What Do You Think: THE ETHICS OF SUICIDE?

This is a discussion on What Do You Think: THE ETHICS OF SUICIDE? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; From teen-age years' loss of parents, then my sister and her twin who had the same kidney disease but got a transplant but, having lived ...

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Thread: What Do You Think: THE ETHICS OF SUICIDE?

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    What Do You Think: THE ETHICS OF SUICIDE?

    From teen-age years' loss of parents, then my sister and her twin who had the same kidney disease but got a transplant but, having lived a full life in spite of many heath problems, is now beginning it seems to fail slowly, and the loss in three years of 4 of my best friends - the last few years are isolated to the extreme, I'm not married, my interest in women anywhere near my age is 0, and much younger ones become my childish degeneration into being a "fool in love". That's that way I am. so single I will die. At 66 I've outlived both parents by a decade and my health is taking many hits lately, an undiagnosed neurological condition in my legs, I go back to Johns Hopkins for a second appt and more tests in March. And a serious breathing problem, I think surely grown worse since my last breathing test a year ago. I have one Friday. I expect things got worse. This is emphysema and COPD. Even though I haven't smoked since 1988.

    I feel my life is becoming unplugged from what was good before, except I love my students still but I've given them much over many years so I could sadly leave them in the near future - and have begun to think of suicide after my sister goes, and also after my oldest cat dies, I have a connection with that loving pet I couldn't put into words and I couldn't leave him. He would have about 5 years left by averages. And when my sister and great little friend died, it would be too much on top of all the other losses. I would want to leave too. I do now but am afraid of it.

    My only problem is with my younger kitty, a sweetheart who can also be a pain at times, great personality. I don't know what I would do about her, she has another 10yrs likely, I don't and won't.

    So, I'm not acutely depressed and am on an anti-depressant, and could not do anything for about five years, but it's become a goal and some way inside I am preparing.

    What though about the ethics of suicide? Do you think killing a being that is alive and not in excruciating hopeless physical pain, I mean killing yourself, is a murder, just like you murdered another person. That part bothers me.

    Do not worry and I hope you're not freaked out by what I wrote - I may never have the courage to do it, and IT is a few years down the road. Just preliminary thoughts these all are. That my life itself is dying in all ways is unquestionable. Where I'm at now, if that is the case, and that will get worse, is this: why hang around - thru advanced age, disability, loneliness and then death?
    Last edited by rstickle; December 16th, 2013 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Language

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    Member Array TruckerJoe's Avatar
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    I cannot say as to what is ethical and what is moral, all I know is that I am in almost the same boat. I live in constant and sometimes severe chronic pain that the doctors say there is no hope of lessening. I live in abject poverty with a total family income of less than $7K for 2013. Because of my injury I cannot return to truck driving and I am too old to start over. All of the fun in my life has long since passed and I just go through the motions of living each day.

    I have one reason, and one reason only that I stay on Earth, my wife. I love her with all my heart and have done so for the past 30 years. As long as she is alive I cannot do anything to make exit plans. At least not unless she decides to go with me. I do have a non-active plan in effect, I pray every night that I will not wake up the next morning, but even that has gone sour when we had to cancel our life insurance because we could no longer afford to make the payments . I cannot see any bright horizons to go towards. Will I take my life? Maybe someday, but for now I am needed here. Detective, just know that you are not alone.
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckerJoe View Post
    I cannot say as to what is ethical and what is moral, all I know is that I am in almost the same boat. I live in constant and sometimes severe chronic pain that the doctors say there is no hope of lessening. I live in abject poverty with a total family income of less than $7K for 2013. Because of my injury I cannot return to truck driving and I am too old to start over. All of the fun in my life has long since passed and I just go through the motions of living each day.

