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Old 04-15-2019, 09:22 PM
Barack Obama is offline
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Suicide should be legalized


I highly doubt having suicide technically illegal prevents anyone from killing themselves. In fact the lack of information people get on suicide results in their suffering. I imagine most people who are suicidal never reach out for help, or the help provided isn't necessarily going to help them. For that reason I believe it's more unethical for us as a society to try to force these people to live than it is for us to give them an option of suicide in a better environment and less painful method.

My proposal is have hospitals give the option of assisted suicide for medical reasons across the board. Then for mental illness it should just be very difficult / highly regulated so someone will have to prove their lifes will not get any better through extensive testing and treatment to make them less suicidal. There are a number of reasons I can give why we should do this.

1) Organs. Perfectly good organs, skin tissue, all go to waste because somebody offed themselves in their room alone, and they weren't found until days or weeks later.

2) Suffering. People go through a lot of suffering leading up to the point they do commit suicide, they also go through suffering via the method of suicide.

For these two reasons we should give hospitals the option of offering assisted suicide, if someone is going to kill themselves regardless at least we can save another persons life by harvesting their organs. If they're just going to die in their room alone suffering, the least we can do is give them less painful way out, and give them a constructive environment that wont punish them for wanting to die, instead actually try to help them and insure them there is always an option for them to take if things get bad enough.

Edit: I personally believe this will reduce suicide rates. Because someone actually wanting to commit suicide will have to reach out to a client offering assistance resulting in them indirectly reaching out for help at the same time. As I said, if it's strictly mental then they should have to prove it, and if someone is really that content on dying then they have the right to after proving their life will just continue getting worse.

Edit2: I also believe the Gov should force people especially assisted suicide people, to give up their organs. Once you're dead you're dead, no reason to be so selfish as to keep your perfectly good organs and skin to yourself when it could be used to better the life of someone else who actually wants to live.

Last edited by Barack Obama; 04-15-2019 at 09:26 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-15-2019, 09:59 PM
Locrian is online now
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I'm guessing you're talking about terminally ill people. My long-time friend killed himself last September. His wife (an even longer long-time friend) found him. Depression. Had it for years. Therapy didn't seem to click.

He was an organ donor already. So he did that part. But if you're not terminally ill, you're not going to jail if you attempt it. More likely you're sentenced to mental care or rehab, if applicable. Two other friends I know have attempted suicide but charges or fines were never filed against them.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
I'm guessing you're talking about terminally ill people. My long-time friend killed himself last September. His wife (an even longer long-time friend) found him. Depression. Had it for years. Therapy didn't seem to click.

He was an organ donor already. So he did that part. But if you're not terminally ill, you're not going to jail if you attempt it. More likely you're sentenced to mental care or rehab, if applicable. Two other friends I know have attempted suicide but charges or fines were never filed against them.
It's technically illegal almost everywhere. However you're still mandatory sentenced for a failed attempt which I think shouldn't have occurred in the first place. I think if someone is willing to commit suicide then if you give them to option to go to a hospital to get assisted suicide they'll be more likely to get help once they're going through the process of getting assisted suicide. They'll also be less likely to off themselves if they know they have a less painful and more effective option.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Barack Obama View Post
It's technically illegal almost everywhere. However you're still mandatory sentenced for a failed attempt which I think shouldn't have occurred in the first place. I think if someone is willing to commit suicide then if you give them to option to go to a hospital to get assisted suicide they'll be more likely to get help once they're going through the process of getting assisted suicide. They'll also be less likely to off themselves if they know they have a less painful and more effective option.
Are you talking about assisted suicide, or suicide in general? If you're talking about suicide in general, what makes you think it's technically illegal almost everywhere or that you're mandatory sentenced? This Wikipedia article has a map of suicide legality across the world:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_legislation
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
Are you talking about assisted suicide, or suicide in general? If you're talking about suicide in general, what makes you think it's technically illegal almost everywhere or that you're mandatory sentenced? This Wikipedia article has a map of suicide legality across the world:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_legislation
1. A person who, attempts to aid suicide or generate homicide of consent under medical assisted suicide will face execution when found guilty.
2. It is an offence to help someone commit suicide or advise or encourage someone to commit suicide.
3. Killing a person on request, by using euthanasia, can be punished by up to an imprisonment term of up to 12 years.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:24 AM
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I can see how number one on the list is there. For choices 2 & 3, not enforceable in CA and many other states. There are "end of life" or end of "journey" counselors who aid the dying and the family in times of assisted suicide.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assi..._United_States

Okay, not many others...

