Tuesday, October 10, 2006

One More

If we are certain that the birth will be through a surgery, is it Ok to decide on a time and date of birth beforehand? That is like deciding the birth of a life, right? Do we have the right to decide when to marry, whom to marry and what to do with that marriage? Is it your right to decide what to study, where to work and when to stop working?

If you can decide all the small things in your life, and in other people’s lives, incl what time they should be born, and whether your next child should be born, then why can’t you decide on the biggest thing in your own life – when should it end?

Can the society that values my life so much, guarantee that I will not suffer from hunger or the pain of chemotherapy or the pain of a terminal illness? Can the society guarantee that I will not suffer from depression? Can the society guarantee that my life will be what I consider worth living? If it cannot do that, what right does the civil society have to prevent me from taking an important decision of life? And still call itself a free world? How can a world be free where people have no right to decide something as basic as this?

I am NOT saying that people should commit suicide. I am just saying that if a person decides to kill himself and acts on that decision, we have to remember that the person is going against the natural instinct. And that must be a VERY STRONG influence if it negates an inborn instinct. Eating is a natural instinct. Imagine what would make you want to not eat. Its that strong an influence.

A person already in enough pain to act against the natural instinct does not need criminal proceedings against himself. That will not restore his faith in life. He needs a society that enfolds him instantly in a lot of love, caring and acceptance. An eagerness to understand what happened, rather than a series of calls from the police station. What kind of society can penalise people who are already sad and expect them to still identify with it??

That is the most preposterous treatment of anything that I have ever seen!! Whoever made that law needs to explain how s/he expected to get a suicidal person to become non suicidal by subjecting him to the torture of the police station??

And for people who do want to end their lives, they have a right to. Your rights end where my nose begins. And this is my whole life, not just my nose!!!


Aradhna said...

Kitna Lamba post hai! Padhne ke liye Laptop or internet connection chahiye.

I will make arrangements for the same, meanwhile you check out Ganpati Snaps

Shadow in the Moonlight said...

does that mean you are all for euthanasia? I still can't figure out... whether its okay or wrong to do it. I mean its your life and everybody wants to die with some dignity intact, but on the other hand deliberately cutting off a person's life supply is akin to taking a life. Reminds me of this Chicago Hope episode... where they created this huge bio-medical instrument that could read a person's mind (a person in coma), so in the beginning they knew when he was hungry or somethin... but then at the end, they show the man's thoughts... and he says, i want to die... it was heart-breking.

priya said...

I think few days back I was reading a news about an Indian family who suffers from chronic illness had pledged to go ahead for dying.

As a citizen we all have rights but only the defintion of terms are different in what we say/ use. If we say, we have right to die, then we do need permission cos if we die jsut like that, people willc all it a suicide and the people who died will become invisible. If it has to go with rights, its the media and writings which brings the issue and make sit public.

We all have rights, but some rights are preserved and thaz what I feel.

mathew said...

This is a goddamn contriversial topic..The usual rhetoric given by clergy is..."God has given u life..So he has the sole rights to take it back as well"..

Somethin to ponder about..i should think harder..

Ekta said...

lovely post...very touching......
just came back and dropped in to say hi!

Chiya said...

Indian grants right to suicide
G Nandan

Attempted suicide will no linger be a crime in India following a landmark ruling by the Indian Supreme Court. The court repealed section 309 of the Indian penal code, under which people attempting suicide could face prosecution and prison terms of up to one year. psychiatrists and mental health workers across India have welcomed the judgment.

The court described the annulled law as a "cruel and irrational" provision that could result in the punishment of people who had already suffered mental agony and would be embarrassed at their failure to commit suicide. The court said that suicide was a psychiatric problem and not a manifestation of criminal instinct. People who had attempted suicide required the "soft words and wise counselling" of a psychiatrist, not prosecution and jail, the court observed.

"This is a positive and timely decision," said Dr Shridhar Sharma, director of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences in New Delhi.


How do we know said...

Hi Aradhan: Saw the snaps.. commented!

Hi Shadow in the moonlight: Yes, I am all for euthanasia, and beyond that, for the right of a person to die even without any terminal illness - just bcs the person feels ready to die - just as a person feels ready to marry, have a child etc.

Hi Priya: Sorry i couldnt understand your thoughts very well.. can you please tell us more?

Hi Mathew: :-) Think harder and then come back to tell us what you thought!

Hi Ekta: How have u been? The pause button on ur blog was a BIIIG heartbreak thing!! Please do come back more often: at least this way we'll be in touch!

