Friday, June 17, 2016

Assisted suicide and mental illness.

I've thought about suicide before. More precisely, assisted suicide. There are times when I've been in such pain, it seemed a kindness to myself. But, I don't want to hurt myself. I don't want my mother finding me. I don't want to horrify those I love.

So, a few articles around assisted suicide and the mentally ill have crossed my path, and I've finally had the time to read them. First, Assisted Death: Decision Extremely Complex For Those With Mental Illness - over on Huffington Post.
Last week, a parliamentary committee recommended that Canadians with psychiatric disorders that cause intolerable suffering should be included in any regulations governing physician-assisted death, which becomes legal June 6 under the Supreme Court of Canada's landmark ruling a year ago.
I actually reached out to the doctor quoted in the above article. The parliamentary committee is touching on legislation that directly affects me and people like me. I'm not saying I plan on applying for assisted suicide, but I would like the option. I also would be a great example of the type of person who could talk their way into an approval. There are points and counter-points to all of it, and it should all be discussed.

There's also this post over on Broadly, This Man Wants Doctors To Euthanize Him Because He Can’t Accept His Sexuality, which first, says a lot about homophobia and shame, but also talks about how in Belgium the laws around assisted suicide include mental illness.

A Stolkhom lawyer:
"It's possible to have euthanasia for recognized psychiatric disorders that cause you unbearable pain and hopeless suffering."
I ask how a mental illness resulting from an inability to accept being gay might fit within the law. "Events in your life—such as the death of a loved one—can cause you to develop depressive disorders. In the same way, the difficulty of coming to terms with your sexuality can cause someone to be depressed. 
"That's potentially what fits within the context of mental disorder in this case."
To be clear, the assisted suicide here is because of his depression and anxiety. Due, seemingly majorly, to his being in a lot of pain regarding his being gay (and no doubt other underlying issues). As said by the article:
The case serves as a depressing reminder that the discrimination experienced by some LGBQT people in their formative years can have a hugely scarring and lifelong effect. "Unfortunately we still live in a world where hate and discrimination directed toward lesbian, gay, bi and trans people can lead to many of them feeling distressed, alone and even suicidal," says a spokesperson for Stonewall, an LGBT charity. "We still have so much left to do until all LGBT people are accepted without exception."
This is timely. Days after a possibly-closeted man murdered 49 LGBTQ/Latinx club patrons, and injured 53, there's a lot to discuss regarding homophobia, being closeted, self-hatred and toxic-masculinity. It all intersects. It all compacts. It all kills.

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