• Hey Visitor,

    In light of recent events, all community members in the US should reach out to their representative in regards to the Stop Online Suicide Assistance Forums Act that has been introduced in congress. This bill, if passed, could criminalize this community and hold it liable for simply hosting information.

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    One of the best ways to combat this is to make your voice heard. We're not political activists, but we made this notice to let you know that you do have a voice and that you do have representives that represent you in congress.
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,860
In my experience, nothing turns people into saints like accountability. So I was wondering today if there could be a link between voluntary euthanasia for mentally capable adults and accountability regarding how society treats its underclass. Let me explain.

Under the current regime, euthanasia is not a legally accepted solution under any circumstances (barring terminal illness, etc.). People need to conform to their role in society no matter how torturous or demeaning it might be. In addition to the lack of available euthanasia, society uses tactics like peer pressure, belittling attitudes towards suicidal people and a dubious narrative claiming that all situations are workable. But by adding an extra option, voluntary euthanasia would turn many dilemmas into trilemmas.

Example I:
Jason's life situation is dominated by poverty and isolation, leaving him with two choices:
1) Work a miserable job for minimum wage so he can sustain his existence of loneliness, mental health struggle and quiet desperation
2) Do not work the said job and face homelessness and eating out of trash cans
...or if we add a 3rd option:
3) Voluntary euthanasia - dying with dignity

Example II:
Amy lives with an abusive husband but cannot live independently due to chronic pain. The two options are:
1) Continue tolerating horrible mistreatment and 24/7 discomfort at home
2) Attempt to leave husband and find work, only to likely fail and end up homeless due to the health situation
...or if we add a 3rd option:
3) Voluntary euthanasia - dying with dignity

To be clear, it is not at all desirable that the voluntary euthanasia option be taken in these cases. It is not a question of sending society's most abandoned members to the gallows. The point is that society itself would be forced to be accountable for allowing these situations to exist, lest it face the humiliation and possible economic losses of people openly choosing death over the hand that they have been dealt.

The world would be pressured to provide reasonable minimum wages, acceptable working conditions, a higher standard of physical and mental health care, affordable access to medication, a reasonable outlook for the future, housing and so on, or else people will opt out. The billionaire class will have to sit up and take notice when they start losing their servants. Families might think twice before abusing their own members. Governments will have to do something to earn their tax income from the huddled masses. Society's monopoly of 'my way or the highway' would be abolished.

Real-world examples:
* From 2010, a spate of suicides at Foxconn in Shenzhen linked to low wages and poor working conditions drew international media attention and led to numerous investigations
* In 2008-09, dozens of suicides involving France Telecom led to convictions of executives and managers

This is a simplification of a more complex topic, but the fact that euthanasia is a taboo topic in most parts of the world indicates to me a certain corruption. Authorities clearly have something to hide. After all, why invest resources towards the grievances of the suffering when we could simply erect barriers on bridges, ban the sale of N and shut down pro-choice websites?
 
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jodes2

jodes2

I'm pro CHOICE. Don't start on me. PLEASE
Aug 28, 2022
4,180
I wonder which way it would swing. Could stats from euthanasia prompt other reforms? You'd have thought suicides would already do that, but I don't think it does.
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,860
You'd have thought suicides would already do that, but I don't think it does.
You'd hope so, but I get the impression that most suicides tend to only be investigated from the perspective of "How could we have physically blocked this individual from taking their own life?", rather than "How could we have made this person's life tolerable?"
 
jodes2

jodes2

I'm pro CHOICE. Don't start on me. PLEASE
Aug 28, 2022
4,180
You'd hope so, but I get the impression that most suicides tend to only be investigated from the perspective of "How could we have physically blocked this individual from taking their own life?", rather than "How could we have made this person's life tolerable?"
Exactly
 
BillyBob

BillyBob

Member
Jun 14, 2018
65
Sounds lame, but there is way to much money in sick people.
People want/need medication. So either the person buys them, insurance buys them or is purchased and supplied by the government.
Big Pharma gets benefits/cuts as well as funding from the government. Without sick people needed the medications there would be almost no value and profit in it.
Sure if that sick person is not able to work and is on a benefit, money is still be funneled into the large companies by either support people, meds, insurance, therapists etc.
 
F

Forever Sleep

Earned it we have...
May 4, 2022
1,266
It's interesting and I have wondered it myself- whether governments want to restrict access to assisted suicide because they'd be embarassed of the results if they made it open to everyone. I think it could well be part of the reason for the opposition.

