When killing yourself makes sense

I think that most people fear death less than dying. And few people want to hang around severely handicapped or senile. One of my own fears is that the forestry enterprise I have built will be dissipated in caring for us in our old age. Better to die with your boots on than survive as a burden to everyone around you. And perhaps it makes sense to take active measures to hasten the inevitable.

The euthanasia debate is always been with us and will become more intense in future as medical technologies allow for the preservation of life beyond all reasonable sense and our populations get older.

It used to be easier. The Hippocratic oath tells doctors that they should do no harm and not hasten death. But neither Hippocrates nor any doctors from his time until not very long ago faced the prospects we do today. Doctors and patients could do all they could to preserve life because they knew in many cases they would lose the battle. Now real choices must be made.

It is unpleasant considering pulling the plug on grandma, or having the plug pulled on yourself. But even this pales in comparison to active measures. The WSJ features an article about a couple of twins with genetic defects that made them deaf and would soon make them blind. They sought, and got, help to kill themselves.

The Christian religion has always opposed suicide with great passion. It is the same reason why Christians oppose abortion. It is arrogant for humans to play God with human life, even their own. But like Hippocrates, this ideology grew up in a time when it really was God's choice. The sick and crippled just did not live long so you rarely needed to face the choice.

I was raised Catholic and despite my ostensible lapse in faith, I still have a deep aversion to suicide. But trying to put that aside, it makes logical AND humane sense to end some life when it no longer has meaning. My religious upbringing still tells me that I have no right to make that choice, but my reason tells me that I must. And as a society we soon must too.

I heard about a woman who feared she would get Alzheimer's disease, so she got a bottle of deadly poison and put it into her medicine cabinet with a note to herself saying, "if you don't remember what these pills are for, take them." This is flippant but fundamentally sound. People with advanced Alzheimer's disease are gone already. It is the mind that makes the person and we should let the body catch up.

If you are a religious person, you know that you will go to a better place, or maybe get what you deserve anyway. For the non religious person, who cares? Recall Macbeth, "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing." In any case, to mix plays, you should shuffle off this mortal coil when your time is done and not hang around like a fart in a phone booth (only us old people get this metaphor).

Secular people sometimes ape a religious argument that we have no right to make such a value decision, but we must and soon. If not us, then who? If not now, when?

And if you cannot understand this subject, take those pills.

Posted by Christine & John at June 16, 2013 11:26 AM
Comment #367344

Speaking of dying; how’s that Chicago gun control working for the left?

“Seven people were killed and at least 30 others were shot in violence that plagued Chicago over Father’s Day weekend.

Six of the fatalities and 11 other shootings occurred overnight Saturday leading into Father’s Day, including the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy.

On the Southwest Side, five people were shot, one fatally, in two shootings in the Little Village neighborhood.

At 10:50 p.m. Saturday 21-year-old Ricardo Herrera was killed and two others were shot in the 2500 block of South Ridgeway Avenue, police said.

The two injured were taken to Mount Sinai. Their condition was not immediately known.

At 12:30 a.m. Sunday, an 18-year-old man was shot in the head, chest and shoulder in a drive by shooting that also injured a 22-year-old woman in the thigh near 31st Street and Pulaski Road.

The man was taken to Mount Sinai in critical condition, according to Police News Affairs Officer Mirabelli.

At 11:45 p.m. Saturday a 16-year-old boy was shot by a gunman on a bicycle in the 4100 block of West North Avenue, police said.

The boy tried to flee but collapsed a short distance from where he was shot.

He was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center at 1:37 a.m. after sustaining gunshot wounds to the left arm and back, Mirabelli said. The teen was later identified as Kevin Rivera of the 1500 block of North Keystone Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

His death was ruled a homicide but police had no one in custody as of Sunday morning.

Just after midnight Sunday, someone opened fire in a nightclub in the Chatham neighborhood, killing one man and injuring three others.

Todd Wood, 40, was killed in the shooting and three others were treated for gunshot wounds at area hospitals. One person is in critical condition, officials said.

No one was in custody for the shooting as of Sunday morning.

Around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a call of a man shot in the 7400 block of South Parnell Avenue. They found a 19-year-old man bleeding from the chest, stomach and shoulder, Mirabelli said.

The teen, identified as Jamal Jones, of the 8800 block of South Yale Avenue, was later pronounced dead at Christ Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Minutes after, a man was killed and a woman was wounded in the 200 block of South Keeler Avenue on the city’s West Side, police said.

Cortez Wilberton, of the 200 block of South Lavergne Avenue, was pronounced dead at Loretto Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The wounded woman was treated for a graze wound to the face at Loretto Hospital. She was listed in stable condition as of Sunday morning.

