DEBATE: Is suicide a criminal act?

Suicide is as bad as murder Attempting suicide has always been unacceptable and if someone dies, definitely there is nothing that can be done, but if someone survives a suicide attempt, they should be punished. In fact, they should be sent to prison for life so that they don't attempt it again.

Suicide is as bad as murder

1418327349Patrick-bucyana

Attempting suicide has always been unacceptable and if someone dies, definitely there is nothing that can be done, but if someone survives a suicide attempt, they should be punished. In fact, they should be sent to prison for life so that they don’t attempt it again.

Whatever is not right is punishable by the law and we support what is right, so just like any other crime, suicide should not be supported. And the best way to fight it and show that it’s totally not part of our culture is by making it illegal and denouncing it in the strongest ways possible.

Suicide is totally an immoral act that ignores the sacrosanct nature of human life – something that is universally considered to be the case as expressed by nearly all religions.

It is an absolute shame when someone ends up committing suicide. That is not being realistic or reasonable and should not be acceptable.

Suicide is an act of cowardice that isn’t a trait of our ancestors or parents and should never be tolerated in any kind of way, hence making it illegal.

Nowadays we hear everyone talking about human rights; we hear little about human obligation. As long as someone is alive, they have the obligation to protect their lives and the lives of others. In this case, suicide is as bad as murder.

Suicide is an entirely selfish act that causes immense pain and suffering for the loved ones that are left behind. There are crimes like those that abandon children and don’t want to take care of their families, why shouldn’t this be a crime as well. It is important, therefore, to instill a strong sense of responsibility in people.

Individual action is shaped by what norms and standards are set by society. By prohibiting suicide, society sends out a message that it is not an acceptable action. Legislation is a useful social tool, in that it proscribes the limits of individual action.

I like the fact that they use commit when referring to suicide and just like committing a crime, it is also illegal and should not be tolerated.

patrick.buchana@newtimes.co.rw

We can’t judge what we don’t understand

1418327475Dean-Karemera

Last week, local media was awash with news of a young man who committed suicide, although reasons behind his act are still being investigated. However, according to various accounts from co-workers and friends, they cited depression as the cause of his death. Although depression is a trigger, other factors might be at play here.

Before that could sink in, a young man in neighbouring Uganda jumped to his death on Tuesday over an affair gone bad, according to a statement released by the Uganda Police. These two incidents go a long way to show that suicide is not in any way criminal since the acts that provoke it are not crimes in their nature.

The majority of suicides occur because of reasons not related to crime. So why do some people still refer to suicide as a crime? Murder, rape, and robbery are examples of crime. People, who attempt suicide and fail, do not repeat the attempt.

This is because many suicide attempts are not cases of people giving up on life. People who attempt suicide are mentally unstable, under the influence of mind-altering drugs, or people caught in the depths of depression. People who attempt suicide are caught up in short-term emotional distress and see their lives out of suitable environment. I don’t see any of that as a crime.

What is the intent of suicide? To harm others? No. That is what criminals do. People who die by suicide never intend to harm anyone. They are trying to end their pain, and their thinking is distorted because of their mental illness.

They commit suicide because they feel they do not have any other option. A mentally ill person who commits suicide deserves great compassion not criminalisation. And the loved ones of those who die by suicide deserve respect not stigma.

For this reason, it is a good idea to screen attempted suicides and people with strong suicidal impulses. The goal of such screening is to look for evidence of psychological illnesses, drug abuse, and inability to reason, and to offer such treatment or counseling as is needed.

And for those that still maintain the idea that suicide is a crime, I give you my two cents; you are part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

dean.karemera@newtimes.co.rw

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