    I have one reason, and one reason only that I stay on Earth, my wife. I love her with all my heart and have done so for the past 30 years. As long as she is alive I cannot do anything to make exit plans. At least not unless she decides to go with me. I do have a non-active plan in effect, I pray every night that I will not wake up the next morning, but even that has gone sour when we had to cancel our life insurance because we could no longer afford to make the payments . I cannot see any bright horizons to go towards. Will I take my life? Maybe someday, but for now I am needed here. Detective, just know that you are not alone.
    Thank you, it helps to know others who feel that with age or health-problems - or both - the question comes up. Have you tried Physical Therapy at all? I did a summer of it with my legs as far as one symptom goes - pain with any movement of either leg. That they do know the cause of: pinched nerves in lower spine. The P.T. has taken care of much of the pain. The other symptom, uncontrollable shaking in my legs at times, like when I sit and try to raise one or the other, is the same and so far the cause a medical mystery. But at least the constant pain is much better. I think some of those PTs know more than doctors about pain management. I suggest it to you, and pray with that or something your pain eases - and I really feel for you.

    The very Best to you and your wife! And thank you again for sharing yourself for my benefit.
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    Member Array TruckerJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by detective View Post
    Thank you, it helps to know others who feel that with age or health-problems - or both - the question comes up. Have you tried Physical Therapy at all? I did a summer of it with my legs as far as one symptom goes - pain with any movement of either leg. That they do know the cause of: pinched nerves in lower spine. The P.T. has taken care of much of the pain. The other symptom, uncontrollable shaking in my legs at times, like when I sit and try to raise one or the other, is the same and so far the cause a medical mystery. But at least the constant pain is much better. I think some of those PTs know more than doctors about pain management. I suggest it to you, and pray with that or something your pain eases - and I really feel for you.

    The very Best to you and your wife! And thank you again for sharing yourself for my benefit.
    I have in fact tried PT, after 6 weeks of torture the therapist noted in my file that I failed PT, there was no improvement in range of motion or pain management. I have an appointment with an Ortho surgeon after the first of the year, but he won't be able to do much. I have a standing offer to give my almost new chainsaw to anyone who will use it to take my left arm off, that is how bad I hurt most of the time. Besides it takes 2 hands to run a chainsaw and my left is rebelling. In some ways it is easier to know that I am not alone in not being sure I want to hang around. Thanks for taking time to talk to me.

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    Member Array Nutrodoc's Avatar
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    My first thought as an answer to your "Why hang around" question is that we don't know what is just around the corner. We certainly expect that there may be some very unpleasant experiences, but there may be some amazingly great ones as well. This isn't just a platitude. I have known several people who have gone through anger, depression, despair, etc. in cases similar to yours (and mine - by the way), yet later have said it is one of the best things that has happened to them because of what they have learned and experienced.

    Maybe it's a dumb analogy, but I think of it kind of like flying. Sometimes we take off on a cold, dreary, rainy day. Soon we are in the gray clouds and can see nothing. We are totally surrounded by bleakness and as far as we can see, the future is just more of the same or worse. The clouds just go on and on and on and on and the turbulence is increasing. Then suddenly we come through the other side bathed in sunshine and we are treated to the incredibly magnificent view of crystal clear sky and the top of the clouds we just penetrated and overcame. If we don't hang around, we may never have the opportunity to see from that perspective.

    The ethics of suicide? Hard to say. As you point out, taking a human life - even your own - is taboo according to most. We fear what is on the other side of the clouds. It does take courage to do it, but it also takes courage to live. It took courage to post this thread. Some view suicide as a cowardly act. I don't see it that way. But what I do see is that the decision to live is reversible. The decision to die is not. Years ago, I read a novel in which the main character thought of suicide on a daily basis. The idea that he could leave his challenges behind at any time was a great comfort to him. Ironically, the knowledge that he could end his life gave him the courage to face it and to see what is on the other side of the clouds.

    Only you can make the decision. It's your hand on the throttle and your foot on the brake. As much as one person can understand another, I do feel your anguish. I have a strong tendency to isolate myself which is not in my best self-interest or that of others, so I'm trying to stay as engaged in life as possible. I know that I don't have a lot of time left and I want to make the most of it. I share your love of animals and there are many out there that I have the potential to help - and people I have the potential to help. I recommend you add some throttle to your life and see what happens. The brake is always available, but once we have shut things down, all other options disappear.

