We are Sikhs Against
The Gurus rejected suicide, as we haven't the right to to give or take life. Birth and death are the mercy of our dear creator.
Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in the US however, 2nd leading cause of death in people 15-24 years of age. There are about 9 times more suicide attempts than actual suicides.1 Studies agree that female physicians have a higher risk of suicide than do other women. In the US the annual suicide rate for female physicians is about 41 per 100,000, compared with the rate of 12 per 100,000 among all white women over 25 years of age. Studies show that physicians who commit suicide have a mental disorder. Among physicians, psychiatrists are considered to be at greatest risk, followed by ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists. The best recent studies have found no increased suicide risk for male physicians in the US.2
Male gender, Age over 45, divorced parents, White race (inadequate numbers of studies available?), Professional women, alcohol and drug abuse, prior suicide attempts, previous psychiatric illness, recent divorce, death of a spouse, unemployment, unmarried (Marriage is actually associated with reduced suicide risk.1
Is it right to end a life on account of the pain and agony faced by the patient? Is the physician under a duty to end life, when the terminally ill patient asks for relief in death? The Gurus regarded suffering as a result of man's Karma.
There is no place for mercy-killing in Sikhism. The Gurus tackled the problem of sickness and suffering by providing medical relief and alleviation of pain. Guru Arjan built a leprosarium at Tarn-Taran. Guru Har Rai established a hospital at Kiratpur. It is reported that he supplied a rare herb to emperor Jehangir for the serious illness of his son. After all suffering is a part of the human condition and has a place in God's scheme. Suffering also prompts man to turn his thoughts to God; "Suffering is a medicine; happiness is a disease." The Gurus rejected suicide, as it is an interference in God's plan. Many Sikhs faced torture and ultimate death at the hands of tyrant rulers and fanatic leaders, though they could have found relief through suicide.
1. Fadem, B.: Behavioral Science, ed 2. Williams & Wilkins, 1994, p119-120.
2. Kaplan HI, Sadock JB: Synopsis of Psychiatry, ed 8. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1998, p 865.