May 28, 2024

Searching for a new word for suicide

“Suicide” evokes nooses, bridges, bullets and 20-storey buildings, a depressing panorama for assisted-suicide activists. How about “dignicide”?

A group of right-to-die activists is searching for a new word for suicide by conducting an internet survey.

“Suicide” evokes nooses, bridges, bullets, insecticide and 20-storey buildings, a depressing panorama for the members of the unnamed group. To them, a violent exit is suicide through depression, a clinical condition which can often be treated successfully.

“This is very different from the situation in which suffering, terminally ill individuals choose to hasten their dying,” the survey says. “Such individuals wish to end their life in a peaceful and dignified manner, at home, with family around them. To most people, this is something else, not suicide.”

How is the more dignified way of shuffling off the mortal coil to be called? “Hard as it is to believe, the English language has no word for this different kind of dying, this hastening of death. The purpose of this survey is to find out if there might be a word or phrase that can be widely used to denote this different kind of dying.”

The survey also asks readers what they think of the following terms: self-deliverance, dying/death with dignity, rational suicide, humane, self-chosen death and a freshly-minted euphemism, dignicide.

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