Should suicide be a criminal offense?

It is murder  I can’t help but wonder what the final straw on a man’s back to actually push him into thinking that he is better off dead than alive is.
Ivan Mugisha
Ivan Mugisha

It is murder
I can’t help but wonder what the final straw on a man’s back to actually push him into thinking that he is better off dead than alive is.

Is suicide a stupid act or is it a brave one? Does it require bravery to shove a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger or is it simply cowardice - fear to face the world’s challenges?

I have always thought it is stupid, although the number of people who commit suicide worldwide everyday doesn’t support me here; as in, how could so many people be so stupid to think that life is so… small?

Approximately one million people commit suicide worldwide each year, that is, almost a suicide every 40 seconds.

Ok! Let’s assume that they don’t believe in the existence of hell, where all murderers will end up, what else do they believe in? Even evolution does not present a rosy picture about death.

Do they fancy the idea of rotting, with maggots feasting on their flesh until they finally become dust and disappear forever from the face of the earth?  Do they want to be remembered as people who feared life, and thus took it away without even thinking about the repercussions to their loved one?

One movie that took me closest into the mind of a suicidal person is Lethal Weapon; that 1987 classic thriller starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.  Mel Gibson acted as a very suicidal policeman who failed all attempts to personally take his life and thus decided to perform his duties dangerously on the edge by dodging bullets and ignoring police procedures.

I’m of the view that instead of killing oneself, why not try something more meaningful like Gibson did- say like go on a personal fearless journey to track down some of the most notorious genociaires still in hiding.

That would be much better and more honorable than horror-fully jumping off a cliff and dirtying the area with splattered brains and bones.

I know of a boy who committed suicide while we were in high school- wherever he is now am sure he laughs at himself for dying for the silliest reason.

He didn’t have a million dollar debt nor did he contract a dangerous disease. His problem was a girl! A girl he felt was meant for him but did not feel the same way, so he opted for an end to his “meaningless” life.

As is law in Uganda, the boy’s copse was flogged 50 canes as punishment for committing suicide. Comparably, Rwanda’s penal code does not punish suicide but punishes with a maximum sentence of five years those who induce other people into the weird act.

What this literally means is that a suicidal person can try as many suicide attempts as possible until he devises the perfect killer method without facing legal punishment.

I am of the view that the penal code should be revised to at least treat attempted suicide as attempted murder. This will scare the hell out of all those suicidal people out there.


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