    I sincerely wish the very best for you - and your cats.

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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Not a conversation I'd suggest anyone have on the internet... especially on a gun forum. I wish you guy the best, but surely there is someone better to discuss this with than faceless internet folks?
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    Ummm not the best subject for a firearms related forum.
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    This indeed is a very deep subject and know one here is qualified to make . my heart goes out to anyone in this stage of depression but you must reach out to people that will be able to help you , we all have a purpose in life and we all touch other people in our journey . Do not let the people you have meant something to remember you this way .
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I don't know if my statement has any validity to you. I cannot ask God for help and usurp his prerogatives.
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckerJoe View Post
    I have in fact tried PT, after 6 weeks of torture the therapist noted in my file that I failed PT, there was no improvement in range of motion or pain management. I have an appointment with an Ortho surgeon after the first of the year, but he won't be able to do much. I have a standing offer to give my almost new chainsaw to anyone who will use it to take my left arm off, that is how bad I hurt most of the time. Besides it takes 2 hands to run a chainsaw and my left is rebelling. In some ways it is easier to know that I am not alone in not being sure I want to hang around. Thanks for taking time to talk to me.
    I heard of an implanted little injection device that would deliver pain killers right over the problem nerves - dunno much more about it. Think it would be under a Neurologists turf, or pain-management physician's. The best to you, it seems with all of medical science, some treatment would be available for your pain and the hell of having it constantly.

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutrodoc View Post
    My first thought as an answer to your "Why hang around" question is that we don't know what is just around the corner. We certainly expect that there may be some very unpleasant experiences, but there may be some amazingly great ones as well. This isn't just a platitude. I have known several people who have gone through anger, depression, despair, etc. in cases similar to yours (and mine - by the way), yet later have said it is one of the best things that has happened to them because of what they have learned and experienced.

    Maybe it's a dumb analogy, but I think of it kind of like flying. Sometimes we take off on a cold, dreary, rainy day. Soon we are in the gray clouds and can see nothing. We are totally surrounded by bleakness and as far as we can see, the future is just more of the same or worse. The clouds just go on and on and on and on and the turbulence is increasing. Then suddenly we come through the other side bathed in sunshine and we are treated to the incredibly magnificent view of crystal clear sky and the top of the clouds we just penetrated and overcame. If we don't hang around, we may never have the opportunity to see from that perspective.

    The ethics of suicide? Hard to say. As you point out, taking a human life - even your own - is taboo according to most. We fear what is on the other side of the clouds. It does take courage to do it, but it also takes courage to live. It took courage to post this thread. Some view suicide as a cowardly act. I don't see it that way. But what I do see is that the decision to live is reversible. The decision to die is not. Years ago, I read a novel in which the main character thought of suicide on a daily basis. The idea that he could leave his challenges behind at any time was a great comfort to him. Ironically, the knowledge that he could end his life gave him the courage to face it and to see what is on the other side of the clouds.

    Only you can make the decision. It's your hand on the throttle and your foot on the brake. As much as one person can understand another, I do feel your anguish. I have a strong tendency to isolate myself which is not in my best self-interest or that of others, so I'm trying to stay as engaged in life as possible. I know that I don't have a lot of time left and I want to make the most of it. I share your love of animals and there are many out there that I have the potential to help - and people I have the potential to help. I recommend you add some throttle to your life and see what happens. The brake is always available, but once we have shut things down, all other options disappear.

    I sincerely wish the very best for you - and your cats.
    Thanks for showing the other side: I just don't believe in it anymore, for me I mean. Part of that may be the lung disease and the fated feeling I have it is carrying me on a spiral down. Friday I'll see if it shows worse. I can't help but think it well. Symptoms are worse.