Less than an hour later, a police-involved shooting killed one man in the Lawndale neighborhood.

Officers attempted to pull a car over several times when the passenger jumped out and started running in the 1600 block of South Springfield Avenue around 2:30 a.m., police said.

The officers chased the man down an alley when they noticed a gun in his belt, according to police.

The man allegedly reached for the weapon and police opened fire. No officers were injured in the incident and the matter is under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority.

The latest shooting occurred at 4:10 a.m. in the 3400 block of West Walnut Street when a 34-year-old man was shot in the head, back and leg. He was taken by a friend to Mount Sinai Hospital but was not cooperative with police, Mirabelli said.

The weekend’s first fatality occurred around 11:34 p.m. Friday in the 5500 block of West Quincy Street when two men were shot during a “dispute,” officials said.

One man, 24, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. The other man, 23, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with a wound to the stomach. His condition was not immediately known.

Shortly after, two people were shot blocks away in the South Austin neighborhood near Leclaire Avenue and Madison Street around 12:45 a.m. Saturday, police said.

A man in his 20s was wounded in the neck and buttocks after he was shot standing outside, according to Officer Mirabelli.

The man was transported to Loyola University Medical Center and a woman, who was also wounded in the shooting, was taken to West Suburban Medical Center with gunshot wounds to the thigh.

Across the city, 16 others were wounded in shootings throughout the weekend.

Around 9:45 p.m. a man in his 20s was shot in the buttocks and thigh in 9400 block of South Loomis Street, police said.

The man was standing with a group of friends when gunman began shooting from a dark-colored minivan.

He was transported to Christ Hospital in stable condition and no one is in custody for the shooting.

At 9:30 p.m., two people were shot in the 7700 block of South Homan Avenue. A 21-year-old was injured in the leg and arm and a woman was injured in the thigh. Police did not have any further details on the shooting as of Sunday morning, but the Chicago Tribune reported a third person was also injured.

In the Marquette Park neighborhood Saturday afternoon two shootings occurred blocks away from each other.

The first shooting happened around 2:15 p.m. in the 7200 block of South Artesian Avenue where at least three people were wounded, officials said.

Two people were listed in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center and a third was in stable condition at Holy Cross Hospital.

The other incident occurred near 74th Street and Maplewood Avenue, where one person was shot.

The victims were not cooperating with police, officials said, but one person was taken into custody after the shooting.

Around 6:10 a.m. Saturday in the 7600 block of South Ashland Avenue when a man was shot in the arm during a carjacking. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center and was listed in stable condition as of Sunday morning.

Hours earlier, a man was reportedly dropped off at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital with a graze wound to the face around 3:30 a.m., but would not cooperate with police to determine where the shooting occurred, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Around 12:40 a.m. a 31-year-old man was shot in the back in the 1500 block of South St. Louis Avenue. The man was approached by a group of men when one fired shots at him, Mirabelli said. No one was in custody as of Saturday morning.

In the Little Village neighborhood, a 23-year-old man was shot around 10:40 p.m. Friday in the 2800 block of South Kedvale Avenue. He sustained gunshot wounds to the buttocks after a vehicle pulled up and a passenger fired several shots at the man, who has known gang affiliations, police said.

He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition.

An hour earlier, two people were wounded in the Fernwood neighborhood after a group began shooting from across the street in the 10600 block of South Wentworth Avenue.

A 32-year-old man was shot in the shoulder and taken to Mount Sinai and a 35-year-old man was treated on scene for a graze wound, Mirabelli said.

Earlier Friday, a man in his 20’s was shot in the toe in the 6400 block of South Oakley Avenue and taken to Holy Cross Hospital. No further details were available on the shooting, officials said.

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, two 19-year-olds were reportedly shot in the 9300 block of South Stewart Avenue. The man and the woman were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.”

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/1-Dead-12-Wounded-in-Overnight-Shootings-211673851.html#ixzz2WOvVXtFs

Posted by: Political Hostage at June 16, 2013 1:28 PM
Comment #367345


I suppose people are killing themselves by voting for that old Democratic machine, but I doubt they understand the connection.

Posted by: CJ at June 16, 2013 1:31 PM
Comment #367346

Really, C&J, killing themselves by voting for Dems! Was the intent of your article more about old age and dying or victim of gun violence? Is it time for Political Hostage and yourself to “take the pills”?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 16, 2013 1:44 PM
Comment #367347


It is a persistent problem for liberals that they take themselves too seriously. The proper response, IMO, to a cutting comment is a clever retort. Don’t have that in you, I suppose.

My article is indeed about old age and infirmity in general. I made a comment on a comment and you lose your bearings, or maybe your marbles.

