to be upset about. But that's another topic for another day.
     
  10. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot
    Expand Collapse
    Porn Worthy, Bitches

    Reputation:
    274
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Where angels never dare
    The answer to this question is extraordinarily simple:

    If we are free, then that freedom necessarily includes the right to end our life by our own choosing.

    I'm not commenting on the advisability of making that particular decision for the simple reason that people have to make that decision for themselves.
     
  11. tempest

    tempest
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    in transit
    I have always held to the belief that people should be able to do whatever they like, as long as they're not hurting anybody else. This belief holds true to suicide and Physician Assisted Suicide. People should have the right to seek help to end their suffering if they don't have the ability to do it themselves.

    The only thought that gives me pause is this. If Physician Assisted Suicide were legalized and made accessible, I don't want a bunch of old people offing themselves because they don't want to be a burden to their families or upon society.
     
  12. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
    Expand Collapse
    Honorary TiBette

    Reputation:
    68
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Location:
    we out
    Brain chemistry is still an inexact science, it becomes even more so if you try to judge it simply by looking at a person's circumstance.

    According to some admittedly quick and dirty research, 9 out of 10 suicides have some sort of preexisting mental illness; the break-up, or the problem sets, or the job loss is simply the catalyst. While I think that people in that situation should be less reticent to seek (and follow-through with) professional help, suicide is rarely the product of a healthy mind, and saying that they should "get some perspective" is naive at best. And offensive at worst.

    That being said, I think people should be allowed to end their lives, though I understand why it can't ever really be legal. And I almost never agree with the decision; having spoken with a lot of families and friends of suicides, people are rarely as alone as they feel.
     
  13. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    969
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I, too, hold to the belief tempest espoused.

    It's an intensely personal choice to end your own life. With that goes the understanding that no one else has the right to tell you that you should or should not do it. Anti-suicide campaigners use the catchphrase "life is a gift". It is, but once a gift is given then it is yours to do with what you please. Otherwise, Aunty Ethel could drop around every day of the week and enforce you wearing that horrid salmon pink sweater she knitted for you on your 5th birthday.

    If you want to throw it away, throw it away. When you're at that stage of making the decision, you're either deluded or all but there anyway.

    The problem I see is when it comes to shirking responsibility. Namely, spouse and children; especially children. If you're a parent, whether you wanted to be or not, you have a responsibility to your children at least until they're an adult. Realistically, it's much longer than that. That responsibility is to be there and be a parent. If your life is taken from you by outside means, that's not your fault. If it's through your conscious choice then it is your fault. I place the same reasoning on those parents who drug/drink/smoke themselves to death.

    It is harsh to say but, really, if your life sucks that much; don't have kids. Just wipe yourself and let everyone else get on with it.

    Personally, I've been there and considered it. I'm staring down chronic life-long conditions that are currently incurable, and appear practically untreatable, on current medical knowledge. As I get older, they seem to be getting worse or I'm getting more sensitive to them. There's no way of telling. My point in saying this is that I'm a father. While I have a son that needs me in any way shape or form, I refuse to even entertain the notion of ending my own life. I have a responsibility and I won't be walking away from it.
     
  14. Rush-O-Matic

    Rush-O-Matic
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    996
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    9,515
    Focus: Do people have a right to take their own lives? Why or why not? Are there exceptions (e.g., like mental illness, as I pointed out in my post) to whatever your position is?

    Right? Like, should it be legal or illegal? How exactly is that punishment or justice handled if it's illegal? Yes, anyone has a right to take their own life.

    But, a right, as in disregarding consequence is another matter. Suicide, like abortion, capital punishment and the like, is never an issue with 'yes' or 'no' options. Recently, a family friend shot himself in his back yard. He was 17 and left behind a single mom and 10 year old brother. The brother is the one that found the bloody mess first.

    So, to the focus question re: mental illness, when asking questions, pastors and counselors often will tell you that anyone who is physically healthy that takes their own life is, in fact, mentally ill in some way. Sometimes, but not always, I think this stems from a sense of comfort that ministers want to impart to the family, to steer them away from the idea that suicide is an unpardonable sin. Why, why would he do something like this? Well, he was mentally ill, Sally.

    No doubt, there are people who have mental illness that kill themselves. And, as inidcated in Mr. Zeller's note, there are people who have been damaged in such a way that they see no other way out. I cannot put myself in Mr. Zeller's shoes, and will never know the darkness he experienced. However, I do know people who have been through similar ordeals, have found help from counselling, and have had an impact on the world around them.

    That is one of the things that makes a situation like Mr. Zeller's difficult. He felt like he is better off gone from this world - that his life had no value to himself. But, there are co-workers, unknown people who benefited from his work, even a cashier where he bought his coffee, that validate that EVERY life has value.

    Unfortunately, though, the majority of these sorts of suicides are less about mental illness and more about either cowardice to face that darkness, or failure to find the proper help to battle that darkness. I will not sit in judgement of Mr. Zeller, as I only know of him through his final letter. But, the fact remains, despite how awful his backstory is, that he chose to give up rather than battle that darkness.

    And yet . . . where will I be in 20 years? My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when he was 61, and now he lies in a bed with a feeding tube. He looks miserable. I love my life, I love life, and even when I have faced some dark, dark moments, I chose to live it. I have 2 siblings, and the odds are pretty strong that one of us will also battle Alzheimer's. I have seen its uselessness. If it turns out to be me, what then?

