Frequently, things that make perfect sense to me are puzzling to other people. So I want to try again to explain why I think suicide is okay, IN MY OPINION.
There are 4 ways to decide if an action is acceptable: societal laws, church rulings, natural law or God’s Will.
#1. Societal Laws. I think that no society should be permitted to make laws about suicide. No government has the authority to refuse to an individual the right to die. I am also concerned that if laws were passed to outlaw suicide, then someone who tries to commit suicide, but changes their mind or tries but does not succeed, would then be a criminal who gets punished by the legal system. This is too much power to give to any government.
#2. Church rulings. Traditionally, some churches have denied burial to the body of someone who committed suicide. This is not the case in Judaism. Long ago, the great Sages decided that we do not know if maybe the person changed their mind one second before death, therefore, Jewish suicide victims get a dignified burial just like anyone else.
#3. Natural law. I do not know if animals commit suicide. I have no idea if it happens in other species or not.
#4. God’s Will. While I do not presume to know what God’s Will is about anything, our Jewish tradition (and many others) teaches that Hashem says we are not allowed to kill ourselves. We are not allowed to kill anyone, unless we are being attacked. Then you are supposed to defend your life.
So what am I trying to say?
I am trying to say that I would defend a person’s legal right to suicide until the bitter end. Governments should not be allowed to criminalize suicide. However, ultimately, only God decides when and how a human being dies. We may think we are in control, but we are not. No one gets to choose the time of their own death. It is an illusion.
My advice as a survivor of suicide is: if you are thinking about killing yourself, forget it.
If it is not your time, you cannot succeed. Go talk to a friend instead.