The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Precluding the Inevitable ?

It is hard enough to legislate or regulate behavior at any time, but it is almost impossible when wearing blinders.

No question, it is a heart-breaking waste of life when someone intentionally overdoses themselves with painkillers.  Therefore, we have made access to painkillers much more difficult for everybody.  It is far better for more people to suffer pain, as long as we keep a certain few from abusing painkillers?

At the same time, has anybody noticed the percentage of suicides committed by using guns has decreased.  A new report by CDC shows guns accounted for 55.4% of suicides by men in 2014, down from 61.7% in 1999.  For women, it has decreased even more dramatically, from 36.9% to 31.0%.

Since more people are committing suicide by using painkillers, can we then reduce regulation of guns?

The question is not serious, of course.  The question is whether people, who want to die, can be denied.  If we outlaw both guns and painkillers completely, will we then forbid access to tall buildings or put barbed wire around every mile of railroad track or along every bus line?  Shall we put cushions around all bridge abutments?  (The Bible already says suicide is a sin, but does that really matter to anyone who wants to die.)

I remember when my mother was dying slowly.  We had take her to a pain management doctor.  Just getting into the car was a painful horror for her.  Plus, every bump in the road or turn of the road caused her more pain.  We were creating pain to get pain relief.  The doctor was obviously more concerned with following the law about pain relief, than actually relieving pain.

Since a person, who wants to die, cannot be denied, should we force them to blow their heads off in a bloody mess or just let them slip away in a pleasant stupor?