Hi Chiya: Wow!! This is fundoo!!! Just what this country needed! Thanks!!!

shruti said...

suicide is the biggest crime..and the person who decides to do that can suffer from any kinda problem that made him to take such a critical decision its not the solution of their problem cant they think about those who they will left behind..
i think no person can be influnced by others..he can only be influnced by his inner self and if he wish he choose to live happily...

Z said...

But to say that a person has a right to decide to die is not the same as saying that it is right to take ones own life. The matter of whether euthanasia is justifiable in the case of a painful and incurable illness is one thing - although still a matter for debate - but to say that a young and healthy person, however depressed should be left to kill him or herself if it seems a logical thing to do is quite another. If you saw that person about to jump off a bridge, would you try to stop him? If he said he wanted to die, would you say, 'oh, okay then' and walk on, or would you follow your natural instinct to save him?

I have known three young men who have chosen to end their lives. Two by hanging and one by drowning. In each case (and there is no other connection between any of them), they were suffering from the mental illness of depression. The anguish of their families can only be imagined; that of their friends was quite bad enough. The finality of death is not the same as a decision to marry or to have a child. Each of us matters. To our fellow man, to our friends, to those who love us, to God if you accept his existence.

And to say we make decisions, we have rights, we expect guarantees, is surely overoptimistic? You may say someone who wishes to die has the right to, but does he have the right to live? I have a friend who wants, passionately, to live. But her cancer will overcome that wish, sooner or later. So, for the sake of her two little girls, she will try to live as long as possible. And endure operations and chemotherapy, whatever pain it costs her, and smile and be glad of each day.

I have been sufficiently depressed to wish that I could die, without the intention to do anything about it. I understood that this was because I was depressed, but my reasoning was so logical that I did not expect my feelings to change. It is wonderful to me that they have.

I'm sorry, this wasn't meant to be such a long reply and is a response to your comment rather than the original post. I agree with you that attempted suicide should not be punished, and that it should not be a criminal offence.

Cyberkitty said...

Nobody chooses to die as their own Choice. Never. The choice is based on what someone said or did to them or a suicidal person's guilty conscience that their loved ones are suffering because of them. The family members and friends should stop the person from doing such a crazy thing, because later on the victim will realise things were not that bad.(like my cousin)

neermathalam said...

dear...if u know malayalam.. there is a film called achanurangatta veedu...based on real incident happened in kerala.
There a father whose daughter has been subjected to serial rape attempts suicide along with his other daughters,when they were denied justice.

his parting dialogue..when getting into the police jeep is something like this..
we are lucky we got 3 months imprisonment...then and there for attempting suicide...see howunlucky are the killers of indira gandi they had to wait for 3 years....
And when the police jeep..disappears from our sight...
A pimp lady is keeping her hands on the orphaned victim...that scene still haunts me...
I agree with civil society until and unless can provide them a reason to live..then dont have any right to penalise them...

Btb u r tagged....

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

Hi there. i completely agree with u in this post. Suicide is not necessarily cowardice. The right to say goodbye is urs. it's not that we give up. It's our decision to say that we've lived our full. And for all those ppl who've commented that God gave us life and it's his right to take it away, i ask them. 'What do u say if I don't believe in God'? Do my parents decide then that I can end my life??

"Anupa" said...

Hi !
It so happened that i was completing my project on Euthanasia. Was thinking abt it and thot that we as humans shud be given the right to live or to die........and i dont know how i landed on ur blog.......anyways Nice post .
But I dont know.......euthanasia is something different . Is suicide the same ? There r teenagers who try and commit suicide........I tried to do that.........but when i came to my twenties.......thats when i know wht blunder i was going to committ .We can change clothes ,change jobs,change husbands/wives..........how to we change DEATH ????????? Death doesnt come back to life . Death is death .Life goes and never comes back .How does one decide whether his/her decision to end one's life is the right decision or not ???????????????
~Anupa .

indscribe said...

quite convincing...

urdudaaN said...

It feels as if I wrote it myself.

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

have heard abt it..my sister's reading it..wanted me to read it too..will defntly borrow it from her now :)

contraddict said...

i think similar too.. but i know the whole crowd i face daily is in disagreement with me and calls it wild.
however just that one thing stays in my mind is that escaping to death is easy than living for some (while its vice versa for many)
therefore its critical to face the challenges of life..(if death looks less painful) else if death is a matured decision ,nirvana is implicit.. and police cant touch you nothing can stop it..
on the empathetic side -for the society -yes if you cant alleviate the pain dont poke your weapons onto the wound with zero intentions to heal.

Ankit said...

they offer quasi electives in first year.. so we hv limited choices n mostly they are fraudy courses.
Yes the lingo is very much alive..though many words are LESS.

Wud like to knw who r u??

Ashish said...

