I've been thinking on this one...
The OP lays as a precondition to its question that both suicide and drug use don't affect others. This is incorrect; they do - some barely, some hardly, some horribly and some catastrophically. But I think I get the point and have been dwelling on it. I'll beg your indulgence to work through how I feel on these two issues, their legality and salient ethical points.
[INDENT]I've been looking around for support or evidence to answer the question: Is drug abuse a victimless crime?
From what I've seen, there's a very strong correlation between drug addiction and criminal behavior; as for causal
, it doesn't appear that a causal relationship exists (at least not that I can discern). Show one person who uses and/or is addicted to an illicit drug who isn't
violent (or has not perpetuated crimes against others) and that causal relationship falls apart.
On the one hand
, illicit drugs - in many cases - alter ones' behavior and impair judgment - often radically - removing or altering decision-making and perceptional systems that prevent violent behavior. Its also true that wherein there is a physical addiction, one is more likely to commit crimes against others to steal resources to satisfy that addiction. Again, not automatic but statistically increases the likelihood.
, many use illicit drugs without having committed any crimes at all. We also have to admit that when we say "drugs"; this covers an awful bit playing field - from the most innocuous to the most likely to induce violence against others. I should admit here that I don't buy the "Because its illegal its wrong"-argument. To make a responsible decision one must necessarily base their decision upon observable effects; effects of which that person deems wrong.
I see a correlation in many cases; but not cut-and-dried. The question along these lines is: Is that correlation sufficient to - in our minds and based on observable evidence - therefore deem that currently-illicit drug use is ethically wrong? Does sufficient evidence exist that drug abuse is not
a victimless crime?
: There's enough off of a correlation between the use of some illicit drugs to warrant an "Ethically Wrong" judgment. I also believe that many that are currently illegal (U.S.) shouldn't be as there isn't enough of a likelihood that they'll lead to violence against others.
[INDENT]I can't imagine how, mechanically, suicide can be addressed as a legal
issue. Are we going to imprison corpses?
or Morally it becomes complicated. I can easily see how one might construe the impact to others, as a result of ones' suicide (or attempt) to have unethical or immoral consequences. On the other hand many view the right to end ones' life as an option that should remain protected.
: Suicide as "legal" or "illegal" is just a dumb idea. Ethically, I believe that if there is any action/decision we have at our disposal that should
be protected, it would be what we are at liberty to do with our bodies. It is my life; should I decide to end it, not only should no one interfere or force my existence
, a compassionate and responsible society would assist my efforts.
There are caveats and complicating conditions that can effect this judgement, however. (More here