Still, as much as it would certainly highlight social and economic problems, I wonder just how much change it would effect. Apparently, Lesotho in South Africa has the highest suicide rate in the world. Briefly read that a lack of mental health care along with stigma of trying to get help, poverty, AIDS and a lack of employment contribute to the feeling of hopelessness. There also seems to be an unusual gender imbalance (compared to many countries) in that it is more women who take their own lives. According to the article, 86% of the women there have experienced violence and HIV prevalance is 4 times higher among young females... Yet this is the first time I've even heard of Lesotho!

I think in countries that like to think of themselves as developed, a mass of suicides within a certain group certainly does draw attention- and hopefully effects change. I just wonder what effect it has within countries that seem at least- unwilling to change their customs and maybe unable to solve their economic problems.

While there are most certainly violations made against people's rights in certain jobs and lives- and they should ABSOLUTELY be highlighted and addressed (preferably before suicides), not all problems are fixable sadly and I'm also kind of sure they would turn a lot of these problems back on the individual- in that 'help' of some kind was available but they didn't reach out for it.
 
Un-

Un-

I'm a failure. An absolute waste. A LOSEr.
Apr 6, 2021
556
I find it depressing that, at least one possible solution to change society to make it.. Yknow.. Good for everyone in some sense, is for the most noble people to kill themselves. It's already bad enough that people prefer money over people, but goddamm..

I'm not against it. But it's just saddening.
 
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Vetrarnott

Vetrarnott

Specialist
Jun 16, 2020
332
The world would be pressured to provide reasonable minimum wages, acceptable working conditions, a higher standard of physical and mental health care, affordable access to medication, a reasonable outlook for the future, housing and so on, or else people will opt out. The billionaire class will have to sit up and take notice when they start losing their servants. Families might think twice before abusing their own members. Governments will have to do something to earn their tax income from the huddled masses. Society's monopoly of 'my way or the highway' would be abolished.
Conditions would have to get unimaginably bad for large swathes of the population to commit suicide though. People are strongly suicide resistant.

I know of a woman who is severely depressed, spending nearly all her time in bed. Even when visitors frequent she stays in bed. She is so lacking in initiative that the duty of bathing her falls to her husband. In spite of her obvious, severe unhappiness she remains alive.

People will endure horrible things - slavery, torture, being made prison wives (men), etc. People are strangely accommodating of ill-treatment.

I think the middle-aged and elderly would opt out more readily, but employers prefer the young anyway.
 
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Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
1,860
People will endure horrible things - slavery, torture, being made prison wives (men), etc. People are strangely accommodating of ill-treatment.
I've seen this, too. The sickest people of all are those who live in squalor, yet rave about how life is beautiful and how they want to live as long as possible. I know those types are out there. They've had toxic positivity beaten into them from a young age.

However, there's no way of assessing the effects of voluntary euthanasia when people are still conditioned to believe that there is no such thing as an exit plan. There is a legal, psychological and cultural barrier to acceptance currently.

A lot of people might rethink their lifestyles, perhaps even for the better. There's less need to be risk-averse or fearful when there is an actual limit on how bad things can get.
 
dreambound

dreambound

Member
Dec 14, 2021
53
many people find security in having their future mapped out for them, & society is only too happy to provide this
by establishing a set of rules early in life; a kind of mutual exploitation that many may never question thru-out
their lives. ..the anti-suicide message has been well established through generations which allows society to
get away with a few shortcomings (understatement) which includes making it as differcult as possible to access
peaceful means......

..thankyou for the thoughtful thread & responses.....here are some words from jiddu krishnamurti that could apply here
.....'.human beings throughout the world have been conditioned according to formulas & concepts for thousands of years
& when life which is a movement demands your total attention, you cannot give it, for you are functioning & thinking
according to a formula'..........
 
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B

bigsadbean

New Member
Nov 18, 2022
4
I think this is very optimistic. What I have seen recently in the news is the government/insurance companies using this to deny health coverage/benefits. There was someone who needed a cancer surgery and their insurance wouldn't cover it, but suggested euthanasia instead.. which is gross. There is definitely a situation in Canada and certain US states where the poorest and sickest citizens opt for it because they are poor and don't want to be homeless. And it's.. not really a concern for the elites at all? Especially as Canada's public health system and the social security programs in the US are facing more financial strain with an aging population I can see euthanasia being more commonplace as a way to save money for the taxpayers.
I'm still strongly in favor of euthanasia being legal and available. It would be extremely helpful to me and a lot of others on this site, but I don't think it will make the elites feel accountable or any more interested in the welfare of their fellow humans.
 
