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Should encouraging someone to commit suicide be a crime?

25 Comments
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The word "encouragement" would have to be extremely well defined and could create a great deal of difficulty for innocent people whose remarks might be taken out of context or who are being accused by people with hidden agendae, on the criminal side. The civil side, at least in the U.S., would be a nightmare...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

As neighbours to a teenager who took her life, most definitely yes.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Anyone who thinks that kind of behavior is acceptable, might want to look in the mirror.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I wouldn't encourage someone to commit suicide, but I would support the decision, depending on circumstances. So, yes, I think it should be a crime to encourage someone to do so, but I don't think doctor assisted suicides should be illegal.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Encouraging is an odd word. I wouldn't generally encourage anyone to take their own life, I've had several friends over the years who have done so and they leave behind such sadness. And guilt, too - as in "why didn't we see this coming/could we not have done something/reached out" etc.

It's devestating when someone you know and care about leaves you abruptly, by their own hand or another.

That said, if someone wants to end their life with dignity because they are dying/no quality of life... then I'd support their decision. I might well chose to end my own life before it becomes too painful on me and others, so I won't be slamming assisted suicides.

(Not ready to go just yet, by the way) :-)

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Unless they were Adolf Hitler or some other notorious fiend, the answer is yes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It all depends on what "encouraging" means.

If encouraging means something like, manipulating someone emotionally so that they kill themselves, then yes.

If it is something like, a group of persons who are thinking of a group suicide and talking about how the world sucks and life sucks and how killing themselves is the best option, I think it shouldn't be a crime, but it is a very murky situation.

I think intention is crucial in something like this.

And in cases in which people use insults like "kill yourself" or something like that, even if it is a tasteless insult, it should never be illegal.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Life is the absolute exemption in the whole universe. So nobody should act against it, not themselves by committing suicide nor by encouraging others to commit suicide. Btw. a strange discussion bare of any logic. Just imagine tons of earth and after hours and days of hard and sweatfull work you find a little gold nugget or diamond in it. Would you throw it into the garbage can yourself or encourage others to do so? Never....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes, just as convincing minors to commit crimes is a crime, etc.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can't believe some people here are trying to define what encouraging actually means. Come on people, it's black and white - you are either encouraging people to either take their own lives or not. There are no grey areas - there is no 'but'... encouraging someone to take their own life should be treated as a crime. Suicidal people are very vulnerable and should be protected and encouraged to live.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

"Do it"

Not sure if those two words constitute a crime: should you walk around telling people, "Do it", and they do whatever it is they are considering, it's surely in their hands the majority of the consequences.

Telling the driver to speed up, and they do, the law clearly puts the responsibility on the driver.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Intentionally driving someone to suicide should be considered manslaughter and illegal.

Voluntary assisted dying should be legal.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

encouraging someone to end their own life is like motivating someone to rob a bank, you're still part of the crime

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Absolutely not.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I believe everyone has a moral duty to prevent a person from killing him or herself.

A case in point. Two foreign researchers in Sendai (who did not speak Japanese) saved her. It was a happy occasion for all concerned. The Sendai police department gave each of them certificates. (This was in the Asahi a few days ago.)

There is always the question of whether people truly want to die when they attempt suicide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are cases that are very difficult to bear such as great pain ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone with a terminal illness should have the right to end their time on this planet with some form of dignity.

If they require assistance, it should be available, under proper supervision.

Depression is not a terminal illness but it is an illness and needs to be treated as such.

so yes and no.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I remember the case in US where a girl sent numerous messages to her boyfriend, mostly vicious stuff like you should kill yourself. The guy actually did, and she got arrested, but Im not sure what the final verdict was

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1089581

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The infrastructure and fallout from trying to enforce such a law would cause massive damage to free speech and freedom in general. The entire concept of such a law stems from the "negative reinforcement" addiction most English speaking westerners seem to have and that bent is screwing up their societies royally.

Rather than hand police massive powers and massive amounts of money to try and enforce such a generally unenforceable law, instead, reasonable amounts of money should be used to set up a system where a person so encouraged would receive an immediate message of support in the form of an explanation of how some people lash out like that but there are good people out there ready to help and ready to listen. And the message should end with a telephone number or website for further support.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The most proximal cause of self-termination is overwhelming desperation. Most of such desperation is caused by contextual factors like race, intractable mental illness in a loved one, precocious realization of the place they find themselves in (the 'Human World'), many things that may overwhelm a 'sensitive' mind into seeing only hopelessness in remaining here. Such ideation is almost always generated by context, social context. Of all of the factors which may cause a Human to reach the point of such desperation, social context by itself is MOST OFTEN the necessary "encouragement". Who, then, is the 'criminal'?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The fact you have to ask this question and it's not against the law already shows how far behind the world is on this issue, not only in Japan but Worldwide should be consider a crime and against the law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Encourage" and "support" are sometimes translated the same in Japanese, depending on context, but while I would definitely support a terminally ill patient's (and in terrible pain) decision to end their life with a little dignity, I would never encourage someone to kill themself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Thunderbird2

It's sad that you can only see two colors to Human suffering when most of us (I hope) see a spectrum of Human emotional colors with many shades both attractive and ugly. B&W perception would make Humans even less intellectual than bats who, even in sound, can see the details of Life in other than two dimensions. Certainly such thinking simplifies one's perception, but limiting one's considerations to only two states suggests that, maybe, the perceiver is completely blinded, completely traumatized when they see in the full colors of Human pain and joy and that B&W vision protects them from the very thing they, here, judge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think Rosalind nails the real issue here because the most likely form of "encouraged suicide" will be managed death for people who are extremely ill or injured. It is not going to be bullying.

My father died in hospital after two strokes in a week left him vegetative. The doctors withdrew treatment, leaving him with a ventilator and fluids, and he died about two weeks later. Had he gone on full life support, I don't know how long he could have kept going. Withdrawal of certain treatments does not qualify as assisted suicide, so it was not an issue for the doctors or us, but there must be others in very similar situations on the other side of the legal line. The better medical science gets at prolonging life/delaying death, the more this is going to be an issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This question makes me think of those cases where bullies egg on others to kill themselves, or those who help depressed people off themselves. This is plain wrong. However, I do think that terminally ill people should have the access to euthanasia, through the right channels, especially those who are going to suffer immense physical pain, if that is their wish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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