What is suicide?
An act is a suicide if and only if a person intentionally and/or directly causes his or her own death as
an ultimate end in itself or as a means to another end (e.g., pain relief), through acting (e.g., taking a
pill) or refraining from acting (e.g., refusing to eat) when that act is not coerced and is not done
sacrificially for the lives of other persons or in obedience to God.
The definition given does not mean that all non-suicidal acts of self-destruction are morally
It is God who remains the sovereign master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and
preserve it for His honor. We are stewards, not owners, of the life that God has entrusted to us. It is
not ours to dispose of.
A person’s existence depends on his and other’s lives in community. People should not be viewed as
individuals who are loosely connected with others because that is not true. Man should not commit
suicide because of his duty to others in the community. Suicide offends love of neighbor because it
unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation and other human societies to which we
continue to have obligations.
The willingness to live even in the face of pain:
[a] can be a moral service to others,
[b] is a sign that suffering could be endured.
[c] It is an opportunity to teach others to die, how to face life, how to live well, and how a wise person
understands the connection between happiness and evil – “One does not obtain joy or live a good life
only when one avoids suffering, but when he learns to live with it.”
[d] It is a way refusing to give the community a morally unhelpful memory of the person who
The opinion justifying the rightness of suicide exhibits a UTILITARIAN PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE/LIFE VIEW.
This view justifies suicide by seeing it as a way to maximize utility. This view makes suicide morally
Any view that makes suicide obligatory is wrong because of the following truths:
a] People are ends not means,
b] some moral rules are intrinsically right.
Suicide justified through a utilitarian philosophy of life makes use of the termination of human life as
a means to an end. Suicide clearly violates the moral rule of respect for life. Suicide is morally wrong.
Life is a gift bestowed by a gracious Creator God. Because life is a gift, man is obligated to his Creator
to live. Living is an obligation in that man is to go on living even when he is far from figuring out why
things (pain and suffering) happen. This obligation expresses the rational belief that God gives
purpose to life in the midst of suffering.
Suicide is completely wrong because it “contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to
preserve and perpetuate his life”
Everything naturally loves itself, and it is for this reason that everything naturally keeps itself safe,
free from harm, resists corruption so far as it can. Suicide is contrary to the inclination of nature and
to the just love of self. Hence, is always a mortal sin.
Life is intrinsically good for every person even when we encounter intense suffering, because our
God, who is good, is the author of life. To be suffering in any way can seem to rob a person of dignity.
The most fundamental form of dignity, however, is intrinsic to the human person and cannot be lost.
Every human being possesses this dignity from the very beginning of life, through all stages of life and
until death, regardless of ability or disability. With regard suffering, we know that in certain situations,
an evil – such as suffering – makes possible some important good.
Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him... we are stewards, not owners,
of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of (CCC 2280)
Suicide... offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation
and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for
the living God. (CCC 2281)
Grave psychological disturbances, anguish or grave fear of hardship, suffering or torture can diminish
the responsibility of the one committing suicide. (CCC2282)
Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.
Source: Notes given by a teacher