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9BBN

9BBN

Heaven, send Hell away
Mar 29, 2021
377
I like this framing that suppressing suicide is suppressing accountability. It makes sense because society doesn't want accountability. Part of why people find looser euthanasia policies so threatening is because too many people would choose to die that it would be proof that the establishment is unacceptable. Statistics show suicide rates are strongly correlated with mere access to methods. It's really telling that, on the margins, what holds people back is simply the ability to reliably have their wish granted.

I want to finish my point with a riddle I promise is relevant and surprisingly insightful here. It's a hard riddle but I'll give the solution after so I can get straight to the point. Here is the more popular version of the riddle I found online. Here is my formulation, which I am just borrowing from an obscure book:

University B. once boasted 17 tenured professors of mathematics. Tradition prescribed that at their weekly luncheon meeting, faithfully attended by all 17, any members who had discovered an error in their published work should make an announcement of this fact, and promptly resign. Such an announcement had never actually been made, because no professor was aware of any errors in her or his work. This is not to say that no errors existed, however. In fact, over the years, in the work of every member of the department at least one error had been found, by some other member of the department. This error had been mentioned to all other members of the department, but the actual author of the error had been kept ignorant of the fact, to forestall any resignations.

One fateful year, the department was augmented by a visitor from another university, one Prof. X, who had come with hopes of being offered a permanent position at the end of the academic year. Naturally, he was apprised, by various members of the department, of the published errors which had been discovered. When the hoped-for appointment failed to materialize, Prof. X obtained his revenge at the last luncheon of the year. "I have enjoyed my visit here very much," he said, "but I feel that there is one thing that I have have to tell you. At least one of you has published an incorrect result, which has been discovered by others in the department." What happened the next year?

Everyone resigned on the 17th luncheon meeting. The reasoning is as follows (for the sake of sanity, "he or she" shall be rendered as "he" throughout).

First suppose there were only 2 professors, Prof. A and Prof. B, each knowing of the error in the other's work, but unaware of any error in his own. Then neither is surprised by Prof. X's statement, but each expects the other to be surprised, and to resign at the first luncheon next year. When this doesn't happen, each (being a mathematics professor capable of logical deduction) realizes that this can only be because he has also made an error. So at the end of the next meeting, both resign.

Next consider the case of 3 professors, Profs. A, B and C. Prof. C knows that Prof. A is aware of an error in Prof. B's work. Similarly, he knows that Prof. B knows that there is an error in Prof. A's work. But Prof. C thinks he has made no errors, so as far as he is concerned, the situation vis-a-vis Profs. A and B is precisely that analyzed in the previous paragraph. So Prof. C expects both Prof. A and Prof. B to resign at the second meeting. Of course, Profs. A and B similarly expect the other two to resign at the second meeting. When no one resigns, everyone realizes that he has made an error, so all resign at the third meeting.

The logic builds inductively with each new professor added to the premise. So in the case of 17 professors, they will all resign at the 17th meeting.

So what's my point? Think about it this way. In the riddle, each professor is oblivious to an error of theirs that is collectively understood by everyone else. When it suddenly occurs to each professor that this could actually be true of themself as well, everyone resigns and the whole department implodes. The key here is understanding why the department stays afloat in the first place, despite the presence of errors from every professor. It's because of an unspoken "hush hush" policy wherein no professor is held accountable to their errors so as not to shake the establishment. It's a very precarious position, because at any professor's will, they could say exactly what Prof. X said, and the rest of the department will implode after a number of luncheons. But none of them want that, because each professor is sympathetic to dodging accountability, and so it takes a disinterested party to rock the boat.

All this to say, a "hush hush" policy of accountability can be incredibly detrimental to society. I believe that as long as suicide and suicidal ideation remain taboo, we are following a "hush hush" policy. Our society hasn't wanted to admit that lots more people would commit suicide given the choice, even though we all know it now. The data says so. So now we have to sit and wait for the nth luncheon, we have to wait for the chain of responsibility to make it all the way, until society as a whole takes accountability.

But we have another option, one that the riddle doesn't take into account. In the riddle, if the faculty hearing Prof. X had immediately given up their unspoken "hush hush" policy, it would not have taken them 17 luncheons to resign; they would all resign immediately. In other words, we can expedite the process of tracing responsibility by relinquishing the "hush hush" policy that holds these institutions on their last breaths. If we want to foster a culture of accountability, in order to effect progress as quickly as possible, the correct strategy is to quell the taboo surrounding suicide.

