Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Suicide is not a death wish. Stopping suicide encouragement.

Article by: Randy Knol, the father of Ximena who died at the age of 19 from ingesting a suicide powder. Randy is the founder and chairman of Ximena’s Butterfly Foundation in the Netherlands.

The misunderstanding of suicide

Randy Knol with his wife
In my previous article I wrote about suicide as being the wish to escape the situation somebody is in, I stated that suicide is not the desire to die. There are many theories about why people commit suicide unfortunately there are also far to many misconceptions. In this article I will try to explain the mechanism of suicide as I see it.

Suicide ideation is a seed

Everybody has at some times in their life suicidal ideations, however they hardly lead to a suicide. Suicidal ideation is like a small seed, a seed that everybody has within their emotions. Sometimes this seed sprouts and we prune it, we stop it from growing. At the other side sometimes we can’t prune it and we need help from others to help with the pruning. Sometimes the seed behaves like a weed and starts to proliferate, you can prune but if you cut one twig, another twig will sprout somewhere else. It is becoming increasingly difficult to control the proliferation. Then someone gets to the point where dying appears to the person to be a real option for them.

Unfortunately I also see situations where the seed is not pruned but fertilized. There are fora on the internet that idealize suicide, people talk about their ideas and are encouraged by others. People exchange methods and how to information. They livestream their suicide and others congratulate them with the decision. They have honorary lists that publish the names and the method they used to die. These fora make death heroes, the suicide a heroic act, these fora are one of the fertilizers for the seed.

Suicide encouragement

But we also have groups that promote suicide as a right they’re radicals claiming that having the right to live also means you have the right to end your own life. In The Netherlands we have a group who promote death under their own control, no single therapy or any other way of counselling. Anyone older then 18 years old can join them, as they say at 18 you’re responsible and you can decide about your own life and therefor decide about your death.

They organize so called “lounge meetings” where small groups come together discussing their will to die, there is a near certainty that the FWC promoted "Substance (agent) X" that is being distributed in the Netherlands, or at least told where to get it. They inform the crowd that their “agent X’ is fast, painless, certain and thus humane. However scientific publications state otherwise, it can take up to five days for death to occur, the death is painful suffocation. Their is no antidote or life saving therapy. There is no room for regrets once you take the poison there’s no way back.

About a year ago a Dutch 28 year old woman took ”agent X” and almost immediately had serious regrets and phoned the emergency services. In the short time it took for the services to arrive she was no longer capable of opening her door, they had to enter by force. The woman was taken to hospital and died 19 hours after ingestion in agonizing pain, even artificial coma was not enough to take the pain away. She went prior to her death to the “lounge meetings” as organized by the FWC.

The main concern for the use of “agent X” is not just the way of dying but also the danger for the person that finds the body or first responders. When dissolved in water, the agent produces a chemical reaction that produces a highly toxic gas. This reaction is also enhanced in the body by the gastric acid. It’s so hazardous that the guidelines for autopsy are:

“During autopsy, medical examiners must exercise caution due to the potential for liberation of XXXXX acids from the stomach. Unless it is absolutely necessary, the medical examiner should avoid opening the stomach. If this is unavoidable, the autopsy should occur in a well-ventilated setting with the examiner wearing a supplied air respirator to limit exposure in a high-risk scenario”

For me promoting an agent like this is a criminal act where it is also hazardous to people finding victim or responding to a distress call.

Suicide is not a death wish

The biggest misconception is people thinking that suicide is a wish to die, this cannot be further from the truth. Suicide is not wanting to live in the situation you’re in at that moment. Taking your own life is the most drastic act someone can commit, it’s against every natural instinct of survival. Therefore the worst thing people can say to someone that lost a loved one on suicide is saying that it was the victim’s own choice. It’s never a choice it’s an escape where someone doesn’t see any other way out. For that reason laws on euthanasia for mental illnes have to be looked at in the most sceptical way possible, prevention is the solution. However it’s important to acknowledge that suicide prevention has to start before suicide ideation has taken hold. If you start prevention when the suicide ideation is already there it’s very difficult to reach the person. Prevention starts far before the seed sprouts it starts with resilience at an early age.

Euthanasia for people with mental problems is a weakness, it is a result of failing mental health care and often an easier path than intensive treatment. But it is also a direct result of the increasingly heard call for control over life and death, where often death is romanticized.

Consider donating to Ximena’s Butterfly Foundation. We pay all costs from our private money and through donations from concerned people. 

Please help us in preventing suicide by donating through our website: https://ximenavlinder.nl/doneer/

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