Saturday, August 11, 2018

Just Sayin'

With all the discussion about the woman in Holland who committed professionally-assisted suicide, I would like to note that it is not always depression which motivates suicide. Anger, and desire to punish others can sometimes be the dominant motive. Sometimes it works. One such suicide did indeed succeed in punishing our hospital very badly, including some very competent and compassionate practitioners who were embroiled in the lawsuit brought by the deeply pathological family. I can give no more information, for obvious reasons.

I do not support assisted suicide in any way.  I have seen people so desperate, living painful lives that were forced upon them, that I did not fault their desire to end it all.  However, most of them do cause pain to someone when they go, and do not weigh that heavily enough.  One of our safety plan questions upon discharge is "What is your main reason to go on living?" We are currently unable to support the theory with data, but our sense is that getting people to answer this out loud makes it stronger. We may be fooling ourselves with that one. The most common answer is that people in calmer moments recognise how much this would hurt their parents, their children, their siblings, their friends.

Yet for some, hurting those people was their motive in the first place. The sad part is that the ones you wished to punish will blame you one more time and brush it off, while the ones you wished to spare will blame themselves forever.

I have not looked into the case in the Netherlands much, other than to notice that a predictable diagnosis was attached to the woman, one that explains everything to me but perhaps not to the popular culture.


Donna B. said...

I'm commenting based on Stuart Schneiderman's post and I'm guessing that borderline personality disorder is the explanatory diagnosis. The televised weeks beforehand... I'm speechless.

Donna B. said...
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