Ska suicid hindras?

En 26-årig kvinna har dött i England efter att ha druckit gift. Hon instruerade läkare att inte rädda hennes liv, då hon ville dö. Läkarna följde hennes instruktioner, vilket var i enlighet med lagen:

She had capacity to consent to treatment which, it is more likely than not, would have prevented her death. She refused such treatment in full knowledge of the consequences and died as a result.

Professorn i praktisk etik vid Oxford University Julian Savulescu förklarar i ”Should All Patients Who Attempt Suicide Be Treated?” varför sjukvårdspersonalen kan anses ha agerat moraliskt riktigt:

Suicidal patients are treated against their will for at least four reasons: (1) they are assumed to be depressed or otherwise mentally ill; (2) their act is often taken to be symbolic (they are really pleading for help); (3) their attempted suicide is impulsive and they will later be glad that their life was saved; (4) there is no second chance if one is allowed to die, if one did not really want to die. These are all important reasons. Together they justify taking a default position of treating patients who attempt suicide. However, even if they were all true and good reasons in general, they would not justify the treatment of all patients who attempt suicide. … If a person attempts suicide and continues to competently and rationally desire to die, then he ought to be allowed to die.

Så tycker även jag. Det finns rationella motiv för vissa suicid, och föreligger sådana bör inte suicid hindras, av sjukvårdpersonal eller andra.

Jag föredrar ordet suicid framför ordet självmord, då det senare innefattar ett begrepp, mord, med negativ värdeladdning. Jag har för övrigt inga suicidala planer för egen del, om någon undrar.