The price of suicide

By Felix Salmon
July 16, 2009

Annie Lowrey says that €4,000 is expensive, if you’re pricing out suicide, and is therefore available “only to the wealthy”. Seems positively cheap, to me. Most anyone can rustle up that kind of money somehow, especially if they’re safe in the knowledge that they’ll never need to pay it back. And it’s a good order of magnitude cheaper than dying in hospital.

(Via Ezra)


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Not to be insensitive (although it doesn’t seem this post warrants any concern about that) and at the risk of visiting tired arguments, but last time I was in London it cost nothing to cross a bridge on foot or step into traffic.

Felix, I think what you really mean to say is “legal” suicide is expensive. But who of those serious about it really needs to worry about laws anymore than they do repaying a loan? I think I answered my own question – those elitists who have a reputation to uphold.

Posted by Pietro | Report as abusive

“And it’s a good order of magnitude cheaper than dying in hospital.”

Not in the UK it isn’t, and given that the story is about British people going to Switzerland to die, that seems fairly pertinent.

Posted by Ginger Yellow | Report as abusive

I would define “cheaper” to also include the potential lessened pain/misery of a quick suicide over a slow death.

That is, what is the value of ‘miserable death avoidance’ and what is its cost? The utility of a quick death might be worth the cost of avoiding a slow painful death.

Of course, for some people, one would need to account for the psychic cost of committing a sin vs. the psychic benefit of dying with religiously-inspired dignity (one could argue that those factors don’t matter because they aren’t reality, but to the believer they do have a cost/value, just like the ‘value’ of greater happiness to homo economicus.)