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To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.lucky.w,rec.arts.comics.dc.universe
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Yronwodes (BBC investigates nagasiva)
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 23:35:06 GMT

Hieronymous707 wrote:
> >From: catherine yronwode
> >I certainly am in favour of the immediate 
> >decriminalization of suicide. How about
> >you?
> I'm curious as to why you are in favor of the "immediate
> decriminalization" of an activity that is already functionally 
> uninforceable as a legal proscription,and for which there is
> no practical deterent beyond common sense.
> Do you really think anyone has ever chosen not to commit
> suicide simply because it's against the law?

You are missing three important points:

1) Wherever suicide is a criminal act, people who attempt
suicide and fail in the attempt are liable to incarceration.
This usually takes the form of involuntary incarceration in
a psych ward. I believe that this often harms individuals.

2) The decriminalization of suicide would ipso facto also
result in the decriminalization of assisted suicide, since
assisting someone to commit a non-criminal act is invariable
legal. I believe this would benefit individuals.

3) I personally have known people who have indeed chosen not
to commit suicide for religious and/or social-criminal
reasons, even when terminally ill and in great pain with no
hope of recovery -- because their self-view was that they
were "moral" or "law-abiding" persons or because they did
not wish to risk the legal status of someone who might
assist them to commit suicide. I believe that all religious,
moral, social, and criminal impediments to suicide should be
removed in the interest of helping people of all feel at
peace with their desire to end their lives and to know that
it will not be held against them.
Again, if this frustrated attempt at a flame war results in
people thinking about why it might be important to advocate
for legal and humane methods of life termination, then i not
disturbed that my surname is in the subject line. 

And, as i said at the outset, the BBC 's story on suicide
was about par for the course on a slow news day. I have seen
much more hostility and paranoia in the course of a media
feeding frenzy when i edited trading cards that advocated
safe sex and AIDS education, for instance. 

Sex and death always lead, on a slow news day. When there is
no sex, then death alone suffices. 


cat yronwode 

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
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Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
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