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If a serious ill person refuses medical treatment, can this be seen as self destruction?

Some people's opinion is that refusing medical treatment when in a critical state, that this is a form of committing suicide. What do you think about it?


May I ask you before you answer this question, that you read the answers that are already there. I believe that health/disease is an important topic and it's worth to find out more about it. It will be necessary to free ourselves, getting out of the dependency from established thinking patterns coming from the medical health system. That doesn't mean to through over board every thing, but we should have a critical attitude and what will be the most important: to take self-responsibility. Is this possible?

10 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    This depends very much on all the other conditions of this person and not just on the physical state. Answering this question now would mean only to give an interpretation of a possible condition and situation.

    It needs much more details to conclude that refusing treatment means that this person wants to give up and doesn't care if his/her life ends.

    There is another possibility why this person refuses treatment. I can tell my own story to show a possible different reason:

    I was seriously ill and went from one doctor to the other, from one healer to the other. All gave me a different name and reason for my symptoms and different treatments, mostly painkiller, which I refused to take. Then I investigated myself, what was extremely difficult for me because of my bad physical condition, but thanks to the Internet I found alternative treatments. I put together all what I found and treated myself: After one year I was totally healed! Even though the medical doctors said that there is no cure and I have to live with this disease. You can imagine what my opinion was after this experience... That I had refused medical treatment probably had saved my life.

    Next part of the story: As a follow up and because my body was weak because I haven't had body exercise for more than a year, I got an inguinal hernia, when I lifted something heavy, starting again to work because I felt strong and full of energy. The medical doctor said that this must be operated immediately; otherwise I could be dead within 5 hours, if... I refused this kind of 'treatment'. I was convinced that surgery has little to do with healing. So again I investigated the Internet. This time it was easier for me because I had my full energy, but it was not easier to find something that was not surgery. Actually there was absolutely nothing, all about surgery. But still I refused surgery and for sure not because I wanted to commit suicide! I searched for about half a year until I found some hints and I could start to treat myself. To shorten the story: After one year I was totally healed! No pain, no symptoms anymore!

    Next part of the story: I broke my foot and my leg... In the hospital two medical doctors tried to convince me that this must be operated. What means putting metal plates and screws. I refused this and told them simply to put the bones in the right position and put plaster. Probably they never had experienced such an attitude from a patient. When they ask me about my health history and I told them that I had healed myself recently from an inguinal hernia, then they looked at each other and I could see that they thought: 'This guy is crazy!' and they didn't ask anything more! They put the plaster and let me go, telling me to come back in six weeks to take the plaster off. To shorten the story: I took off the plaster myself after four weeks and treated myself with footbaths and clay. After a few weeks more my foot was healed. I don't want to think about that with the operation I would go the rest of my life with metal plates and screws in my foot!

    Does this makes it clear that refusing treatment doesn't necessarily means that one wants to commit suicide? Looking into the medical health system, one should be very critical when one needs a treatment and at least should ask for another opinion. But people in general are depending totally on the so well established medical system and there is no question or doubt. There are people and this might be the case of the person you are talking about, who has already enough experience with the medical system or have seen how people were suffering when treated, that they don’t want also to go into this and so refusing any treatment, but possibly not having the energy to investigate and treat themselves.

    There might be other reasons why this person refuses treatment, who knows?

    If there is somebody who is interested to know more about my story, can go to my Web site. I have written in details a testimonial that might help others in a similar situation.

    Resume: It should be clear, that healing doesn’t mean to treat symptoms. Healing includes the whole system: Body, mind, emotions and more and refusing a treatment that only is directed at the body, might be the first step to real healing… It is worth to find out, but it seems to be needed that every body finds out by oneself, as the medical system is not of help in this, sad but true.

    Edit: Jorge, you are right, but when you wrote: "The "suicidal" attitude you include in your question is nowhere present in the end. You did not "refuse" treatment out of a suicidal depression but out of the possibility of another form of "cure" and you inculcate a very strong and positive attitude towards life that shows no form of the suffering the "blue line" patients experience and decide from." I must tell you that the 'suicidal depression is also present, even though I have a strong positive attitude towards life. Just at this moment I am going through a crisis and I am confused. Continuing with my 30 years long intention might kill me within a few years or months, because I'm getting really tired, but giving up is a form of committing suicide, but continuing also... At the moment it seems that whatever I do, I'm running against walls, no responses, ignorance or rejections coming from resistance (I'm not referring to this question). I need to step back and wait, meanwhile taking care of my health that is becoming delicate... Thanks for your response.