Last edited by Locrian; 04-16-2019 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:39 AM
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While I agree that suicide should be legal, I think the original poster's suggestion that those who prefer/are driven to suicide due to their mental state should prove that they indeed are mentally unwell is untenable.

Depression/severe anxiety/other serious mental health issues are not as black and white as we think. Asking a depressed person to prove their depression as they seek assisted suicide is cruel. And the government also shouldn't force those seeking assisted suicide to donate their organs. It's a matter of individual right. What can be more private than one's own body and what one chooses to do with it?
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by lawf View Post
While I agree that suicide should be legal, I think the original poster's suggestion that those who prefer/are driven to suicide due to their mental state should prove that they indeed are mentally unwell is untenable.

Depression/severe anxiety/other serious mental health issues are not as black and white as we think. Asking a depressed person to prove their depression as they seek assisted suicide is cruel. And the government also shouldn't force those seeking assisted suicide to donate their organs. It's a matter of individual right. What can be more private than one's own body and what one chooses to do with it?
Is it crueler than letting someone suffer alone?

I think I referenced this video on another thread here before. In germany they allowed a women who was severely depressed to have an assisted suicide because she proved that she would not get better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWWkUzkfJ4M

I'm more so getting at the issue that it shouldn't better if we determine someones terminally ill or not. To my knowledge right now in the US a person mentally ill can't go to a doctor and have them assist in their suicide. And there is certainly no focus on doing such a thing here, despite the growing number of suicides. I feel it's a moral obligation of society to account for these deaths, and at the very least try to make their deaths efficient in easing suffering and saving others IE organs donating.

I imagine this topic would be too taboo for any Presidental candidate or politician to actually have.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Barack Obama View Post
To my knowledge right now in the US a person mentally ill can't go to a doctor and have them assist in their suicide. And there is certainly no focus on doing such a thing here, despite the growing number of suicides. I feel it's a moral obligation of society to account for these deaths, and at the very least try to make their deaths efficient in easing suffering and saving others IE organs donating.
The problem is that most doctors feel killing people for ANY reason is a violation of professional ethics, and often a violation of their own personal ethics. Your asking people to violate their own ethics. Is that just?

And, frankly, I'm more interested in WHY suicides are peaking rather than enabling them. Isn't it important to find out why more and more people are wanting to die? What's driving that?

If there was a plague going around would you devote resources to finding out how it spreads and what to stop it rather than going around trying to mercy kill the sick?

I'm not interested in murdering people, even at their own request. I'm interested in trying to find ways for them to want to live rather than die.

Exceptions such as the terminally ill whose suffering can not be alleviated aside, I find your suggestions completely abhorrent.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:35 AM
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I disagree on the basis that I believe most people who attempt suicide are dealing with a short-term acute problem that will resolve itself. Legalizing suicide would disempower the police, medical care and judicial organizations from intervening in their crisis.

A brief glance at the numbers say that in 2017 47,713 americans killed themselves, while the AFSP estimate about 1.400.000 suicide attempts. That number obviously does not correspond to the number of individuals who made attempt, but I hope and believe that a lot of those people who attempted and failed to commit suicide have better lives and psyches now.

I am morally and ethically in agreement that in the end it's your body, your choice and that the government should not prohibit you from (or punish you for) ending your life if you have made a rational decision to do so, but I feel like this should be done in the manner of DNRs instead of a blanket legislation. File an advance directive with your primary medical resource, let it sit 3 months, after which the non-profit Suicide Foundation can send you a suicide kit. You will have given it enough time that recovery has been possible, no government agency will be responsible for deciding who lives and who dies, and no doctors will be forced to compromise their ethics.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:07 AM
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Again, suicide is not illegal. I'm still a little unclear on the OP, who still sounds like he's talking about assisted suicide, but simply attempting to commit suicide is not illegal. I'm a psychiatrist, have seen countless patients who have a history of attempting suicide, and I've never met one person who has been arrested or tried for the alleged crime of attempting suicide.
  #12  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:52 AM
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In Canada, we've had MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying) for over two years. The majority of the population supported the initiative.

