A short dialogue concerning information on suicide

by Conwow (somewhat edited by euclid k. and featured on this site with the author's permission)

TTC: While 'Final Exit' may be a book written for the terminally ill, the book is available to ANY individual in the UK or suicidal person.

Conwow: So what? I can pluck from the shelf hovering just above my head a wide variety of medical text books, each contain detailed toxicological information that one can extrapolate from with little difficulty a reliably lethal dose for most toxic medications commonly available with and without a prescription. The transcripts from the Harold Shipman enquiry can be brought up with a quick Google Search detailing the estimated dose of diamorphine he administered to his victims (30 mg), the route of administration (intravenous and occasionally intramuscular). It also detailed the course a massive overdose would take (a deep stupor within 30 seconds, respiratory arrest in five minutes followed by complete brain death in fifteen to twenty minutes). A national newspaper printed a story about the withdrawal of co-proxamol roughly a month ago which described in graphic detail the minimum (generally agreed to be 30 tablets) and average lethal dose (2-3 packets of 30) for this medication.

All this information is in the public domain, some self evident other requires more technical understanding. A society could not live, would be unable to function were it to censor all information that could aid someone in understanding a suicide method. One would have to cease to report any dangers in life for knowledge of those dangers could be subvert, perverted and used in a suicide. Such logic taken to its natural conclusion would be dreadful, accidental deaths would soar no one would know what was or wasn't a danger and be in constant peril. The only way one can stop people committing suicide is at a personal level, to stop them taking the decision to die in the first place as censoring information on suicide methods is of little use once that decision has been taken.

TTC: been many persons who have exited from this life by purchasing that book who do not have any terminal illness at all.

Conwow:Simply not true. People don't die because they purchase a book - they die because they choose to die and promptly go about killing themselves.

You are falling into the trap of transferring responsibility, people look at a suicide, screw up their face in horror and wonder who else they can blame but the person who took their own life. It is a natural process, people simply aren't able to accept that a suicide was the person's fault as the common notion of grief and mourning is to extol the virtues of the deceased. People kill themselves because they want to and are as responsible of perpetrating that act as they would be any other acts - be it marriage, murder or theft. They are free moral agents who ultimately must carry the responsibility for their own actions, you cannot transfer that responsibility to a book, a newsgroup or any other object, idea or arena of discussion.

There is a lot of work in the Psychology of War and Killing on the transfer of guilt, it is a very primeval and primitive response to any action judged as immoral or somehow wrong. Experiments have demonstrated how easy and necessary people find it to transfer the responsibility for a killing of another to the inanimate object that aided them. For example, one early experiment asked volunteers to kill an animal some volunteers were asked to kill it using first a switch which electrocuted the animal, a gun, a knife, a sledgehammer and finally barehanded.

In this experiment the refusal rate was higher the lesser the barrier between the volunteer and the animal with no one opting to kill an animal barehanded. Subsequent interviews found that people transferred the guilt to the object killing, it thus became the electricity at fault or the gun and so forth with those using more "hands on" methods feeling the most remorse and guilt despite the fact they had each perpetrated the same act. The methods of murder utilised by the Nazi's during the Holocaust provide alarming substantiation to this theory. (US Army Psychologists have conducted a wealth of research on the topic of killing, which is readily available in libraries across the land).

TTC:They are just depressed & suicidal, which is a temporary mood condition, which goes away eventually.

Conwow:Ah, the great "depressed" myth. Not enough serotonin swishing about in the cranium, again another deceptive myth the world is littered with them each offering easy answers to complex problems. Society has amassed a wealth of knowledge in the past two centuries at a purely physical level, we like to think we understand so much now but only on a cold, physical and inhuman level. It is a quietly ironic fact that scientific understanding has come at a cost of our understanding of the human condition. Society has failed to keep up with the scientific developments on a human level and it has denigrated mankind as whole.

Taking depression to mean unsanctioned sadness you begin to understand the whole concept better, it isn't an illness it is an emotion - a complicated intertwined collection of behaviour. Examination of the cases and causes of depression reveals more, the "illness" invariably stems from a social problem. An example that highlights this especially graphically is the reasons for prescribing antidepressant medications. The underlying problem is seldom depression - the majority of prescriptions are filled in for "depression" arising from (greatest first) work related stress, relationship break down, alcoholism, bereavement and post traumatic stress disorder (GP's reasons for prescribing antidepressants in Britain 1999). The latter (PTSD) is by definition a social disorder arising largely from human actions - rape, abuse and other awful horrors man perpetrates against man.

The minute one comes to use a medical term about a set of behaviours you disarm it of any social causality, it becomes merely a biological phenomena. This is cruel and dishonest practice as it removes any guilt society should rightly carry. People are predominately depressed because of factors in the real world, not just the levels of chemicals in their head. For many drastic actions can be taken, costly and difficult actions that society is unwilling to sanction. They range from providing extensive support to not overworking the populace - but these cost money and drugs are a whole lot cheaper than rearranging this cruel world. There are others who just aren't too enamoured by the world and want to die and no levels of chemicals will alter this fact.