This, BTW, is a play on the similarity of the word bearing connoting way or support with ball bearings, which resemble marbles which are featured in old slang, i.e. losing your marbles means becoming crazy or silly. Will it help you and your liberal buddies if I explain off-hand phrases so that you all can get the connections?

In my main text, I refer to the dark summary of life in Macbeth but then I mix it with a reference to Hamlet. FYI, I don’t talk like that. I think it is good to mention it to you so that you don’t feel the need to comment on the archaic language.

And my comment about a fart in a phone booth is actually derived from Australian slang. It implies that something is remaining after the initial presence has gone.

Finally Hippocrates was an ancient Greek popularly called the father of medicine.

Is there anything else I can clear up for you?

Posted by: CJ at June 16, 2013 2:07 PM
Comment #367350

Hold on, -&J, Don’t do anything rash. Just because the Dems are in control doesn’t mean that’s the endtime. The Rep’s will ping-pong back, always have. If it’s our debt don’t worry too much about it. I’m sure our kids and grandkids will be willing to help out some. Just hang in -&J. Things will get better.

On a more serious note forestry man. Having done their thing the ciccadoes are seemingly committing suicide all over the place, practically falling from the sky. In making their way to bug heaven they have caused trees/bushes across the landscape to have clumps of leaves, six or so leaves to a clump, to die. Mite near killed my crabapple. I hope I am sticking close enough to the thrust of your article, etc.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 16, 2013 4:03 PM
Comment #367351

Seems conservatives have the problem of taking themselves to seriously as well C&J, judging by how your panties are all in a bunch over my comment.

Aside from that, your article was actually worthy of discussion to bad it degenerated so quickly into conservative blathering.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 16, 2013 4:33 PM
Comment #367352


I hate those bugs because they make so much noise, but they cause no lasting damage.

Re Democrats - it is healthy. We have had a strong dose of liberalism, the kind I remember from the 1970s. Young people had not experienced it as I had, so they thought it was a good thing. I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976 but by 1980 had learned my lesson. Obama won a smaller % the second time around and by 2016 we will be back on the right track.

Re the actual article - I am almost old, but not quite. I prefer not to die for a while, since I am still healthy and reasonably useful. I am not much afraid of death, since there is no point in that. But I am afraid of being seriously incapacitated or senile. I think that we hang onto life too long sometimes. Some lives are no longer worth living and the idea that every life is valuable is plain wrong.

Posted by: CJ at June 16, 2013 4:39 PM
Comment #367353


Actually, I did not say voting for Dems, but for the Chicago Democratic machine. The two are not exactly the same. The Chicago machine is corrupt and crooked. Presumably, not all Democrats are like that.

Re articles - they usually quickly degenerate. When I write a less political article, nobody comments and/or people try to make it political. Recently even my fellow conservatives have given me a hard time. It is also true that sometimes I put a political twist just so somebody will indeed comment.

Posted by: CJ at June 16, 2013 4:44 PM
Comment #367355

Well, I can attest the religious sector will not change their opinion on the issue. But, there has been a slow movement toward euthanasia for some who the medical profession cannot help. It’s not much of a stretch from removing life support for the brain dead to doing so for other physical failures of the body.

A trend that will be driven by insurance coverage and the increasing cost to support life. Ability of the modern medical profession makes such a decision a lot easier, IMO.

Could be a dangerous trend if gov’t gets involved with the decision and it becomes a ‘cost saving’ issue, etc.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 16, 2013 5:15 PM
Comment #367357

Extreme lifesaving measures are only available if someone or something is willing to pay for them.

I have no problem at all with someone wishing to prolong their life, no matter the lack of quality of that life, providing they are using their own resources to prolong it.

I object to using other people’s money in the same effort. This country is not rich enough to afford everyone with the same life-prolonging measures. We can not justify spending hundreds of thousands of scarce dollars to prolong a meaningless life.

If the means to prolong a life that is existing as a vegetable are removed, the question of euthanasia is moot. The person will simply die of natural causes.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 16, 2013 5:39 PM
Comment #367360

Don’t you just love the way liberals crawl out from under the rocks to comment on anything that doesn’t involve dealing with Obama’s scandals.

“Aside from that, your article was actually worthy of discussion to bad it degenerated so quickly into conservative blathering.”

Posted by: j2t2 at June 16, 2013 4:33 PM

j2t2, where were you when the discussion was about the Obama scandals and government invading our rights? I guess you are above the conservative blather, unless it was Democrat blather against Bush.

Posted by: Frank at June 16, 2013 6:35 PM
Comment #367365
Presumably, not all Democrats are like that.

Well C&J at least we can agree on something. Although Chicago dems have had some scandals trying to associate Obama with these scandals is illogical.

Re articles - they usually quickly degenerate.