HERE is a summary and statistics of the first years of its implementation. There's been no huge wave of MAID 'suicides'.

In fact, for many people with terminal illnesses, it is the knowledge of MAIDs availability that is crucial - the knowledge that it is there for them if they wish to exercise the option. Most seem not to do so. They find comfort simply knowing it's there.

One key remaining problem is that the current legislation does not allow for an advance directive for MAID. That is to say, people must be capable of affirming the decision around the time they make it. They can't, for example, declare something along the lines of, "if and when I am demented, incontinent, bedbound, and totally non-communicative, go ahead . . . end my life. Please". Even if they had made such a declaration in the past, it cannot be acted upon in the future.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Barack Obama View Post
For these two reasons we should give hospitals the option of offering assisted suicide, if someone is going to kill themselves regardless at least we can save another persons life by harvesting their organs. If they're just going to die in their room alone suffering, the least we can do is give them less painful way out, and give them a constructive environment that wont punish them for wanting to die, instead actually try to help them and insure them there is always an option for them to take if things get bad enough.
The idea that someone who commits suicide in one circumstance "is going to kill themselves regardless" comes up a lot in one form or another when discussing suicide (and the prevention thereof), but it's really not supported by the facts.

Most suicides are sort of spur-of-the-moment surges of self-pity or depression. And access to an easy and quick way to die makes a big difference. It's why suicide rates are higher when people have access to guns, or live near tall buildings/bridges without barriers.

People often argue against things like barriers on bridges to reduce suicides because the person will just go find some other way to die. But those barriers actually work! People don't just go find another way to die, because in the amount of time it takes to find it, some of them will snap out of their momentary pit of despair.

To be clear: I'm not saying you are making that argument. But you're making a sort of complementary argument based on a flawed assumption: that the suicide rate is relatively constant. The common bad argument is that we shouldn't worry about making specific ways of suicide harder, because people will find other ways and there will be as many suicides. You're saying that we shouldn't worry that opening up a clean medical supervised approved-by-the-state method of suicide will increase rates of suicide, because it'll just be used by people who would have committed suicide anyway.

Quote:
Edit: I personally believe this will reduce suicide rates. Because someone actually wanting to commit suicide will have to reach out to a client offering assistance resulting in them indirectly reaching out for help at the same time.
My impression would be that this makes suicide easier, so it will increase suicides. All the existing avenues of committing suicide still exist, and this is adding another one.

I could easily be wrong about this. It's clearly a complicated issue.

But changing the availability of the means of suicide definitely has an impact on the rate.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
The problem is that most doctors feel killing people for ANY reason is a violation of professional ethics, and often a violation of their own personal ethics. Your asking people to violate their own ethics. Is that just?

And, frankly, I'm more interested in WHY suicides are peaking rather than enabling them. Isn't it important to find out why more and more people are wanting to die? What's driving that?

If there was a plague going around would you devote resources to finding out how it spreads and what to stop it rather than going around trying to mercy kill the sick?

I'm not interested in murdering people, even at their own request. I'm interested in trying to find ways for them to want to live rather than die.

Exceptions such as the terminally ill whose suffering can not be alleviated aside, I find your suggestions completely abhorrent.
I think physical socialization, technology, and suicide have a correlation. Suicide rates increased a lot as we got the internet, cell phones, computer, social media, etc... More people stay inside their homes than making connections with other people. The fact they are sitting on social media all day indicates they seek socialization and interacting with other humans, however they've caged themselves in due to the abundance of technology allowing them to communicate with billions of people around the world, yet at the same time preventing them from having critical social interactions that I believe end up detrimental in many peoples lives.