    If y'all get this all worked out in this thread, I'm anxious to read it.
     
  15. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
    Expand Collapse
    Honorary TiBette

    Reputation:
    68
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Location:
    we out

    Are you entirely certain that this is the time you want to be cavalier? I mean, it's your e-persona, I'm just wondering if there are better sources of scorn and derision than the guy who just killed himself after years of tortured nightmares about his repeated and brutal childhood rapes.
     
  16. Racer-X

    Racer-X
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    I agree with the sentiment that people should be free to do what they want as long as they don't hurt anyone else. The tricky bit is how you define hurting someone else.

    A previous poster mentioned a father of young children killing himself which could be taken as harming those children.
    The mental anguish in the family or friends of a suicide could also be seen as hurting them.
    Are these types of harm considered or purely physical harm?

    I don't have an answer for this, it just serves to illustrate that suicide is a complex issue that can't be justified with a simple platitude.
     
  17. tempest

    tempest
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    in transit

    Agreed. It's a slippery slope when you try to weigh psychological harm. We all hurt each other in various degrees. It's just human nature. No relationship is perfect.

    I could make a compelling argument that my parents did all kinds of psychological damage to me, not that I'm saying I would be better off if they had committed suicide or anything like that, just that quantifying harm is an impossible task.
     
  18. effinshenanigans

    effinshenanigans
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    118
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,774
    Location:
    CT
    It had nothing to do with vanity--the guy had trust issues, which is very evident if you read the entire letter.

    Aside from that, re-living the painfully traumatic experiences of his childhood happened to him all to often--in his dreams, in his attempts at intimacy with others, etc. Perhaps he wasn't the glutton for punishment you think he should have been and he chose to not address those issues in a therapy setting because he lived with them all the time.

    To say he was too vain to talk about being raped is absurd. It's like calling him a fag because he wasn't ever comfortable being intimate with a woman--without taking into account the how and why aspects of why that was.

    This wasn't a person clamoring for the limelight who was concerned he'd be viewed as damaged or unclean in the eyes of his adoring public and it would hurt his image. He was a tortured man who happened to find reprieve in programming because it got his mind off of the demons in his life. I don't get the sense that he was ever looking for the level of success that he had, nor did it make him very comfortable. If anything, it made him feel all the more different when in the presence of those who had not been through what he had.

    Maybe you only read part of the letter and made your judgement based on what little you read, but if you did read the whole thing and "vanity" and "fuck this prick" is all you got from it, then you're seriously broken.

    Edited due to your second post:
    Say you're famous for your successes in your field. Then it gets out that you've had this horrible life, filled with abuse. Instead of those demons being contained within your own little world, they're out--they're among you in everything that you do. Whatever you used to do to manage them when you weren't alone won't work anymore because everyone knows now. You're not worried because you'll look bad in the public eye, you've simply lost whatever momentary solace you ever truly had.

    Getting off sack and on topic, I feel that, as free people, we have the freedom to dictate our own lives. If that involves taking our own lives, no matter how tragic it may be or the devastating consequences to those around us, it's our choice. It may not always be what we, as observers, would have done or expected, but it is the way it is.

    A close family friend hung himself a couple years go. He was taking care of his sister's two kids (as she was in prison) and was engaged to a great woman. As observers, everything seemed great for him. I don't agree with what he did, but he's not the kind of person who took that choice lightly, and so on some level I have to (and am left with nothing but to) trust that he did what he felt he needed to do. We can all talk in hindsight, but we were never him.
     
  19. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    969
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    As a general rule, I'd caution anyone wanting to make judgments on someone else's pain. There's a saying that perception becomes reality, and this is especially true in things like depression and mental illness. It's all very well and good to sit in your happy mind and say, "he's not that bad, he's a pussy". That's very like watching a cage fight and saying, "he's not getting hit that hard, he's just soft."

    If you're not in it, you don't know. If you've never been in it, you have no idea.

    I've been depressed. Hell, my doc would probably say I'm on the cusp of a mild depression at the moment. Clinically, he's probably right. And do you know why it's "probably"? Because I won't go and do anything about it. When I'm definitely in the hole, here's my mindset:

    - I'm miserable;
    - I deserve it; and
    - I don't want anyone to know about it.

    It's not rational in any way, shape or form. But, guess what? That's mental illness for you. It's not fucking rational. If, as a sufferer, you believe no one can help you THEN NO ONE CAN HELP YOU. You need to regain some semblance of a rational viewpoint before any worthwhile attempt at recovery can be made. Some people just don't make it.
     
  20. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
    Expand Collapse
    Honorary TiBette

    Reputation:
    68
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,706
    Location:
    we out
    To clarify, when I meant "it's your e-persona", I meant, "it's your reputation, do whatever you want with it."

    I just think that you're playing a little bit fast and loose with mental trauma that you really don't know anything about. Do you really want to be that guy who characterizes people who get raped repeatedly as being "too vain" for help?

    Look, I would much rather people sought help than taking their own lives. But mocking somebody (and lets be clear, when you write "adios billermo" directly after hearing about their suicide, you're mocking them) because they didn't feel comfortable with the mental health establishment in this country is just...tasteless. And not in a funny way, just in a way that makes you sound privileged and smarmy.