Yes they do but by your own hand with only one comment from a conservative seems to be a record.

Frank, My schedule hasn’t allowed me much time to read and comment during the weekdays these last several weeks, besides most of the so called “scandals” are just molehills conservatives claim to be mountains. Funny you bring GWB up whilst mentioning scandals as his administration has many that conservatives were unable to admit or acknowledge. As an example if you think Benghazi is a scandal then where were you when embassies were attacked while GWB was in office? Hiding under a rock no doubt, watching Faux news.


Posted by: j2t2 at June 16, 2013 11:26 PM
Comment #367373

“Don’t you just love the way liberals crawl out from under the rocks to comment on anything that doesn’t involve dealing with Obama’s scandals.”

You know that’s funny Frank, because before the election you were hooting and hollering, and telling people that they should be on suicide watch and….then you simply disappeared.

Now you come back from under your rock, whining about nobody giving you a chance to vent your virulent anger at libruls.



Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 17, 2013 12:16 PM
Comment #367374

None of those attacks described in your Hufingtonpost article resemble the September 11th attack in Benghazi, Libya, j2t2!

Either the Huffingtonpost article is sadly lacking in facts, or it purposely mislead the reader in an attempt to draw a parallel to the September, 11th attack in an attempt to make a political point.

Bob Cesca failed to mention how George Bush sent his UN Ambassador on numerous talkshows to lie about the circumstances involved in the attack.

He also failed to mention how George Bush’s Secretary of State blamed an unrelated video for the mayhem and then threw the producer in jail for making said video.

Bob Cesca also overlooked the media moderator in a debate cheating for George Bush and subsequently embarasing his opposition.

With all that aside, j2t2, what difference does it make?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 17, 2013 12:45 PM
Comment #367375

In keeping with the intent of the article:

It is cowardly, selfish, and lacks character to commit suicide. It is murder in the eyes of God and the eyes of man to take one’s life. It is not your life to take. It belongs to your loved ones and to God.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 17, 2013 12:52 PM
Comment #367510

I’m no longer sure just exactly what the original topic was of your post, but I think it had something to do with suicide. If I am on target, let me say I agreed with you, all the way.

Until I read the comment you made in reference to Roy’s comment. You remember the one.

I think that we hang onto life too long sometimes. Some lives are no longer worth living and the idea that every life is valuable is plain wrong.

Why must you aways end up sounding somehow - arrogant? Whose going t make the decisions about whose life is valuable? You? Me? I hope not. Suicide I can support - but murder - nope, not even if I believe someone is not fit to live (with the exception of criminals on death row)

It is rather strange to realize that you support abortion - at least in some cases.

It is the same reason why Christians oppose abortion. It is arrogant for humans to play God with human life, even their own.

The more I read from you, the more I think you too might be a “robocrate”, or a “demorublician”

Posted by: Highlandangel1 at June 20, 2013 11:47 AM
Comment #367545


I am not advocating murder. I am saying that we should not always assume that life is worth it or that it is a terrible tragedy when an old or infirm person takes the road to glory.

IMO, it is better, luckier, if you can avoid the bad years, even if it means dying sooner.

Re abortion - I think I fall into the majority of Americans who thinks that abortion is a very bad thing but that in some cases it is justified.

Posted by: CJ at June 21, 2013 6:29 PM
Comment #367548

I agree with you, except how does one know for sure when the bad years will end, or begin? I had a lot of bad years several years ago. Now things are fine. As for the elderly - some are doing extremely well, other not so. I just wouldn’t want to be the one to make the decision.

Posted by: Highlandangel1 at June 21, 2013 8:29 PM
Comment #367563


The problem is that we MUST make that decision because technology has made things possible.

Christine’s mother died of pancreatic cancer. They kept her alive much longer than could have been done even five years before, but there was not much life left. Her family had to make the tough decision re when to turn it off.

My father took the glory road the right way. He never went to the doctor from the time he was discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1945 until the day he died in 1996. He fell to the floor and when asked if he was okay, he said “I can’t complain” and shuffled off. That was a good death.

Christine’s father, on the other hand, hung on with a relatively healthy body and a lost mind until he was 98. He didn’t know who anybody was, didn’t know who he was.

One question is when do you stop being you? IMO, Christine’s father died at least five years before his body stopped working.

None of this is easy. But we cannot avoid the discussion. I think that keeping my mother-in-law alive was actually immoral. She was kind of a pet, kept with a flicker of life in order that her husband and children could feel that she was not gone. Christine finally persuaded the others to let it go. It was a very courageous decision and I respect her for it. The others just would not do it. They used pseudo moral language, but the cold-heart decision was really the most compassionate.

Posted by: CJ at June 22, 2013 9:23 AM
Comment #369345

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