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Monday, April 11, 2011

"I have a suicide"

In Colorado Springs yesterday, an elderly man called police to report his own suicide:
At about 8:15 a.m. the 74-year-old man called 911 to report "he had a suicide," according to the police report.  
When a dispatcher asked for more information, he replied, "Hold your ears," then the dispatcher heard a gun discharge, according to the report.  
Police rushed to the home and found the man dead with a .38-caliber pistol in his hand, "along with several notes indicating funeral arrangements and desired disposition of his property," according to the report.

There isn't any information in the brief article about his mental history, but it does note that he had been treated for "several medical conditions." Whether those conditions were the ultimate reason for his suicide, we just don't know.

Dr. X recently posted about witnessing the reaction after someone had committed suicide by train-- perhaps purposefully holding up a final metaphorical middle finger to strangers by opting to step in front of the train during Friday rush hour on a commuter track, thus traumatizing a lot of people, particularly the train's unfortunate engineer. As I remarked there, I think it's pretty easy to acknowledge that in a society where suicide and assisted suicide are illegal, there will inevitably be some inconvenience (at the very least) caused to others by a person who decides to go ahead and do it anyway. But people who do make that choice seem to exist on a continuum of concern. This man in Colorado Springs clearly put a good deal of thought into the decision to end his life, not just about whether or not to do it but how to do it...well, considerately. As much as that is possible, anyway.

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