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    Senior Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    That sort of thought has crossed my mind at times, it's probably normal when one gets beyond a certain age and considers his own mortality. As for pain, I have it and deal with it and consider it to be a normal process of aging coupled with the many accidents and health conditions I have. My parents lived a fairly long life, Dad 76 and Mom 82, so genetically speaking I'm somewhere around that figure which doesn't give me much longer, but who knows. My GF is 10 years younger than I, and knows the situation although does not want to talk about all the different possibilities. That's just the way some people view reality, by avoiding it.

    As for the thought of suicide, most pain would not drive me to that, nor would poverty, loneliness, or any other sort of malady. As another poster put it, suicide is final, you don't get a chance to reverse that once it's done, and it's not all about you, you must think of the ones you leave behind they are the ones that have to live with what you did. Your problems might be over, but theirs will have just begun.

    Some on this forum don't consider a gun forum to be the place to be talking about this but I take exception to that. This forum is made up of mostly older people who unlike younger people, think about this sort of thing, especially around this time of year. If you can talk someone out of a drastic decision by letting them know that what they are thinking is not uncommon, then that's all the better. I personally want to hang around a bit longer just to see how things are doing in this world like family, sports, sunrises, seasons, and all the nice things that people take for granted.

    To the OP, there is more to life the longer you live.
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    Not a conversation I'd suggest anyone have on the internet... especially on a gun forum. I wish you guy the best, but surely there is someone better to discuss this with than faceless internet folks?
    I've talked to a professional about my perception. That helps. It's also nice to have a group kind of gathering to discuss it, I trust them thru their words.
    Do you mean posting thoughts about suicide on a gun forum will possibly bring out the LAW to prevent a crime - guess it is technically. Not quite sure what danger you saw. The last way I would off myself is with a gun anyhow. Haven't got that specific as if I'm planning the details, but a gun would not be my way.
    But I am curious as to your qualms about this topic on a gun forum. Thanks.

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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldpsufan View Post
    That sort of thought has crossed my mind at times, it's probably normal when one gets beyond a certain age and considers his own mortality. As for pain, I have it and deal with it and consider it to be a normal process of aging coupled with the many accidents and health conditions I have. My parents lived a fairly long life, Dad 76 and Mom 82, so genetically speaking I'm somewhere around that figure which doesn't give me much longer, but who knows. My GF is 10 years younger than I, and knows the situation although does not want to talk about all the different possibilities. That's just the way some people view reality, by avoiding it.

    As for the thought of suicide, most pain would not drive me to that, nor would poverty, loneliness, or any other sort of malady. As another poster put it, suicide is final, you don't get a chance to reverse that once it's done, and it's not all about you, you must think of the ones you leave behind they are the ones that have to live with what you did. Your problems might be over, but theirs will have just begun.

    Some on this forum don't consider a gun forum to be the place to be talking about this but I take exception to that. This forum is made up of mostly older people who unlike younger people, think about this sort of thing, especially around this time of year. If you can talk someone out of a drastic decision by letting them know that what they are thinking is not uncommon, then that's all the better. I personally want to hang around a bit longer just to see how things are doing in this world like family, sports, sunrises, seasons, and all the nice things that people take for granted.

    To the OP, there is more to life the longer you live.
    Well, we talk about everything under the sun in "Off-Topic", including many subjects not firearm-related - it is "off-topic" after all: why not this? It feels good not to walk about with "my little secret" and just talk about it. Very freeing - the weirder one feels about their despair and dark night of the soul from silence caused by embarrassment the more toxic those feelings become.

    Shakespeare's "To be or not to be, that is the question", the whole soliloquy of Hamlet's is one of the greatest pieces of writing in the English language but it also captures the basic predicament of man, or many men sometimes. It must have struck something to be more performed and read now, 400 years since its writing, than at the time of it.
    Shakespeare spoke to all men in all times about this crux a good many have felt, do feel, and will feel always.

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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    My suggestion......Keep A Positive Outlook, We Were Put Here For A Purpose......and when the going get's tough, the tough get going.....Never Quit.
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