I doubt we can just remove technology, or force people to start talking to strangers in real life or family members. What we can do is give people a sense of relief by having the ultimate option of ending their lives. My main focus is to get the suicide victims out their homes and into hospitals. Giving an option for suicide seems like a good way to get them there. Because at least then theres a chance they can actually be saved, else they'll waste away in their room alone likely ignoring family and friends or pretending to be alright. This would apply to more than people who are seriously considering suicide, it'd apply more so to people who are just depressed and calling a suicide hotline or telling a family member isn't something they're willing to do. But give them the option of talking to a doctor one on one about assisted suicide, I think then they'll get the help they need even if they didnt intend on seeking help initially.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
Are you talking about assisted suicide, or suicide in general? If you're talking about suicide in general, what makes you think it's technically illegal almost everywhere or that you're mandatory sentenced? This Wikipedia article has a map of suicide legality across the world:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_legislation
My apologies. This will be a bit of a hi-jack, but I found it quite interesting how this contrasts to countries with capital punishment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capita...ent_by_country

None of the countries or US states, where assisted suicide is legal have capital punishment. Whereas most of the countries that actively administer capital punishment have made all suicide illegal.
Question of morality/humanity? Makes you wonder.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:09 AM
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What we can do is give people a sense of relief by having the ultimate option of ending their lives.
That still sounds, to me, like using murder to treat the flu instead of bedrest and fluids.

Quote:
My main focus is to get the suicide victims out their homes and into hospitals.
WTF? So instead of being voluntarially "caged" in their home they will be forcibly caged in a locked psychiatric ward? How the frack is THAT supposed to be an inducement to leave the house?

Quote:
This would apply to more than people who are seriously considering suicide, it'd apply more so to people who are just depressed and calling a suicide hotline or telling a family member isn't something they're willing to do.
You think that automatic jail if you talk about suicidal idealiation is going to encourage people to get help? What are you smoking?

Quote:
But give them the option of talking to a doctor one on one about assisted suicide, I think then they'll get the help they need even if they didnt intend on seeking help initially.
So instead of trying to alleviate their depression or whatever problem lead them to that extreme you'll have someone talk to them options for killing themselves?!?

What the hell?

Have you actually listened to yourself?

I am really, really not liking your position on this.

How do you talk to people about birth control - oh, forget the pill, IUD's, condoms, etc. Just use abortion. Don't worry about preventing a problem, just kill it when it crops up.

That's how you're coming across to me.

Last edited by Broomstick; 04-19-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:51 PM
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The government can't do much to prevent a determined person from killing themselves without severely limiting personal freedoms, such as access to knives or guns or plastic bags or rope. Given the statistics cited by Gukumatz in post #10, it seems most suicide attempts are unsuccessful.

That being said society has decided we don't want people to commit suicide. iamthewalrus(:3= has said that most suicide attempts are spur-of-the-moment decisions rather than well considered decisions. Broomstick considers suicide qua suicide to be immoral and she will have no part in encouraging it. Nobody has mentioned this but treating suicide attempts is not free.

Rather than simply issuing a statement saying "suicide is bad, don't commit suicide" we want to prevent people from committing suicide. As I said before, the government cannot prevent a determined person from committing suicide on the first attempt without severely limiting freedoms. So we have passed laws making attempted suicide grounds for limiting those freedoms: suicide is a crime, if you attempt it we can force you to see a therapist or somehow intervene with whatever crisis you are facing.

This far I support, but I would not go so far as to institutionalize or actually force someone to take mind-altering medicine; nor would I support fines and punishments (eg: forced labor) or any other deterrent rationale.

~Max
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:09 PM
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To clarify, I might support institutionalizing an individual who has been determined to be a danger to others. But attempted suicide (such as hanging) alone would not be enough, it would have to be a reckless and potentially malicious form of attempted suicide such as blowing up a building.

Also while I would support talk therapy, I would not force anyone to take mind-altering drugs, shock therapy, etc. These remove the moral agency as demonstrated in Kubrick's 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange".

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 04-19-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:22 PM
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That being said society has decided we don't want people to commit suicide. iamthewalrus(:3= has said that most suicide attempts are spur-of-the-moment decisions rather than well considered decisions. Broomstick considers suicide qua suicide to be immoral and she will have no part in encouraging it.
It's not that I would never consider it a moral option, I just think those circumstances where it is a tolerable alternative are very few and very far between. I really do prefer to try to fix the causes of peoples' pain rather than have them die.

