Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Double standard

The question running around my mind today is this...Say someone were to be diagnosed with something like cancer, which does have the potential to be terminal but at the same time does have many treatments which may be able to cure it...would they be locked up for being suicidal if they refused any and all treatments? Especially if their doctor felt there was a good chance they'd be cured?

I'm so sick of the double standard there seems to be regarding physical health vs. mental health. It's ok for someone who is physically ill to opt out of potentially life saving treatment because there is no guarantee of survival in the end, but yet it's not ok for someone that is mentally ill to do the same. Why? I personally don't think there's any difference between someone who is physically ill, sees their illness as terminal and would rather just let it run its course rather than prolong their pain with treatments to which the end result is unknown; and my situation where I'm mentally ill, see my illness as terminal and would also rather let it run its course rather than prolonging my own pain. Both are guaranteed to end in death eventually.

Guess the reason this question is in my head is because I had a discussion with someone the other day about suicide, actually it was more of a heated argument. The person said that a mentally ill suicidal person was blinded by their illness and not in their right mind to be choosing between life and death. To which I had to reply, that the cancer patient is also blinded by their illness, seeing it as a terminal illness with no hope for recovery, so why should it be ok for them to choose death? Is it because of that minor technicality in which the cancer patient will die from the cancer itself rather than the mentally ill person who will die by their own hand? I don't see the difference. Both are making the choice of death, doesn't matter that the instrument by which they die is different. It's like someone choosing to shoot themselves rather than hanging, doesn't matter what the means was..they chose to die.

I just don't see why a mentally ill person is subject to involuntary admission to a hospital "for their own safety" when the physically ill person gets to do whatever they want with their own body. Double standards suck ass.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sid, Ive been in such a strange mood latley,hope I dont say anything dumb,but anyway I know what your saying.People always think that as long as your breathing then everything is fine and what they dont realize is that a person can be just as much dead alive than a person whos dead,I mean being mentally ill is kind of like being dead because you really dont have a life anyway.At least there is some hope for people who are mentally ill,some have been cured,not us unfortunatley but some are lucky enough to find a med that works for them.But your right there is a double standard,people act like it isnt really a serious illness,like it could be cured so easily.A lot of people really believe that mental illness is a choise,its like they just cant understand how a person can be sick in the mind.If you can be sick in your heart and your lungs or your liver then why not your brain.I dont know why people cant understand that. But your right,its just as much a fatal illness as cancer,your still in just as much danger either way.But we certainly dont get the compassion and understanding that someone with cancer gets do we? T.M

11:33 PM, January 12, 2005  

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