If you were about to kill yourself which method would you use?

Obviously assisted suicide would be everyone’s choice but few countries have legalised it.

Instead I’d choose a large calibre hand gun. It’s highly reliable and painless. It’s a shame guns aren’t easily available in England. I could blow my brains out and be done with this shit of a life. Or a perfect suicide pill.

I’ve tried overdoses and they’re unreliable. Suffocation is difficult and painful; it is a terror-filled way to die. Any other options?

Suicide advocates

This is a quick idea based on my recent experience of the Samaritans. (Yes. Things are that bad).

They were of no value because they’re fundamentally flawed in what they offer. A safe space to talk is useful given the suicide taboo but as the only option from this country’s number one suicide organisation it is woefully inadequate. It’s why I’ve not contacted them before most of my suicide attempts. It’s not what I’m looking for.

Who would I communicate with before killing myself? The answer may not be practical but it’s true nonetheless: someone who could fix things. An advocate for the suicidal who can attempt to change the things which force people to their deaths.

Take debt and the catastrophic effect of bad debt. Many die because of it. Now though, thanks to an important victory by mental health organisations (namely Mind’s Debt and mental health campaign), health and social care professionals can intercede on a patient’s behalf and the industry is more mental health aware. This is ultimately social change but those who advocate for someone’s mental health play a vital role. This saves many suicides.

If this already established system to reduce distress and despair not by talking about it but doing something about it was widened to encompass other causes it’s clear more lives could be saved, lives of people who otherwise might never engage with anyone about their suicidal feelings.

Suicidal people need solutions, not empty words. Suicidal souls need protection against further suffering and a suicide advocate could be the buffer between those suffering intolerable despair and the world of inequity which harms them. This is how lives could be saved: not leaving the vulnerable unprotected.

This might be the remit of current mental health services but they have a history of failure, perhaps because they eschew real solutions in favour of medication and words alone. Thousands a year die when resolving the circumstances which made them suicidal could save lives.

An after thought is the possibility of this sort of idea as an early intervention in an assisted suicide pathway. Not everyone can be saved and anyone who is involved in suicide intervention must accept this truth. Its logical conclusion is the legalisation of assisted suicide because no one should have to suffer the torture of extended unfulfilled suicidal ideation. It wouldn’t be right.

Don’t Exterminate Us: why do I carry the weight of the world?

Because everyone in science and social change should think of the risks and the cost.

Though I believe suicide is okay and assisted suicide should be legal that doesn’t take away the loss and deaths caused. Though I strongly believe that disabled people will exist in utopia or heaven on Earth I fear protecting this future could have a terrible cost to disabled people now.

I think of Nobel and his invention of dynamite that he hoped would revolutionise mining and his guilt when it was used by the military to kill people more effectively.

I wonder if some of the people on the project to build the first atom bomb were conscientious objectors but were drafted irrespective of their moral objections.

Scientists prioritise discovery and truth seeking above consideration of their uses. They usually leave that to engineers. Neither profession has a moral code. It is left up to individuals and I’m afraid they fail to comprehend the consequences of their advances.

A theoretical physicist should consider that their work could contribute to a new generation of power generation but also that more advanced particle physics could also be turned into uncontrolled reactions which would dwarf current nuclear bomb technology.

As a social scientist, mental health rebel or whatever you, the reader, label me as I have to weigh my actions against the potential consequences. Too often I fail to do this enough.

For example, the other prongs of Angel of the Abyss could have negative impacts I’ve not yet explored. Equality First is riddled with problems and a lack of rigorous criticism.

But the genetics problem at the core of Don’t Exterminate Us is something I’m afraid of. I see big problems and evils whatever position I take. My intellect and experience have thus far failed to find a solution I’m comfortable either. Any decision I can make thus far makes me an evil man. My heart errs one way but protecting my soul make me err the opposite way.