A question of thought...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jeff black, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I happened to be flipping through the news this morning when I caught a quick mention of Kavorkian and assisted suicide.

    My question is:

    IF you give an addict say 1000$, knowing they are going to use it to acheive a high of some sort, and probably kill themselves in an overdose, is that assisted suicide?

    Take that for dark and morbid. ;) It is a serious question, in my mind.
     
  2. Gillette

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    Kinda, maybe.

    Your example sounds like it would be enabling the suicide rather than assisting it.

    I think for it to be an assisted suicide you personally have to do something in a physical capacity to end the life in question.

    Interesting question. For this very reason when I give anything to panhandlers it's always in the form of food.
     
  3. prepstudinsc

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    I think Gillette has it right...it is enabling, not really assisting, because assisting would be physically doing something to help with the suicide. (getting Kevorkian to come to the patient, or whatever)

    If you give someone money and they choose to kill themself, that's their business, you didn't willingly help them do it.

    Good question, Jeff.
     
  4. Gisella

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    Yep, I do agree with Gillete..

    By the time I would have come up with this simple answer and 'enable' word and situation it would take long explanation from my part.
     
  5. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Ah, you both say enabling. How very interesting. I ask this because,
    technically, am I not giving them the "means" to their destruction? Whether it be cash or a needle and the cord to the life support, doesn't it all mean the same thing?

    I suppose it is enabling, but you are still assisting in the suicide. When you are giving them the money, you know deep down, that they are going to use it. Give them enough, and Bam! Dead.

    I agree with what Gillette said about always giving food or clothes.
     
  6. mindseye

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    You're playing the Devil's advocate here, Jeff -- the money isn't the 'means' to the suicide in your scenario. You didn't furnish the drugs and the needle, for example.

    If I took my paycheck and bought a gun with it and shot the president, would my employer be an accomplice to murder because they furnished me with the money that I used to buy the gun?
     
  7. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I suppose I am playing devil's advocate.

    Having said that, mindseye, you make a valid point. Question though, does the employer KNOW you are going to use the money to kill the president? If he does... well that is a bad example, because employers have to pay you if you work.

    Go back to my example for a second.

    I give the addict money. No strings attached, as he/she hasn't done anything for me. I give it KNOWING he/she is going to kill themselves. I am assisting, no? I may not be giving him the needles, but I am giving him the money.
     
  8. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Or, what about the experiment with the rats. The name has escaped me at the moment...

    What I do remember is, Scientists enabled rats to stimulate their own hypothalumus. They pushed a button and there was a release in endorphins ( I could be incredibly wrong, it was 5 years ago that I learned this). Anyways, the rats kept pushing the button, thus giving more pleasure. Eventually they died from hunger, as they pushed the button and didn't eat.

    Other variations included buttons that released food. Ryan might know these better than I.

    Either way, isn't that assisted suicide? Giving them something they can use to kill themselves, directly or indirectly?:rolleyes:
     
  9. JustAsking

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    This is an interesting question. I think you can't answer with a simple yes or now, because the question is vague enough to not specify under what criteria it requires an answer. So I have several opinions.

    Legal:
    No, giving the person money with which they subsequently go and buy drugs and overdose is not legally a form of assisted suicide.

    Ethically:
    If you had no knowledge of the person's addiction, or how severe it was, then you are not really ethically participating in the person's suicide. It is an inadvertent consequence of giving them the money.

    However, if you are fully aware of their addiction, then you know how totally out of control the person is with their life. An addicted person has about as much personal responsibility (until they get help, that is) as a 2 year old. The moment you give money to a person like that, you are taking on a large responsibility for their survival for the next few days or so. There is tremendous danger in them obtaining the drugs, taking the drugs and subsequently doing things to themselves or others.

    In the last scenario, giving the money is no different than giving a heavily addicted alcoholic a couple of bottles of whiskey.

    I was once in this situation, where a dear friend who was addicted to cocaine and trying to get herself straight (but not yet succeeding) needed money to make a car payment. She almost had enough, but not quite and stood to lose her car and her job. I made the balance of the payment directly to her loan office.