There can be multiple reasons as to why suicide is illegal:
1. It is seen an against the norms of society from ancient times
2. It is a finality, there is no going back. As a result, law makers would be very hesitant to sanction this
3. There is tremendous scope for misuse, you can actually influence a person who is already down to actually go ahead (and maybe for financial gain)
As far as I know, suicide is still illegal in India.

How do we know said...

Hi Shruti: I really respect your feelings. The people who are left behind to deal with the aftermath of a suicide really need to be in the thoughts of the suicidal person while a decision is being taken.

Hi Zoe: Your question set me thinking.. a whole lot.

What would I do? I would speak to the person, and try to understand why. However, if at any point in that conversation, the person says that I should leave, or wants to discontinue talking, I will be obliged to respect that.

It will make me feel very, very guilty thereafter. Perhaps guilty enough to not be able to sleep without help ever after. But that is what I would do.

People who are left behind, my thought is that, most suicidal people do a lot of research while they are planning their action, and whatever form of research they may use, it is unlikely that a help source would not have told them about the anguish that will be faced by the survivors. What is interesting is that they have this decision, being fully aware of what it will do to those who love them the most. That, and the fact that they are acting against their biological programming, is what makes suicide...well, suicide.

How do we know said...

Hi Cyberkitty: Since you speak from experience, am glad that you have shared this, and learn from it. Suicide is a subject that has interested me for 13 years now... since I first read about Suicidal counseling in the notice board of the Psychology department of my college. And yet, each time someone speaks, its a new learning.

Hi Neermathalam: Intesrting tag.. am thinking of it and will pakka try and do it in the next post asap.
I do not understand Malayalam, but the way you wrote it, its easy to visualise the scene!

How do we know said...

Hi tell me no more: Its been a long time!! And yes, am glad you agree!! :-)

Hi Anupa: Thanks for dropping by!
What an uncanny coincidence! Tell me more about the project please, couldnt get anything from your blog.

Death is final, yes, but does the finality of a decision preclude my right to take that decision?

Hi Indscribe: Long time, again! Thanks!

Hi Contraaddict: Yes,, people around us are more likely to think we are not normal bcs we think unlike them. But in a while, they are likely to get used to the idea that we are different. Everyone around me already knows that! :-)

hi Urdudaan: This is your first comment on this blog. Thanks!!

How do we know said...

Hi Ankit: Oh, ok. That makes sense.

Hi Ashish:
Interesting comment. What is your personal opinion?

Re. the reasons you indicated:

A lot of things were considered right by society, incl. the fact that it is the sun that goes around the earth and not vice versa, that the Earth is not round, that there is no electromagentic field around the human body, that blood flows in our veins like waves in an ocean, that the world was made in 7 days...

Yes, if suicide is not illegal, a lot of murderers can get away by planting a suicide note. But dont they already? A person alive can tell whether there was abetment or not (and Abetment to suicide can continue to be a crime IMHO), but a person dead cannot tell whether it was a murder or suicide. So how will changing the law impact this?

Re. Finality, as I said to Anupa as well, just because the decision is "final", does that mean I cannot take it??

The Phosgene Kid said...

There are no guarantees in life, save one – you won’t get out of it alive. Best to make the most of this one.

mathew said...

hey..just thought of suggesting you something..watch the movie.."the sea inside"..it has a lot to do with what u have written..It is a spanish movie..but u get sub titled versions of it..

Schrodingers cat said...

I am reminded of one of the quotes from Nietzsche's "Thus spoke Zarathustra" :

"Many die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange sounds the precept: Die at the right time"

Aside, thanks for dropping by.



itchingtowrite said...

if u r talking of euthanasia, i support but suicide is according to me cowardly and many times a spur of the moment decision. there are misguided teens who try it because their parents wud hav scolded or they wud hav failed a test. it's their way of punishing the parent(?) or checking out how much it affects the family only maybe not realizing that it's not like the movies where the parents/ lover finds the person and cries & rescues .. i know a person who took sleeping pills & was glad that the attempt failed. she still shudders at the memory.

Prashant said...

Live the life.. its beautiful...

V N said...

An evoactive post that set me thinking... I have thought abt it a million times, and yet fail to reach at a conclusion every time.

Trailady said...

You propose a very deep question here.

I believe that when someone is terminally ill and it's totally obvious that God has chosen not to heal them, then they have the right to die with dignity. Both of my Grandfathers died gasping for breath and shaking for hours with looks of panic on their faces. HORRIBLE! I would not do this to a dog, yet year after year, people die this way. Where is the mercy in forcing someone to die like that?

I do not support active or involuntary euthanasia, but I do believe people have the right to die peacefully if they so choose.

