Radical Life Extension Is More Desirable If Suicide Is Legal

Radical life extension technologies only seem desirable if suicide is not effectively illegal. Suicide is not actually illegal, however, it is currently effectively illegal. Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz has written multiple books explaining in detail reasons why it is wrong and damaging to a free society to use force and coercion to stop suicides. These include Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide and Suicide Prohibition: The Shame of Medicine.

Involuntary psychiatric holds and civil commitment are how suicide is effectively illegal. Adults can effectively be jailed in hospitals and psychiatric wards if they attempt and fail to engage in suicide or if they indicate that they have a plan, means and intention of engaging in suicide. To live or not to live is a philosophical and personal choice.

Beliefs about what happens after one dies are for the most part theological and spiritual. If an adult believes that death is better than life, force and coercion should not be used to try and change that individual’s views. Certainly, persuasion should be employed by those who want that individual to  live. However, using force, coercion and effective imprisonment to try and change an adult’s views about wanting to die is not right. This effectively can serve to imprison individuals on Earth. It seems that using technology to live indefinitely is not desirable if society is setup in such a way as to try and force individuals to live. Using force and coercion on adults who want to stop living is not right. However, using kindness, reason and persuasion seem to be quite fine and even virtuous.

The SENS Research Foundation is attempting to conduct research that may result in humans being able to live indefinitely. Read the book Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime for details about how this might be accomplished.  It seems like it might be good if humans have the option of living indefinitely. However, if society is already setup to try and useful coercion and physical force to stop individuals from engaging in suicide, if radical life extension technologies are developed, how can one be certain that those in power might not try to force all individuals on Earth to live indefinitely? Of course, all suicides can not be stopped using force, coercion and effective imprisonment. However, perhaps most all suicides can be stopped of peaceful persuasion is diligently used and easily accessible to a ridiculous extent.

How can one enjoy living if one feels forced to live? Being forced to live and enjoying living seems quite contradictory and even irrational. Radical life extension technology only seems to be desirable is suicide is effectively legal, not encouraged, and even discouraged through programs that exist to try and help individuals (who want help) to create worthwhile lives that are enjoyable and fulfilling to live.