Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is "saves" really the right word here?

When someone makes a very serious suicide attempt, like jumping from heights, should we be glad when that person is . . . "saved"? Is that a "miracle"?

From that cultural pillar, USATODAY:
Dodge Charger, or a miracle, saves man from suicide attempt

The New York Daily News says 22-year-old Thomas Magill jumped 39 stories from a West Side apartment building, and ended up landing in the back of a red 2008 Dodge Charger. He broke both of his legs and is in critical condition, but survived the fall.

Some witnesses laud the car he fell on for saving his life. Some say it's a miracle from God. But is it even a good thing?

Often, people who make very serious suicide attempts and are "rescued" say they are glad. Their incomes tend to go up, too. But this is at great cost to autonomy. Perhaps the would-be suicide will wake up and give the culturally appropriate response: "I'm so glad to be alive; I never wanted to die." (N.B.: if he wants to get out of the hospital, this would be advisable.) Perhaps he will wake up and curse God and demand to be allowed to die (the dignified route, but the one that will keep you hospitalized).

Regardless, it's nothing but cruel to this poor guy to praise Jesus (or a Dodge Charger) for "saving" him. People who do not want their lives should be free to discard them, without having to break their fucking legs in the process.


  1. I've had a lot of suicidal friends growing up and I would actually support them in their decision if they truly felt it was the right choice.

    1. I haven't had many, but one for sure that I know about that eventually died.

      She wasn't happy. When she finally, after many attempts, died, I felt a certain sense of sadness for me, because I knew I'd never see her again and I enjoyed her company during the intermittent times we got together. But I never felt, in her case considering how she saw her life, that she made the wrong voice.

      I remember having a ceremony of one by myself with a candle celebrating her life and thinking about her the night I found out.

      In a way, I felt happy for her. That was a long time ago now.


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