Assignment 2: Elder Suicide

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Dear Anonymous Man,

After reading your letter, it is very upsetting to hear how unhappy you are. It makes me think of all the other elders that are in the same position as you. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but you have to stay strong. Life is a beautiful thing, no matter what age you are. The way you have to look at it is that getting old is a privilege that many others don’t get the chance to have. Too many people’s lives get cut short and getting old is sort of a blessing. Even though you may feel lonely, you said that you have the option to go live with your children. Even though you’ve lived in the same place for many years, moving closer to your children and grandchildren would be a new adventure. You’ll get to spend more time with them during your final years, and I think you would be very grateful for that in the end. You said that you have cancer but you also said that it is treatable. I think it is worth it to spend the money for treatments. That money spent can give you an extra couple of years to spend time with your family. You also mention that you lost your wife. I know you miss her so much but you will be reunited with her eventually. Don’t rush to end your life.

I believe under certain circumstances such as having a terminal illness and being in pain that can’t be cured, then ending your life can be justified. I think that if someone who is perfectly healthy commits suicide, its selfish in a way. Their loved ones would be devastated and feel as if they were just left behind. Another reason why it can be considered selfish is because other people are fighting so hard to stay alive. On the other hand, if someone is really unhappy and miserable, and they feel like they have no reason to live, what is there to keep them from committing suicide? This subject is really complicated and there are so many different views. If someone is depressed, they should try everything they can do to get better before thinking about ending their lives. It is definitely more understandable for elders to want to end their lives, rather than younger people. Young people still have so many things to experience, while elders have already had many many years to experience things. I think that the only people who have the right to give assistance in dying are immediate family members, and only if the person who wants assistance dying is already terminally ill and wants to end their pain.

I don’t think Kant would believe suicide was morally right. I think that the categorical imperative  would be to not commit suicide or get assisted suicide unless you are already dying and are in pain with no cure. If the categorical imperative was that suicide was ok, everyone would be able to do it whether they were old or young, sick or poor. Even though people still do it, it is not considered a normal act.

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7 thoughts on “Assignment 2: Elder Suicide

  1. I love how you say how this could be a great new adventure and opportunity for him. It really looks at the bright side of such a sad and serious situation. I really think that it is important to look at this situation as more of an opportunity, because if his family did not mean a lot to them, he never would have mentioned them in his letter. If he was to give up on his life, then what would it show his grandchildren? His children? I think it would be best if he went and spent the rest of his time with his family.

  2. I thought your post was uplifting and positive. Great idea to bring up that getting old is a privilege that other don’t have a chance to experience. Why do you feel as though if someone is unhappy that they have no reason to live? I’m sure they have a job, family, or friends that are great reasons to live even though they are unhappy. Also, depression can be cured or put under control. I have depression due to a chemical imbalance, but I take medicine for it and now I am basically cured. Obviously not cured, but much better and killing myself would not have solved anything.

    • I think you might of misunderstood what I meant about some people thinking they don’t have a reason to live. I’m not sure if it’s the way I wrote it but what I meant is that some people truly believe they have no reason to live and that is why they end up committing suicide. To other people, they have so many reasons to live and we are often shocked to hear of someone committing suicide. We honestly never really know everything that goes on in other peoples heads and when we hear of such a sad thing happening, people are often confused as to why the person ended their life.

  3. That’s what I think, too. If suicide was Ok, it would be a categorical imperative to follow, which would make it OK for all. I agree with you, Kant would not support this at all.

  4. I agree that when I read this letter it made me think of all of those people that I know that are in the same position as this gentleman, and I felt empathy towards them all over again. I too agree that I like the way you said that moving near his children and grandchildren would be a new adventure. It goes along with the saying that “you never know what tomorrow may bring.” Tomorrow is a whole new day and a whole new adventure, and sometimes in the toughest times, thats the only way to look at it to get you through.

  5. I like the picture you chose, it matched one of my explanations as to how so many countries don’t get a chance to live fully in many countries due to genocides. Its an eye opener to people here who sometimes forget that we have so many advantages. There’s a category on this game i play, Whats the Phrase, called first world problems, and I feel like this subject would be one of them seeing as we actually get to get old.

  6. This is very well said! I could not agree with you any less. It’s very well put of how you said not too many people have the ability to live a long life and end up dying young. That’s something I did not even think of and it really opened my eyes. This was very nicely written! Good job 🙂

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