Shawn Murphy Mrs. Candreva Sophomore English – 10R 14-Feb-12 Suicide – A Crime, or a Punishment? The thought of someone taking their own life, by the means of an overdose, fatal laceration, or a firearm, doesn’t only hurt them. Suicide causes trouble in family, heartbreaks between soul mates, and can make an entire town lay low. The power of losing a loved one can be stronger than gravity. Not many people know that suicide isn’t for people who society looks at to be troubled, but a medical condition. Suicide is the action of killing oneself intentionally. The most common cause of suicide is related to depression. Things like problems in a relationship, personal issues, self-esteem and bullying problems can lead someone into a depression (New, Ph.D).People who are depressed feel as if the only way to escape the pain if through suicide. Also, people who commit suicide don’t have to be depressed. They could have been average people who have just been pushed too far, or had a tragic event happen in recent times (Dryden-Edwards, MD and Conrad Stöppler, MD). However, depression does have a large impact in suicide. Committing suicide is frowned upon by the law in New York State, so people cannot just kill themselves. Authorities interfere, and people just want a way out. Some methods of suicide where authorities won’t step in the way people think. A Medical Suicide can be performed by a doctor who is willing and understanding. A dose of poison, such as arsenic, can be consumed, before a patient goes to sleep. Another method of suicide is by police officer. “A person who
wants to kill themselves would theoretically be able to have a police officer ‘unknowingly assist them.’ By committing a crime, such as an armed robbery, one would draw an unloaded (or loaded) weapon, such as a pistol, and target a police officer. As our [Suffolk County Police Department] code states, if targeted, we have to fire upon said individual. It doesn’t happen often, as other methods are more commonly used, but it has happened in the past, and we are taking caution against it. However, if we are put into a situation where deadly force is necessary, the department must act accordingly” (Murphy). Because of the fact that suicide is viewed in society as the way that it is, people have tried to make changes to the way people think. Coping mechanisms are being discovered every day, and some of the most popular skills are easily available, and free of charge. Talking to a trusted family member, friend, or a close co-worker about things that can either relate to how you are feeling, or is willing to listen to you. Even a medical professional, such as the family doctor, or a psychologist, will just talk to you. No medication is needed, and you can find a clinic for suicidal thoughts, where you can interact within a group with people who have similar stories, similar reactions, and similar feelings (New, PH.D). Along with helping people with thoughts, you have to help them with temptation. This can be done by locking up medication, whether over-the-counter or painkillers, and by removing all weapons that can be used to commit suicide, such a knives, fireplace stokers, needles, heavy objects, power tools, or sharp objects, and making sure all fabric is non-tear able, so blankets and t-shirts cannot be ripped into shreds to commit suicide by hanging. Also, chemicals may be used to commit suicide, so locking up cleaning supplies, chlorine bleach, and sprays, such as insect repellent, animal poison, and aerosol cans. By removing the objects used to commit suicide, one can remove temptation to commit from the life of the victim.
A doctor by the name of Jack Kevorkian is a prime example of assisting suicide. This doctor would take his patients who were terminally ill and assist them in suicide, using a lethal injection of a drug that shuts down the central nervous system (Schneider). Using his euthanasia technique to help end the lives of people who were helpless, he drew attention to himself, with the media, and the law. He was arrested numerous times, and he was stripped of his license to practice medicine when he was released. Cities and States were trying to prevent him from helping assist in suicides, but he didn’t care for the law. He would do as the patient said, but to protect himself, he would make sure all ‘medicides’ were videotaped, suicide notes were written by patients, and family doctors and medical professionals were consulted (Schneider). He also gave them a month to change their mind before undergoing the procedure. The Supreme Court then outlawed assisting suicides in the state of which he performed the procedures, and he was imprisoned soon after. He was released from prison in 2007, and passed away in June of 2011. Suicide is a heavy thought for all people, to lose a loved one because their life could have been better than it was, or than it should have been. When someone loses that loved one, the gap in their heart is not able to be filled, and that person will permanently be broken from losing them. Prevention of suicide, being as easy as saying “Hello” to the kid that sits at the table next to you, or talking to the woman across the street who rocks in a chair on her porch for weeks, or standing up for someone who is being cyber bullied, should almost be mandatory. Taking one’s life is a humongous choice, but people should not have to make it. A person’s life is irreplaceable, why waste it?
Dryden-Edwards, MD, Roxanne, and Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD. “Suicide - Prevention, Warning Signs, and Symptoms.” MedicineNet.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. .
Murphy, Lieutenant Michael S. “’Suicide by Police Officer.’” S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook. 10 Feb. 2012. Interview.
New, Ph.D, Michael J. “About Teen Suicide.” Kid’s Health. N.p., Jan. 2012. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. .
Schneider, Keith. “Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dies at 83; A Doctor Who Helped End Lives.” New York Times. ING Direct, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2012. .
Vorvick, Linda J. “Suicide and Suicidal Behavior.” The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. .