Is There Such a Thing as Integral Suicide?

Ray Harris of Open Integral reflects on integral policy concerning suicide. In his blog post entitled, Integral Suicide, Ray mentioned an organization in Australia called, Exit International, in which their slogan is, "a peaceful death is everybody’s right."

"I’ve often expressed an interest in dealing with policy from an
integral perspective. Theory is fine, but how do we put it into

"I was watching a rather moving documentary on TV. It was an
examination of the growing movement amongst senior citizens to choose
the moment and method of their death. There is a group in Oz called
Exit who demand the right to suicide painlessly. It seems that seniors
in their hundreds are going to Mexico to buy nembutol, a drug used to
euthanase animals, and then smuggle it back into Oz. Apparently
nembutol causes a peaceful death. However, a more radical faction of
Exit have started manufacturing nembutol illegally in backyard
laboratories. What is driving this movement?"

Ray did a good analysis of the varying opinions of the people involved. It’s worth a read. And then he asks:

"What do you think? Should the elderly and the terminally ill be able to
suicide? Is a greater good being served in keeping people who will not
recover alive? What would the integral policy be?"

Here’s the answer I posted on the comment section:

"Society is not ready to assist the elderly to suicide, but they
are also not prepared to spend the money to ensure a dignified old age."

for posting this. at its root, this is a Pro-life/Pro-choice issue,
from the perspective of the "self.". it doesn’t have a clear answer,
yet a lot of people are polarized due to ethical and moral bias.

think this issue falls under what Wilber calls "basic moral intuition."
so instead of answering your questions for everyone, i’ll answer the
question as if i’m the one involved in the situation.

"Should the elderly and the terminally ill be able to suicide? "

i’d like to have that choice. but at this time, my moral and ethical
standards is opposed to suicide. but i’ll cross the bridge when i get

"Is a greater good being served in keeping people who will not recover alive?"

imho, no. keeping me alive way past my prime and with no hope of recovery will serve no good to me or to anyone.

"What would the integral policy be?"

think we should start with integral healthcare and integral medicine
and see if those cover the bases on this issue. but i really don’t
know. any suggestion?

having said that, i wonder how this is
different with the stories in Tibet wherein meditation masters who are
aware of their impending death go into prolonged meditation to
"consciously" die. isn’t that a form of a suicide too? and no, i’m not
talking about those creepy rainbow bodies 😉


How about you? Integral or otherwise, what’s your take on this?

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