Webmaster's suggestions to persons considering suicide:
A root cause for the desire to commit suicide is often depression. This can often be controlled with medication. If you are depressed, I strongly recommend that you seek medical help to see if your depression can be lifted.
Another cause of suicidal ideation is often intolerable levels of pain associated with a terminal illness, like cancer. Many physicians are reluctant to prescribe high levels of some pain killers out of fear that the person will become addicted to them. If you are suffering from pain in spite of medication, try insisting on better levels or types of pain killers. Recruit friends and family to intercede with your physician if you can.
If you feel overwhelmed and lack an effective support system of friends and family, consider tapping into the services of a crisis hotline. These are called by various names: distress centers, crisis centers, suicide prevention centers, etc. Their telephone numbers can often be found in the first page(s) of your telephone directory. If you cannot find a number for a center in your area, try phoning directory assistance at 4-1-1.
In the United States, you can call 1-800-273-TALK. See: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ They will direct you to a crisis center in your area.
Crisis centers/distress centers/ etc are often confidential services that you can phone up at any time of the day or night for support. You can usually remain anonymous.
Wikipedia lists suicide crisis lines for many countries from Australia to the United States at: https://en.wikipedia.org/ Although these lines are often called "suicide prevention lines" or "crisis lines." most of the people calling are not suicidal, not in crisis, but are in distress. So, don't be reluctant to call them because you are not suicidal or in crisis.
Throughout North America, committing suicide or attempting to commit suicide is no longer a criminal offense. However, helping another person commit suicide is generally considered a criminal act. A few exceptions are:
There were four failed ballot initiatives between 1991 and 2000:
Between 1994 and 2016, there have been in excess of 75 legislative bills to legalize PAS in at least 21 states. Almost all failed to become law. 4
For frequent updates on assisted suicide topics, consult:
Related essays in this web site:
The author of this section is approaching his 80th birthday and is in good health. To him, end of life issues have taken on a personal aspect. Being an Agnostic, he doubts the existence of an afterlife. He does not fear death. He does not fear being dead. However, he has considerable fear about the process of dying, For many people in North America is an agonizingly painful and lengthy process during which time one's enjoyment of life often drops to zero and becomes negative without any hope that it will return to positive territory. Fortunately for him, he lives in Canada which -- like all other developed countries except for the U.S. -- has universal health care. So he will receive competent medical attention. Unfortunately, pain management is often as poorly managed in Canada as it is in the U.S. He regards suicide as a civil right and would prefer that he have access to a means of suicide if life becomes unbearable. He thus strongly supports legalizing physician assisted suicide.
He is critical of PAS laws that have been passed to date because they generally give access to assisted dying only to terminally ill people who are expected to die in the near future of natural causes. They do not do anything for people who experience chronic, overwhelming pain with no hope of relief for years.
He has attempted to remain impartial, objective and fair while writing these essays.
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