Friday, October 17, 2008

the suicide solution

Very briefly, news is just breaking that the two people are being questioned by police in relation to a young man's travelling to Switzerland to commit suicide.

Daniel James, who was 23, had tried to kill himself several times because of the "day-to-day fear and loathing of his living existence" due to being paralyzed from the chest down after a rugby accident in March 2007. He died on 12 September, a week before publicisation of comments by Baroness Warnock saying that there was "nothing wrong" with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or of society.

Looking at what facts we have as a former mental health worker, the fact that he made suicide attempts indicates that severe depression may have been part of his psychological picture, with six months possibly not being long enough for him to make an accomodation with his new bodily image and and grieve for his lost physical abilities (for a bereaved person, grief does not start to be considered pathological until it has lasted two years).

In the present climate when public funds are tighter than ever due to bailing out financial institutions and disabled people are living ever longer, isn't it remarkable that the mainstream media are being hit by stories about suicide for vulnerable and depressed people being a viable solution to suffering and uncertainty?

Recquiescat in pace, and God be with his family at this time.

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