I am about to write an opinion I’m sure very few will agree with. That’s OK. This is my opinion on the topic and I have arrived at it after long and careful study of the implications thereof.
Most people will say that suicide is never an option. As a Libertarian, I absolutely disagree with this statement. I believe we all have the right to self-determination and therefore the right to end our lives if we see fit. I reject the notion that a governing body has any place to tell us that we must continue to live against our wills. Of course, this does not address any moral or ethical implications of suicide, just the issue of bodily autonomy.
I will also say that I fully support physician-assisted suicide in limited cases, but in more cases that current US law currently allows (well, some states in the US anyway). I believe that physician-assisted suicide should be permitted in the case of terminal illness (no matter how long the prognosis), incurable mental or physical disability or incurable pain (both physical and emotional). That said, I am against pushing it as an option and it should be the free choice of the patient without any influence from the establishment.
So there are my official positions on the permissibility of suicide. That does not, however, make a value judgment on suicide, whether it be good, bad or indifferent. I think in some cases suicide can be morally justified as good or positive, namely one who sacrifices his/her own life to save another’s (though some will disagree with me, I do view this as a form of suicide). I also think there are instances in which suicide is morally bad (such as murder-suicide). In general, I tend to view suicide as morally neutral – neither good nor bad.
Now, that being said, I do not think it’s something to be taken lightly. After all, it is an irreversible action. Suicide should only be carried out after due consideration of all the variables involved: the after effects and the risk and consequences of failure. You must be absolutely certain that this is the course of action you want to take. If you are in the least bit unsure, just don’t. Wait to see if you change your mind. If not, then I’m not going to intervene.
So what brings this topic up? Well, a conversation with my ex. I was telling her how I realize now that any hope of ever having my dream career has been dashed. I’ve exhausted all possible avenues and I’ll forever be stuck in jobs and careers that I absolutely hate. It’s not my fault – I was born with a disability that medically disqualifies me from flying (autism spectrum disorder) and said pain of being “grounded” is compounded by me having a sibling who is living my dream (of course, it also is her’s).
My ex is over here trying to convince me to “find another dream.” That can’t happen because I only have one dream. No other job or career is even remotely appealing to me. Have I mentioned how much I fucking hate my current job despite the fact it’s what most people would consider a good job? I think I have, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Since my dream will never be realized, do I really have anything else to look forward to in life? I tend to not think so. I’m still trying to sort out in my mind what is the correct course of action for me. Do I continue living and suffering just to appease my “loved ones” (in quotations because I doubt anyone really does love me)? Or do I actually put my own desires first and remove myself from the world? It’s a decision I struggle with obviously, but I refuse to commit to ending my life until I am absolutely certain that is what I want to do.
So, where do I stand? I think that in most circumstances suicide is in fact the wrong course of action. Most problems are temporary and will resolve themselves in due time. For permanent problems with no hope of getting better I think it’s perfectly fine to put oneself out of his or her torment. Either way, I will not question one’s decision to commit suicide and I certainly will not try to stop someone from carrying it out. If a friend or family member confided in me and said he/she was contemplating suicide, I would take a balanced approach and say “here are your options, but I respect whatever decision you make.” The way I see it is that none of us had any choice whether or not to come into the world and therefore we should all have the free choice to undo that action if we see fit.
Again, I know this is probably a very unpopular opinion but it is my opinion and I am sticking to it.