Anyway that's the thesis you inspired out of me. Maybe it's a little philosophical masturbation, but I think it's a unique perspective that concretely illustrates how accountability operates slowly at an institutional level, and how the process can be expedited. A case for ending the taboo.
 
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TAW122

TAW122

Emissary of the right to die.
Aug 30, 2018
5,523
This is a good read and thanks for your insights. I like both of the examples that you given. Society as well as the people coming to terms and waking up to reality that life isn't pretty and becoming accountable will cause inevitable change for the better.
You'd hope so, but I get the impression that most suicides tend to only be investigated from the perspective of "How could we have physically blocked this individual from taking their own life?", rather than "How could we have made this person's life tolerable?"
Well said, this is a ongoing problem with pro-lifers and their mentality. Instead of working towards improving conditions to make someone be less willing to consider CTB as an option, it's just easier for them (pro-lifers) to sweep things like voluntary euthanasia and suicide under the rug. I always resent that mindset that prolifers have, meaning that they are always chasing the symptoms and blaming the suicidal rather than perhaps it is them and the environment that causes people to want to opt out or ctb.

Conditions would have to get unimaginably bad for large swathes of the population to commit suicide though. People are strongly suicide resistant.

I know of a woman who is severely depressed, spending nearly all her time in bed. Even when visitors frequent she stays in bed. She is so lacking in initiative that the duty of bathing her falls to her husband. In spite of her obvious, severe unhappiness she remains alive.

People will endure horrible things - slavery, torture, being made prison wives (men), etc. People are strangely accommodating of ill-treatment.

I think the middle-aged and elderly would opt out more readily, but employers prefer the young anyway.
I think that is partly (or perhaps to a large degree) the result of the human's built-in survival instinct (SI) that does anything and everything it could to avoid oblivion, pain, and suffering. Therefore, it is a big hurdle even for pro-choicers who want to exit but are unable to since their subconscious and instincts hinder them from doing so. This does not mean that suffering is good anyhow, it just means that humans have this stupid irrational instinct that is biologically programmed into each and every one of us, for some it is not as strong but for others, it can be an uphill battle to overcome it.

I like this framing that suppressing suicide is suppressing accountability. It makes sense because society doesn't want accountability. Part of why people find looser euthanasia policies so threatening is because too many people would choose to die that it would be proof that the establishment is unacceptable. Statistics show suicide rates are strongly correlated with mere access to methods. It's really telling that, on the margins, what holds people back is simply the ability to reliably have their wish granted.

I want to finish my point with a riddle I promise is relevant and surprisingly insightful here. It's a hard riddle but I'll give the solution after so I can get straight to the point. Here is the more popular version of the riddle I found online. Here is my formulation, which I am just borrowing from an obscure book:

University B. once boasted 17 tenured professors of mathematics. Tradition prescribed that at their weekly luncheon meeting, faithfully attended by all 17, any members who had discovered an error in their published work should make an announcement of this fact, and promptly resign. Such an announcement had never actually been made, because no professor was aware of any errors in her or his work. This is not to say that no errors existed, however. In fact, over the years, in the work of every member of the department at least one error had been found, by some other member of the department. This error had been mentioned to all other members of the department, but the actual author of the error had been kept ignorant of the fact, to forestall any resignations.

One fateful year, the department was augmented by a visitor from another university, one Prof. X, who had come with hopes of being offered a permanent position at the end of the academic year. Naturally, he was apprised, by various members of the department, of the published errors which had been discovered. When the hoped-for appointment failed to materialize, Prof. X obtained his revenge at the last luncheon of the year. "I have enjoyed my visit here very much," he said, "but I feel that there is one thing that I have have to tell you. At least one of you has published an incorrect result, which has been discovered by others in the department." What happened the next year?

Everyone resigned on the 17th luncheon meeting. The reasoning is as follows (for the sake of sanity, "he or she" shall be rendered as "he" throughout).

First suppose there were only 2 professors, Prof. A and Prof. B, each knowing of the error in the other's work, but unaware of any error in his own. Then neither is surprised by Prof. X's statement, but each expects the other to be surprised, and to resign at the first luncheon next year. When this doesn't happen, each (being a mathematics professor capable of logical deduction) realizes that this can only be because he has also made an error. So at the end of the next meeting, both resign.

