I wrote a post back in mid-February called, The Right To Die.
A very sensitive issue where I was arguing the fact that people with an incurable illness should have the right to die in a dignified manner. What had sparked these thoughts were few very profound statement made by Savannah that you can read below.
“– If assisted dying were legalized and made available to those suffering from incurable mental illness, people would not need to resort to suicide methods that cause trauma and disruption to others (e.g., jumping in front of a train).
– Just because someone is depressed or suicidal, doesn’t mean they are thinking “irrationally.” In fact, such people are often highly intelligent.
– Many suicides are not spontaneous acts of desperation, but the result of years worth of suffering and failed attempts at recovery.
– Suicide is not a cowardly act, but labeling it as such is.”
I then elaborated on the subject unknowingly that assisted suicide did exist and is available for incurable illnesses. I was doing some research about NGOs and organizations linked to mental illnesses and awareness when I stumbled over one organization that blew me away. This organization is called EXIT.
EXIT, a Swiss-based entity that helps those with incurable illnesses to end their lives in dignity and legally. Founded in 1982, Exit only offers its services to members, who must be Swiss or have permanent residency in Switzerland. They are currently looking into the possibility to help older adults who are still in good health but want to die.
Having said that there is a second Swiss organization called Dignitas, which also provides assisted suicide services to non-Swiss who are not Swiss residents. I went to their website and browsed it a bit. From my understanding, they may be some hurdles depending on which country you live in.
Assisted suicide could have helped in my little town of roughly ten thousand people We already had five suicides since the beginning of the year. I have heard, that they were all violent. We have a very high bridge near the center of town. Apparently a few have jumped from it. According to my psychiatrist, none of them were followed by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, even though medical care is free.
The population in this rural part of France is poor. They are also extremely closed minded and driven by negative preconceived ideas about any sensitive issues. The fact that they were not followed medically isn’t a surprise to me. Their belief is that you have to be “crazy” to go to a psychiatrist. And it is perceived as a sign of weakness to seek help for mental purposes. I bet that some of them could have been saved if the weren’t so ignorant. Therefore it makes me wonder if Assisted suicide would benefit all layers of society. Maybe not initially but could work over time.
This isn’t the issue. The issue is that there is a legal way to end our suffering if we chose to, with dignity and with the support from our families.
We have the right to chose.
Peace and serenity