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Also while I would support talk therapy, I would not force anyone to take mind-altering drugs, shock therapy, etc. These remove the moral agency as demonstrated in Kubrick's 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange".
You do understand that A Clockwork Orange is a work of fiction, yes?
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:32 PM
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Regarding assisted suicide, I'm leery of making assisting suicide legal because it would open it up as a defense. After all, the main difference between a doctor who assists suicide and a serial killer who "assists" "suicide" is one wears suits made of human skin whether the assisted person wanted it to happen.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:58 PM
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You do understand that A Clockwork Orange is a work of fiction, yes?
I do. I was referring to the scene where Alex is put in front of a topless woman. He wants to grope her and can be seen struggling to reach at her breasts, then becomes nauseous due to the operant conditioning imposed by the government. The priest stands up and objects that the government has not made Alex a good man, they have merely taken away Alex's moral choice.

There is also a scene in a library where the priest asks Alex directly: 'does this therapy really make you a good person? Goodness is chosen, when a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.'

Fiction it may be, I agree with the priest. I think I remember Captain Kirk arguing the same thing in one of the StarTrek episodes.

The point is that forcing someone to do something removes their moral choice, and hence has no place in a correctional system. For this reason I do not support involuntary pharmacotherapy, involuntary electroconvulsive therapy, etc. Psychotherapy (talking) is fine - the patient must choose to accept advise. I would only support permanent involuntary commitment in extreme cases such as when there is a danger to others. I might support temporary involuntary commitment paired with psychotherapy following a suicide attempt, depending on the circumstances.

~Max
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:19 AM
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My proposal is have hospitals give the option of assisted suicide for medical reasons across the board. Then for mental illness it should just be very difficult / highly regulated so someone will have to prove their lifes will not get any better through extensive testing and treatment to make them less suicidal. There are a number of reasons I can give why we should do this.

1) Organs. Perfectly good organs, skin tissue, all go to waste because somebody offed themselves in their room alone, and they weren't found until days or weeks later.

2) Suffering. People go through a lot of suffering leading up to the point they do commit suicide, they also go through suffering via the method of suicide.

For these two reasons we should give hospitals the option of offering assisted suicide, if someone is going to kill themselves regardless at least we can save another persons life by harvesting their organs. If they're just going to die in their room alone suffering, the least we can do is give them less painful way out, and give them a constructive environment that wont punish them for wanting to die, instead actually try to help them and insure them there is always an option for them to take if things get bad enough.

Edit: I personally believe this will reduce suicide rates. Because someone actually wanting to commit suicide will have to reach out to a client offering assistance resulting in them indirectly reaching out for help at the same time. As I said, if it's strictly mental then they should have to prove it, and if someone is really that content on dying then they have the right to after proving their life will just continue getting worse.

Edit2: I also believe the Gov should force people especially assisted suicide people, to give up their organs. Once you're dead you're dead, no reason to be so selfish as to keep your perfectly good organs and skin to yourself when it could be used to better the life of someone else who actually wants to live.
I'm with Broomstick on this, most doctors and nurses will not want to participate in assisted suicide (possibly excepting terminally ill patients). Neither would most hospitals. From the Hippocratic oath:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Oath
Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.
Organ harvesting isn't too bad, but tissue harvesting? Tissue harvesting is an ugly, ugly business. Even doctors will have a hard time skinning a cadaver. People who would willingly flay a corpse to harvest skin and bones day in and day out are far and few between.

Neither will everyone want organs from a suicidal person. First there is a small portion of the population who would refuse the organs on principle. Just like the pro-life/anti-abortion people who refuse MMR vaccines due to WI-38, or Hep-A vaccines derived from MRC-5 (WI-38 and MRC-5 are lineages of aborted human fetuses).

Nasty diseases can cause depression which factors into suicide. What if the suicidal person had a transmittable disease or cancer? That organ is getting chucked or the FDA will shut your hospital down.

Even if the organ is clean, potential recipients might think the organ is ritually impure. Superstition runs deep.

Finally, it is possible that a person committing suicide wants to be buried whole or otherwise objects to the harvesting of their organs.

~Max
  #23  
Old 04-20-2019, 10:23 AM
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However you're still mandatory sentenced for a failed attempt ...
Can you provide a relatively recent example of such a sentence being imposed?
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