Next consider the case of 3 professors, Profs. A, B and C. Prof. C knows that Prof. A is aware of an error in Prof. B's work. Similarly, he knows that Prof. B knows that there is an error in Prof. A's work. But Prof. C thinks he has made no errors, so as far as he is concerned, the situation vis-a-vis Profs. A and B is precisely that analyzed in the previous paragraph. So Prof. C expects both Prof. A and Prof. B to resign at the second meeting. Of course, Profs. A and B similarly expect the other two to resign at the second meeting. When no one resigns, everyone realizes that he has made an error, so all resign at the third meeting.

The logic builds inductively with each new professor added to the premise. So in the case of 17 professors, they will all resign at the 17th meeting.

So what's my point? Think about it this way. In the riddle, each professor is oblivious to an error of theirs that is collectively understood by everyone else. When it suddenly occurs to each professor that this could actually be true of themself as well, everyone resigns and the whole department implodes. The key here is understanding why the department stays afloat in the first place, despite the presence of errors from every professor. It's because of an unspoken "hush hush" policy wherein no professor is held accountable to their errors so as not to shake the establishment. It's a very precarious position, because at any professor's will, they could say exactly what Prof. X said, and the rest of the department will implode after a number of luncheons. But none of them want that, because each professor is sympathetic to dodging accountability, and so it takes a disinterested party to rock the boat.

All this to say, a "hush hush" policy of accountability can be incredibly detrimental to society. I believe that as long as suicide and suicidal ideation remain taboo, we are following a "hush hush" policy. Our society hasn't wanted to admit that lots more people would commit suicide given the choice, even though we all know it now. The data says so. So now we have to sit and wait for the nth luncheon, we have to wait for the chain of responsibility to make it all the way, until society as a whole takes accountability.

But we have another option, one that the riddle doesn't take into account. In the riddle, if the faculty hearing Prof. X had immediately given up their unspoken "hush hush" policy, it would not have taken them 17 luncheons to resign; they would all resign immediately. In other words, we can expedite the process of tracing responsibility by relinquishing the "hush hush" policy that holds these institutions on their last breaths. If we want to foster a culture of accountability, in order to effect progress as quickly as possible, the correct strategy is to quell the taboo surrounding suicide.

Anyway that's the thesis you inspired out of me. Maybe it's a little philosophical masturbation, but I think it's a unique perspective that concretely illustrates how accountability operates slowly at an institutional level, and how the process can be expedited. A case for ending the taboo.
Excellent post and I like your thesis that you derived from the thread! Indeed, the so called "hush hush" policy when it comes to voluntary euthanasia and suicide is more harmful to society than having an open discussion on said topics and making policies that allow people to check out peacefully with dignity.

Additionally, there are similar issues that this applies to as well, such as drugs and alcohol, prostitution, gambling, and a lot of other vices. Things that are made illegal and forbidden fruit will always have people who will do it, just illegally and that also carries other risks as well (including but not limited to the black market). Alcohol especially in the 1920's until the 1930's, when the sale of it became illegal in the US during that time, people still drank, black markets and organized crime took root and made various parts of the US more dangerous, and of course, when things aren't regulated, there are greater risks and consequences causing greater harm overall.
 
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Rounded Apathy

Rounded Apathy

Longing to return to stardust
Aug 8, 2022
728
An interesting take. What @bigsadbean and @BillyBob say make for an interesting clash in possible outcomes - below is a compilation of accounts of people who are choosing or have chosen MAiD over less-desirable outcomes (pay no heed to the dodgy tweet title; the meat is in the articles):

Many of these people couldn't afford the care, drugs, or treatment necessary to continue living a life they deem/ed worthwhile - from that angle, it doesn't hurt pharma/biotech corporations to have them off themselves, since they were going to wind up in the gutter or dead anyway. It would also minimize taxpayer costs as those people wouldn't reach a point where they'd need to be supported by the state.

But on the other hand, they could have been given support with their needs, putting money into corporate accounts and keeping the giant evil hamster wheel spinning. I feel like I don't have anywhere near a good enough understanding of socio-economic systems for this, but am damn sure there's some sweet spot of certain proportion of sick people continuing to live thanks to medical intervention of whatever kind in order for capitalist growth to continue. (Edit: after reading the stories more thoroughly, it seems like at least those being reported on struggle a lot with things besides typical medication, like supplementary/alternative therapies, receiving support from visiting caregivers, or just paying for basic needs like food ffs. No massive players like pharma would care about keeping such people around.)

I expect someone's already crunched the numbers, cross-referenced them with how many people would be estimated to choose MAiD based on socio-economic situation, and probably factored in the percentage of physicians who're on board with the gradually expanding criteria as opposed to those against it. This kind of shit is deliberated intensely for long periods of time publicly; god know what went and goes on behind the scenes.
 
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