Cassandra C., a 17-year old girl in Connecticut, is being forced by the courts to go through chemotherapy, even though she doesn’t want to go through chemotherapy, even if not doing so will kill her. Now some have argued that her reasons for rejecting treatment are irrational and suicidal, a sure sign that she’s got mental problems and she and her mother should not be allowed to pursue other options, but I’m not going to argue for this specific case, I’m going to use it as a means to examine, once again, the wholly irrational terror that suicide represents for most people in America.
I’m not going to say, in this specific case, that the girl ought to be helped to commit suicide, she isn’t an adult and legally, she doesn’t have the right to make those life decisions. I do, however, object to the idea that she is being forced to go through uncomfortable chemo that she doesn’t want, just because people in the government, people who are terrified of death, think that keeping her alive at all costs is a good thing. Even among liberals who typically argue for body autonomy, they’re still saying that anyone who ever says they want to die, or who follows another treatment option than the norm, they should be declared irrational, at least momentarily insane, and have their bodily autonomy removed until they adopt a more “mainstream” belief.
Doesn’t all of this just demonstrate the complete and utter fear that people have regarding death, to the point that they have to simply declare any desire to die, for any reason, to be irrational? That’s really where the problem lies, not with the person who simply doesn’t wish to go on living, but with the majority of society who is terrified to let anyone die, simply because it might get in the way of their overwhelming fear of death.
Personally, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business if someone else chooses to live or die. I don’t think there should be any psychological counseling to see if the person is really insane, as most people already assume beforehand. The only person who is really affected here is the person who wants to die, and since they’re going to be dead, it isn’t like they can regret their decision later on. Actions have consequences, people who want to die should be allowed to die. Those that don’t like the idea shouldn’t do it. It’s really that simple. It all comes down to irrational fear and that’s nothing to be proud of.