TTC: I believe there's been more than one perfectly normal healthy, but depressed person, who has come to groups like this who have learned how to commit suicide from the information stated here.

Conwow:Simply not true. Over one million people kill themselves annually (WHO figures) - some slit their neck hollering a silent scream of utter agony but alas they've transected their larynx so no one hears. Some kick and shit their last morsel of consciousness out drowning beneath the ever ebbing tide of one great ocean or another. There are some who drink bleach while others favour lye - either way they've days or often weeks of life to look forward to as the casuistic liquid seeps it's way through the body. Slowly, centimetre by centimetre it dribbles its liquefying way through them - beginning with the oesophagus then slowly, drip by drip into the thorax dissolving the stomach and lungs as they're literally burnt alive only with a novel twist - inside out.

Another perennially fashionable route people take from this world is down, glimpsing momentarily at a city awash with the insipid glow of orange street lights that bleed existence of colour before vaulting into the abyss. From offices, flats, bridges, cliffs, castles and churches the sky erupts each night with its wretched shower of soon to be ex-humans and gravity dutifully carries its cargo from this world. Some shatter on impact, bones, bowel and blood strewn across car parks and pavements whilst others collide with another unfortunate fucker on their way down smiting them into inexistence with the full force of terminal velocity. A few murderous fuckers decide to park on the railway tracks, transit vans and high speed passenger trains never did mix as the death toll so accurately expressed.

High lethality methods are self-evident and involve a great deal of violence, invariably produce a horrifically painful death and often endanger others. Even the lowly infant knows at eight months old, long before they have developed more sophisticated cognitive abilities such as speaking, walking and bladder control that crawling off an emulated ledge to fall a great height presents massive danger (Child Psychology experiments at Penn University). People do not learn to commit suicide, they choose to commit suicide by definition it is not a taught act. Some act impulsively, others slowly and rationally with much consideration - all however are united in the fact it is solely a personal decision.

Those who want to die enough do die, sometimes it requires several attempts others nail it with one (usually men are more successful in this than women who are more furtive and tidy in their methods whilst men like to make a mess - nothing new there then). Previous suicidal behaviour is the most reliable indicator in predicting suicide risk from which one can deduce those who want to die are persistent in their wish and ultimately often do die. Those who seek out information on suicide methods already have strong suicidal intention; they want to die and probably will eventually even where they fail at first. The information contained within groups such as this only really alters the specific method used, allowing people a painless and peaceful death.

Remember the fact 19,000 Americans each year are permanently disabled because of botched suicide methods, allowing people to die a peaceful death is the least this world can do.

TTC: These people need to be directed to what they really need; to web sites that will HELP THEM with their difficulties & problems current in their life. I stand by what I say, that there should be MANDATORY excellent web sites linked to HELP people who are just depressed & contemplating suicide who come to groups like this & these permanent links are shown for all to see.

Conwow: Derek Humphry writes in Final Exit :-

In its first five years this book was occasionally used by persons for whom it was not intended-the deeply depressed and the mentally ill. This misuse I regret but can do nothing about. Suicide has always been endemic in man-kind; some of us do not have the emotional and intellectual equipment to cope with a lifetime of troubles-real and imagined-and elect to die. Self-destruction of a physically fit person is always a tragic waste of life and hurtful to survivors, but life is a personal responsibility. We must each decide for ourselves.
He then amends a long list of "suicide hotlines" and "crisis intervetion centres" to his book, an impressive list that runs to several pages. People still killed themselves using the information found within his book, those who search out information on methods of suicide already have strong suicidal intention - websites or mere words aren't going to sway them.

TTC: The PRO'S and the CONS, both sides should be shown. Currently, it one sided.

Conwow: Pro-choice is about that.. Find one post promoting suicide, advising another that suicide is the only option applicable to them.

TTC: Out of POSITIVE and NEGATIVE, from my life experiences, POSITIVE is better, stronger & greater.

Conwow: I've seen "strong men" - those often called "great men". Jabbering goons who glare from inside the television set whilst their sly hollow eyes chase you from one corner of the room to the next as they spew violently disdain and contempt. They're horrid men. Hitler was a great man (in political stature) whilst Stalin was a strong man. Great men are bastards whilst strong men are cruel and sadistic. Positive is a highly subjective term and existence sets the undulating bar of achievement at an unobtainable height.

Alive, I'm told is good. Dead, I'm told is bad. Yet America kills hundreds each year in chairs, on tables and in chambers with electricity, with gas, with muscle relaxants, potassium chloride and barbiturates but this is okay I'm told, this I'm told is good. Sex with rings on fingers, I'm told is good. Sex without rings on fingers, I'm told is bad. But you can't have rings on fingers if you're both the same sexes because rings are bad for two of the same sex.

I do get so confused. Tell me.. What's good? What's bad? What's positive? What's negative? What's strong? What's weak?

Christ, this post has become a mess... there was more I wanted to add and arguments I wanted to expand on but I'm tired and want to go to bed so you shall have to deal with my moronic gibber.

Much Love