>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Yesterday, I asked why suicide was considered a crime (or taboo for Relax Max who doesn't think it's illegal). I got a number of interesting viewpoints and comments, including Relax Max arguing that only attempted suicide is a crime but not suicide itself (since there's not we can do to punish a successful suicider), Soubriquet's excellent examples of socially acceptable suicide (we call it bravery) and mrsbitch's making a comparison between murder and suicide.
What I'd like to do is expand on mrsbitch's comments. She noted that murder was illegal and, as suicide was effectively self-murder, the same rules applied. Well, although I noted that, in my opinion, the problem with murder is that you're making life/death decisions for someone else without their input - which isn't the problem with suicide.
But, let's for argument sake, say that there is an inherent sanctity of life that no one has the right to snuff out, not even for oneself. So, if human life is absolutely sacrosanct, anything one does to shorten or endanger one's own life would also be criminal. To some extent we do this now by making narcotics and other serious and addictive drugs illegal. But, where do you draw the line? If we couldn't put our lives at risk, smoking should be absolutely forbidden, and extreme sports made illegal. Obesity would be a crime. One could not refuse treatment for oneself. Salt would be seriously curtailed.
And he's a kicker. What if you're pregnant and the pregnancy puts your life at risk? You'd no longer have a choice to try to carry the baby. Of course, that's a whole other post.