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Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

This is sad.

Four members of the Final Exit Network, including its president and its medical director, were arrested Wednesday and charged with assisted suicide in the death of 58-year-old John Celmer last June at his home near Atlanta. Investigators said the organization may have been involved in as many as 200 other deaths around the country.

[…] The arrests came after an eight-month investigation in which an undercover agent posing as someone bent on suicide infiltrated the Final Exit Network, which bases its work on “The Final Exit,” a best-selling suicide manual by British author Derek Humphry.

Members of the Final Exit Network are instructed to buy two new helium tanks and a hood, known as an “exit bag,” according to the GBI. In court papers, investigators said the organization recommends helium because it is undetectable during an autopsy.

Final Exit is a book I possess and have read. I think it is a tremendously important work and, along with the eponymous network,  performs an invaluable service. As I have often stated on this blog, I view right to suicide on par with the right to life — the most fundamental right of man.

Of course, most don’t view it that way and my advice to others like me who wish to have complete control over their moment of exit is: buy those helium tanks and bags now and keep them in multiple locations. Have sensible backup plans. Don’t wait till you are so weak that you need assistance to get that stuff — for there will always be people who will fight to deny you liberty. And needless to say, before you take any irreversible decision, think long and hard.

And to those noble members who were arrested today: you were punished for doing good, for helping a man exercise his most precious freedom. You are not the first to face such injustice nor will you be the last; but the work you were doing will be carried on by others in your absence and your contributions and deeds respected and fondly remembered.

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This is pathetic.

I hope the guy has a forgiving temperament, because if it was me, the `ex-girlfriend’ would have very bad things happening to her for the rest of her life. I can comprehend murder, abuse or theft for revenge or gain. I can comprehend the most terrible act of tyranny for a selfish cause. Of course I do not condone them, but at some level, I do understand — without necessarily sympathising with — those things and recognize the possibility of forgiveness and redemption. 

Using the force of law to take away another’s liberty just because you think that would be good for him I cannot understand. Or ever forgive.

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It is a controversial, much maligned organization. Lots of people find their work loathsome. What they do is illegal in almost every other country of the world.

Dignitas. It’s a beautiful name. And they do beautiful work. To me, they represent freedom as few other things do. Imagine a world where organizations like Dignitas aren’t an exception but a common sight in every major city. A world where the concept has been taken even further: anyone capable of coherently expressing their wish can end their life with dignity at the time of their choice for any reason whatsoever.

Such a day is far away. So, till then, let us celebrate the existence of a group of professionals who care enough about others that they help them exercise their most fundamental right; one that society has always denied them.

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If you are bored or simply wondering what’s the coolest way to die, check out this old Maddox classic. Not suitable for the easily offended.

Wondering why anyone should ever commit suicide? Maddox has the answer to that too. Also, the letters at the end are funny.

Lastly, if you a fan of fratire and know any other good writers, please post it in the comments.

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From the CNN report:

The parents of a 23-year-old rugby player who committed suicide after a training accident left him paralyzed say the decision gave him “welcome relief.”

Daniel James died in a Swiss clinic on September 12, according to a local authority in central England.

But the Worcestershire Coroner Service does not say how James — who was paralyzed from the chest down — got to Switzerland.

British law bars anyone from cooperating with a suicide attempt. Local police say they are investigating.

I do not know if this couple helped their son get to Switzerland. If they did, it was possibly the most beautiful and most painful act of their lives. Of course, in that case, the law will get to them eventually. There will be a trial and possibly a conviction. Those who believe in imposing their value judgments on others will be relieved. Bloggers like me will be mad and frustrated. But eventually the world will return to normal.

[Addendum]:

I believe that suicide is one of the most fundamental rights of a human being. That is not to say I approve or disprove of it. It simply means that I view a person’s life and the decision to exit from it as his most inalienable freedom, one that the government cannot deprive him of in any circumstance whatsoever.

And on a more personal note, it is my preferred (and most likely) mode of exit. In particular, I do not view suicide as an irrational act, though it certainly is one to be taken after great consideration. As for the moment I choose to go, it will be a purely personal decision, involving only myself and perhaps the person closest to me. Those in high office who think they can stop me, good luck.

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Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called D.C. Madam, killed herself last week. She was due to be sentenced soon for offences related to an elite prostitution ring she ran from 1993 to 2006. In her suicide note addressed to her mother, she wrote:

I cannot live the next 6-8 years behind bars for what both you and I have come to regard as this ‘modern day lynching,’ only to come out of prison in my late 50’s a broken, penniless, and very much alone woman.

At the top of the suicide note were the instructions:

Do not revive. Do not feed under any circumstances.

In the note to her younger sister, Bobbie, Palfrey expressed her love and told her to “be strong for mom.”

“Also, you must comprehend that there was no other way out, i.e., ‘exit strategy,’ other than the one I have chosen here,” she wrote. “Know I am at peace, with complete certainty, I believe Dad is standing watch – prepared to guide me into the light.”

It is worth noting that Deborah’s impending prison time — that drove her to suicide — were for offences related to nothing less, and nothing more, than helping consenting adults engage in consensual sexual activity for money.

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Some doctors did a study of the type of websites that come up when one enters suicide related queries in online search engines. The results were interesting – most of the sites are pro-suicide and many of them offer detailed prescriptions on how to commit the act.

While I strongly believe in an unalienable right to commit suicide, I am not pro-suicide personally — given a choice between apparent hopelessness and certain hopelessness, I lean towards the former.  Nevertheless, I do recognise that there exist situations when suicide is indeed the best of all alternatives, and for that reason it is useful to have the knowledge necessary for a quick painless end. For anyone wishing to have such a guide in your shelf, I highly recommend Derek Humphrey’s Final Exit — an excellent book on various methods of self-delivereance.

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