Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Don't Criminalize Attempted Suicide

In days of old, attempted suicide was a crime. Ironically, the penalty for it was death. For a long time now attempted suicide has not been a crime, but things are changing. A man parks his vehicle on the railroad tracks in order that a train will hit and kill him. At the last minute, he changes his mind and jumps out. The result was a terrible tragedy with many people killed and injured. The man who wanted to kill himself has been charged with murder.
Yesterday, in Troy a 45 year old disabled man living in a state Department of Health supportive living program was arrested for arson after attempting to kill himself by setting his room on fire.
One wonders what will be next: People attempting to kill themselves with carbon monoxide arrested for environmental pollution. People surviving a jump off the Dunn Memorial Bridge arrested for illegal diving. People slitting their wrists arrested for practicing surgery without a license.
The point the authorities seem to be driving home is--if you are going to kill yourself, make sure you don't fail.

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