    In fact everytime I helped her in different ways, I had to weigh whether or not I was enabling, and each time I did, I told her that the price of my help was allowing me to call whoever I needed to to verify her story that she was safe from harm and working on her problem.

    So there is my take on it. If you help a person whom you know is addicted, you have to know that they are out of control and completely irresponsible. They will lie and steal and do anything to feed their addiction, even if they love you dearly. YOu have to know that and know that you are taking on some responsibility when you help them.
     
  10. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    If you're Muslim, it'd mean the destruction of your family and most of your home country.


    -------------------------------------

    Justasking, you're a decent, decent man. I do feel that if you help someone to 'off' themselves, then you are a part of the cause, sad as it seems, but you got around it, more power to you.
     
  11. B_big dirigible

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    In a simpler form of the same problem, it's common wisdom that some people should be kept away from sharp objects. That implies that someone else should keep them and these objects separated. In other words, in obvious cases we, as social creatures, have an obligation to intervene. In not-so-obvious cases, it's, well, not so obvious.
     
  12. B_big dirigible

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    If you happened to be the unfortunate person running the boarding house where the assassin and his fellow conspirators rented rooms, you could hang along with them. That has happened in American history, although not recently.
     
  13. Onslow

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    If the person is a drug addict then thye are usually looking to get high, get wasted. Unless somewhere in the transactoin the person says thye wish they were dead it is not a suicide assistance. If the person dies it could be considered murdere since you knew before that the drugs they would buy could be enough to kill them but the addict--and I speak from my own experience--makes his or her own choice and if you do not give them the money for the drugs then they might go and steal and in the process of stealing they could end up being shot or beaten to a bloody pulp and then want to kill themselfs. Would that then make you responsible if they killed themselfs off?

    An addict makes their own choice so again unl;ess they say they plan to overdose, then it cannot be assisted suicide.
     
  14. Lordpendragon

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    On the ethical side of the issue there is still the question as to whether the recipient retains the free will at the time of the gift to decide whether they will or will not acquire the drugs that will kill them. There is the other party in this scenario as well as the person who supplies the drugs.

    I have often thought that I should buy a beggar food rather than give them money - but I haven't.
     
  15. joyboytoy79

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    Few addicts actually commit suicide. They are too preoccupied with keeping a high to think too much about death. Therefore, drug overdoses aren't labeled "suicides" because there was no intent on the part of the deceased to kill him/herself. These deaths are called "accidental overdoses." Whether or not you, as the addict's financier suspect he or she will accidentally overdose, you are not in any way participating in the assistance of a suicide. In order for it to be a suicide, the person doing the dying must have the intent to die.

    So, no Jeff, you are not participating in an assisted suicide, in your scenario. Still, that wouldn't have ME giving money to an addict so he/she could buy drugs.
     
  16. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    Being a recovered addict 11 years clean, I've got an answer for you. Back then if you gave me 1000USD, I would have spent most of it on drugs and some booze. I probably wouldn't have died. In the realm of addiction, that's not very much money. In answer to your question, no. If you gave an addict an unlimited supply of money, they may finish themselves off. Even so, you're only an enabler, not a murderer and certainly not someone assisting in suicide.
     
  17. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    Oh, I wish this were true. Many addicts can't take the pain of addiction. Also, a death by OD is a fine line. Often the intentions of the addict weren't known. I've known addicts who didn't want to live anymore, considered themselves too weak to kill themselves yet died of an OD. I was privy to a large sample size going to 4 12-step fellowships and working as a Counselor in 3 treatment facilities. I thought about death all the time at the end. I even had a NDE. Why I didn't die that night is beyond me. Lots of OD's are accidental too. What a mess.
    *****edit****
    In 2 Psych classes I remember discussing one rat experiment involving cocaine and a couple others involving other substances. My studies were mostly skewed toward addiction. The rat always chose the cocaine over the food however the rat was getting a gargantuan amount of cocaine. I remember the other experiments being similar. In my addiction, I took the coke over food too.
     
  18. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    That twinge in your intestines

    In a word, yes.
     
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