Assisted suicide

Posted: 18 September 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

capitalism kills 2 (1)

Apparently, Stephen Hawking has come out in favor of assisted suicide—but only for “those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain.”

“There must be safeguards that the person concerned genuinely wants to end their life and are not being pressurised into it or have it done without their knowledge and consent as would have been the case with me.”

What about the nearly 5000 “extra” suicides that occurred as a result of capitalism’s latest crisis? Weren’t they pressured into and had it done without their knowledge and consent?

A study just published in the British Medical Journal confirms for a large number of countries (27 European and 27 non-European countries) what we knew from previous crises (such as 1997 economic crisis in Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong) and smaller samples (e.g., England, Italy, and the United States after 2008): capitalist crises cause people to take their own lives.

We found a clear rise in suicide after the 2008 global economic crisis; there were about 4900 excess suicides in the year 2009 alone compared with those expected based on previous trends (2000-07). There were important differences in men and women as well as in the age pattern in different groups of countries. The increases were mainly in men from the 27 European countries and 18 American countries studied. All age suicide rates in European and American men were, respectively, 4.2% and 6.4% higher in 2009 than expected if past trends had continued. In contrast there was no change in European women and a relatively smaller (2.3%) increase in American women. In European countries, the impact has been felt most strongly by men aged 15-24, while men aged 45-64 were most affected in American countries. Rises in national suicide rates in 2009 seemed to be associated with the magnitude of increases in unemployment, particularly for men and in countries with low unemployment levels before the crisis. Our finding is likely to be an underestimate of the true global impact of the economic crisis on suicide as some affected countries, such as Australia and Italy, were not included. The rise in the number of suicides is only a small part of the emotional distress caused by the economic downturn. Non-fatal suicide attempts could be 40 times more common than completed suicides, and for every suicide attempt about 10 people experience suicidal thoughts.

No matter what kind of recovery occurs in the coming years, the thousands of people who were assisted by the crisis in committing suicide won’t be around to experience the benefits.

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Comments
  1. […] Assisted Suicide Apparently, Stephen Hawking has come out in favor of assisted suicide—but only for “those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain.” […]

  2. […] Assisted Suicide 8Apparently, Stephen Hawking has come out in favor of assisted suicide but only for those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain. […]

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