Study: Availability of Legal Suicide Does Not Increase The Desire For Suicide

A new study is out that refutes the suggestion of some opponents to the “right to die” that legal suicides results in an increase in suicides. The theory is that, if people are given the lawful opportunity to commit suicide, more will do so under the same theory as finding a parking space in Manhattan (you should park even if you do not need one or your meeting is across town because when will you ever see an open space again in your lifetime?). The new study from Switzerland found no such correlation in terms of increasing the desire to commit suicide.

The study by Frontiers in Psychology for Clinical Settings admittedly had a small study population of only 33 patients suffering from the motor neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the study found no increase in the desire of the patient’s to commit suicide.

It seems suicide is not as much of the impulse-buy item as sometimes suggested. That is probably because you have to die to use it. Of course, none of this addresses the main argument of patients: that they have a fundamental right to terminate their own lives.

It is not clear if that result is the same with the marketing song below:

Source: Wired

12 thoughts on “Study: Availability of Legal Suicide Does Not Increase The Desire For Suicide”

  1. I was at a law firm once. The girl lawyer asked me why I parked on the street instead of parking in the parking garage. Parking on the street costs $2.00 for two hours. Parking in the garage costs a minimum of $10.00 an hour. If there’s an open parking space right in front of the building for $2.00, why pay $10.00?

  2. Carlyle, I am so sorry for your loss and the ordeal your wife endured. It is sad that when all other options are lost this, when the person feels it is the right thing and only thing left, that it has to be done in the dark of night, a secret when it is the time one may most need someone there to hold their hand.

  3. Sometimes suicide is rational.

    My late wife had metastatic ovarian cancer that had become resistant to the front line drug, carboplatin. She was very weak and needed someone to support her in order to walk and had fluid in the lungs and needed to go to hospital every four days to have it drained. She was most of the time gasping for breath. We got her an oxygen machine. The treating doctor told my brother in law that he estimated that she had two months left and that it was unlikely that the second line cancer drugs would help her. She self euthanized, drove off in her car to find a quiet place to take all morphine she had for pain control. Twice we found her but the third time she went far enough away that we did not find her until she had done the deed.

    I consider her choice to be rational. The greatest probability was that she would have two months of miserable and deteriorating health and zero dignity. She was sheduled to start the backup drug in two days time but probably refused to wait as she might lose mobility and with it the ability to control her own fate. She had to suicide away from the family since while suicide is legal in Australia assisting a suicide is not. Had she committed suicide at home she would have risked discovery and if we failed to call the ambulance to prevent it we would have been complicit.

    Not only should suicide be legal but so should assisted suicide for those physically unable to perform the actions themselves.

  4. I think having the gun is different (I agree absent access to the gun he would not have been able to act impulsively – if that was the case)
    There was recently the case of a girl who was paralyzed receiving permission from the court to terminate life support, once she had the permission she chose not to act on it, sometiimes the permission, returning control – is what is needed.
    (That is whole nother stiry father a pastor and decided he should take control of her medical decisions because removal tubes was akin to suicide, another example where religion is put above all else, even your own child’s suffering.)
    My father had ALS. He was exceedinly agitated, wanting to die and very afraid to die. I was not there at the time but told the doctor told my siblings that he could give my father a pill to help with the anxiety but there was a good chance he would die as a result. He was given the medication, went into coma, and died a few days later. (All this at home) In my mind this was a kin to assisted suicide; that happens all the time, the ‘snowing of patients” where they keep giving morphine for instance so that one dose does not end before the next kicks in until essentially the patient has received an overdose.
    (I was advised at one time, because of the level of chronic intractable pain I had from trigeminal neuralgia that ‘rational suicide’ was acceptabkle in my case. Other things intervened so i did not (well obviously) act on it but I was grateful to have my feelings about my situation verified by medical professionals. It would also have been appropriate at the time.

  5. I had an acquaintance who had a successful carpet cleaning business, two kids, his own house, and was athletic. His wife said she wanted a divorce so he shot himself with his own gun. I always thought he wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t had the gun so conveniently.

  6. I’ve met Dr. Jack….. He firmly believes in what he used to do….. They also had to change the law to convict him of assisted suicide….he did his time and then ran for state rep. and lost….. If people want to die that is their choice not the states….

  7. There is support for this hypothesis.

    In the U.S. suicide is the number one cause of injury death in both the civilian population as well as the military population.

    Once a nation is in first place, there is no where else to go, so we have to wait for some other nation to dethrone us.

    What causes it is probably classified so we don’t help the competition.

  8. Hopefully, they won’t have to redo the study…. just in case Mitt Romney wins the election….

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