March 07, 2005

Nature of Suicide

Anna and I had a long and drawn-out discussion today about the topic of suicide in general. Now, setting aside any personal feelings of morality regarding a Divine Ban on such things, my question, as usual, lies more to the lines of the semantics.

The question is essentially this: Is disconnecting one's own life support technically suicide?

My assertion is that to end a life is considered murder (either homicide or suicide, depending on the perpetrator) and that so long as the state of the living being changes to deceased as a direct result of the act in question, it really doesn't matter if the means was slitting a wrist or disconnecting a respirator.

Anna adds certain moral and ethical implications to this along with tying it into a spoiler to a movie that many haven't seen here. To me, the moral and ethical implications will fall out along certain lines once one gains a basic understanding of death and murder: namely, the removal of life, either via action or inaction constitutes a choice by a party to preserve or remove life from himself or another. In short, if you have a choice and you choose to extinguish life, you have placed yourself in line for a willful termination of life... more commonly known as either homicide or suicide.

Are there extenuating circumstances? Perhaps... but perhaps not. All else aside, I would assert that endeavors to dance around the above paragraph are typically (but not always) self-deluding attempts to soften a moral blow and such tapdancing should be abandoned at least until terms are properly defined.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at March 7, 2005 12:34 AM | TrackBack