Re: is suicide a final act of bravery or cowardice? how could one know?

It depends entirely on that unknowable reason why someone is killing themselves.  If it is due to depression, that is hardly that person's fault, if they have psychological problems, so it cannot be classified as either, though it must certainly take some bravery.  If a person chooses to die because they want to see what comes next - I'm not sure if there has ever been a recorded case of suicide because someone was overly curious, but let's go with it - then that would have to be an act of bravery, among other things, because that person has overcome their fear of the unknown, and is willing to take the risk.  If someone kills themselves because life is too hard, and they don't want to tough it out, that is cowardice, though, again, it requires bravery.  It seems like there cannot be a suicide without both of these qualities.

As for how we could know which quality is predominant in a specific case, it seems that it is for the person committing suicide to decide.  Even if that person leaves a perfectly accurate description of why they have killed themselves, others may decide for themselves which they actually believe it to be.  I think if a person believes, in their heart of hearts, that they are being brave by ending their life, then no one else can say otherwise.

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

Heatwaves significantly impact male fertility, says huge study

As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm

Surprising Science
  • New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
  • The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
  • With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
Keep reading Show less