suicide prevention: the right to die

I told myself I’d write one post per week regarding TWLOHA’s We’ll See You Tomorrow campaign. I did so on the first week. The second week, though, I forgot. Sorry. So this is Post #2.

In Singapore, attempted suicide is punishable by law. In 2014, 901 people were arrested for attempting to kill themselves1.

309.  Whoever attempts to commit suicide, and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both. [Indian PC 1860, s. 309]
– Singapore Statues Online2

One of the more heard of cases of attempted suicide in Singapore include an 18-year old who got jailed for eight weeks after 13 suicide attempts. This is supposedly the longest sentence for attempted suicide in Singapore 3.

This brings up the issue of the right to die. There are the people who believe that suicide is a given right – it is my life, my choice to end it. They also believe in dying with dignity. Then there are others who are totally against the idea of taking your own life. Some of them find it blasphemous, some of them find it selfish.

Here’s just my point of view – I believe in the right to die.

Why, then, am I participating in a suicide prevention project? Why do I don TWLOHA merchandise? Because I believe that, if you want to die, it is your decision and nobody else’s. I have talked people out of suicide before, I have stayed up late on Skype with friends from TBP just to talk them out of it. But, see, all I’m doing is reasoning with them, and showing them what they have to live for.

If they decide to hang up the phone and die, it is their choice. I would be sad, yes. But it isn’t up to me. You can try to influence people’s decisions, but it is still their decision in the end.

The view on the way down by Emma Wait

I suppose all I want to say now is that nobody has the right to “rescue” someone from suicide. Like how you don’t have the right to force someone to eat a burger, you don’t have the right to strap a person down to prevent him from committing suicide. But of course, if you do so, that is your choice.


I’ll admit that this post is a little messy and unstructured. My mind is just a little messy and unstructured right now, too. Thanks for reading up till this point though.



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