Suicide and Basic Human Right

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Ivana Novakovic

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.  Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.’’ was written in a famous essay about absurd and suicide by Albert Camus. Do people have the right to decide for themselves wether to live or die? is the next question. My almost immediate answer was of course that we have every right to decide if we are going to die or not! But reading and studying more about suicide I slowly begin to feel that my finale answer is not going to be that simple.

In modern times multiple sciences such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry are trying to understand suicide. Sociologist Benjamin Wolman blamed contemporary societal mechanization and depersonalization in human relations for growing suicide rates. According to Freud suicide is a form of aggression or tension that causes inward animosity. It represents a psychological conflict, which cannot be worked out because of the great melancholy and depression. Psychologist David Malan suggests that suicide is the cause of accumulated trauma. Psychiatrists, however, think of suicide as a result of mental and emotional disturbances that are already present and which external circumstances worsen. And in Erik Erikson opinion it’s the perception of being unsuccessful and the overwhelming feeling of guilt that results from it that simply exceed an individual’s ability to cope effectively.  One of the most accepted psychological theories is Aaron Beck’s hopelessness theory where an individual has a negative outlook on themselves, the future, and the world in general. (“Classic Psychological Theories”, n.d.)

These theories give us some possible reasons why people might find themselves on the path to contemplating or even committing suicide. Gaining the insight into these theories helped me understand the complexity of the problem, but in the end it is...
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