SM said...

If people were given choice when to end life this earth will be an empty place.Because some how or the other every one has a little bit of problem and wants to escape that problem .And what can be the better way other than end of that life.So do not ponder too much about this topic,it will make you only feel depressed.

Keshi said...

Very interesting post.

**Can the society guarantee that I will not suffer from depression? Can the society guarantee that my life will be what I consider worth living?

Spot on! Im totally with ya on this. Alot of ppl r so quick to judge someone who commits suicide. But they can never be in that person's shoes, can they? So I say they should all shush up.

I say life ends when ur soul is dead. So why carry the empty carcass of a body.


Has to be me said...

thats a super good post. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest & enjoyed. But if due to some reason that is not possible, death is surely not the way out. It is all predetermined & it is better we go with the flow. Afterall death is inevitable once u r born...so dont rush, shall get ur turn too! Till then just live it up!

Apun Ka Desh said...

Classic: "Your rights end where my nose begins" :)

Wriju said...

Nice one :-)
The activist in you is back...

Neha said...

you know this is probably the only 'offense' for which only the attempt is punishable...so if u succeed in the attempt then no punishment for u...btu if u fail...then ur gone! crazy..

i personally do not believe in the idea of suicide...though i think its not easy to do it...yet u got one life..u got to live it to the fullest..and not escape pain, cause pain wud not go on forever,nothing goes on forever.

How do we know said...

Hi Phosgene Kid: True!!

Hi Mathew: Great.. Thanks! Where does one lay one's hands on this movie? Do you know of a good place in Mumbai/Delhi?

Hi SC: Nietzsche, as usual.. am too dimwitted to understand! :-) What did that mean?

Hi ITW: yes, suicide is not "nice" and should not be "encouraged".. but if someone is doing this, because they really want to, then what should be done?

Hi Prashant: Truest word spoken! :-)

Hi Velu: I really did try to comment again on your blog.. but 102 comments... my slow dial up system will die before I can open that! :-)
Tell me about confusion! Mine got cleared now.. just before I wrote this piece.. or maybe, even while writing it!!

Hi Trailady: I saw your comment briefly in office.. sometime at noon, and its midnight now. All day, that line " i wouldn't do that to a dog, yet year after year..." kept coming back to me.. seriously, what mercy is there is forcing people to go through pain even if they would not like to!
There was a case in india where a man dying of muscular dystrophy pleaded to the President that he should be allowed to die, and all his organs that are still usable, should immediately be used for organ replacement, so at least they may help another person who is waiting for a heart or a kidney transplant. This would help him die in peace knowing he has not lived and died in vain. Predictably, the plea was rejected.

How do we know said...

Hi Sharda:
People are not alive bcs they are forced to. We live because we really do want to.. because there is an inbuilt program inside every living creature, and that program combines all our faculties to ensure self preservation. So, am not sure if the Earth will be empty - we all love our lives :-)

Hi Keshi:
Lady, you made my day with this one:
I say life ends when ur soul is dead. So why carry the empty carcass of a body.
- Perfect!!

Hi Has to be Me:
I totally respect that point of view too.. there is perhaps a reason why one is given so many years on Earth.. and one should ideally try to live through them all.
My post is only relevant where a person has decided that they do not wish to continue living - for whatever reason.

hi Apun ka desh: ;-)

Hi Wriju: Thank God u r back! How have u been?

Hi Neha: that offence thing.. so true! :-)
Your words ring very true too.. no pain remains forever! Except maybe..

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Hey ~

Thanx for stopping by !

Do u approve of abortion ? After all , it is our body , so shouldnt we be allowed to abort the foetus whenever we feel like ?

What about mercy killing .. is that a murder or an act of kindness ?

And cloning , are we going against nature , or are we aiding technology ?

Suicide .. is the suicider a coward or brave ? Coward as he is not able to face smthg .. Brave coz he is able to kill himself

Thousands of issues .... No answer ~

How do we know said...

Hi Deepa: You're right. Life is unfortunately a minefield of greys.. God forgot to make Blacks and whites in the world, so we invented our own.

My own whites are valid for me. What is white for me may be grey for you and jet black for someone else.

Being pro-suicide is a white for me. Its probably a grey for you, and for some other ppl, its jet black! :)

richunderconstruction said...

i think if you want to end ur life, u shud b allowed to, rather u shudnt need permission, or blamed for it.
wen thrs nthng worth living for, its too difficult to take t all emotionally n mentally.
suicide is a choice, to continue torture within urself n rely on hope,
or giving in, i dnt think either is right or wrong... its a personal decision.

as for happiness... i wonder if it really is a matter of choice..?

= rich

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