    You wrote: "The Ayurveda in you is pretty well balanced in that you don't let it get you down which shows in your ability to heal where others have given up hope." I don't think it is a question of 'having hope or not'. It is the dependency of people, clinging on established authority, not taking self-responsibility. People don't want to grow up, as it is much easier to be manipulated, then to take the risk to go into something unknown and finding out oneself... The dilemma is that then they stay in this infantile attitude and cut themselves off the possibility to grow, the same as the established health system, so they both help each other. The patients by being innocent followers of the system and the system by holding patients in dependency, strengthening the attitude of patients that they are victims of circumstances and that they need help and must be fixed from specialists and medication…

    What’s the difference between “Medication” and “Meditation”? Only in the center: where a c is a t. So it seems very little difference, but in fact there are worlds between...

    Sorry for this silly question, I wanted to prepare a bridge from the usual treatment with medication to the more subtle way of healing with meditation. Now I just read in one of the following answers that this field is covert in a convincing way. Nothing left to say? One thing occupies me: With the same rigidity people holding on their dependency and trusting completely the established health system, with the same rigidity they close themselves against something that is new and unknown, like meditation. To reject meditation is easy because the word is connected with images of religion, spirituality and mystic. Probably any exercise will be rejected because it involves the initiative of the person and that's not wanted, as it is so much easier to swallow some pills or let a treatment be done on oneself. It makes me think that this has to do with 'growing up' and to do something by oneself would mean to do a step out of ones children's shoes. And the tragically is that people prefer to die if they are desperate and tired from their suffering and have given up to expect to be healed by medical doctors. It seems that there is something missing, what can this be? A kind of bridge between medication and meditation?


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  • 4 years ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    When my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer, she was told that she needs surgery. At that time I was in Europe and only could talk by telephone with her. I tried to convince her that she first should try alternative treatments. I really tried hard, but there was no way. It was obvious that the authority of the medical doctors was too strong and so they did the surgery. Even though they had said that her cancer was in a beginning state, they cut out 2/3 of her stomach! My mother also was told that it would be suicide not to do the surgery... Soon after the surgery my mother was told that she needed chemotherapy to save her. Without even mentioning that there are alternative ways. Meanwhile I had investigated and had a lot of arguments and so after a long struggle she refused the chemotherapy and followed my advice to change her diet, use ozone as a treatment and reduce her stress doing meditation. She followed this strictly and had no symptoms anymore; the doctors could not find anything. This is half a year ago and she still feels ok.

    I don't want to think about what would have happened if she had accepted the chemotherapy!

    So I can fully confirm BeiYin's story and his attitude. Refusing traditional medical treatment doesn't mean that one wants to commit suicide, - in contrary. But of course nobody should be left without help, but the most important is that a sick person is motivated to heal and takes self-responsibility. The established health system doesn't support this attitude and as there is so much dependency it is extremely difficult to get out of this to do something alternative. So I believe that questioning the system is essential and I see this question here as an opportunity to express different view points. So I give a star to your question!


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  • 1 decade ago

    no, it is NEVER suicide. if the person has a living will, or has expressed the desire to become DNR (do not resuscitate) then the person will not receive attention such as CPR if in a critical state. The person making this decision has to be in a clear state of mind, they can not be drugged or in a confused state when making this decision. It differs from suicide because it is an illness and not a decision to kill yourself. this only occurs in terminal illnesses. that means that there is no cure or medical attention that can be used to stop or reverse the illness. It is not self destructive. I work in a hospital and have worked with countless patients that have chosen to not receive any further medical attention besides maybe pain management. If a person has seen or worked with a dying person, they know that this is not self destructive. it is still possible that a person that is self destructive can refuse medical treatment, but refusing it has nothing to do with self destructive. If a person is known to be self destructive they may be in a mental state in which they would not be allowed to make the decision and a POW (power of attorney) would make it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I did as you mentioned and read all the comments. Most imposing was you own answer to your own question. The "suicidal" attitude you include in your question is nowhere present in the end. You did not "refuse" treatment out of a suicidal depression but out of the possibility of another form of "cure" and you inculcate a very strong and positive attitude towards life that shows no form of the suffering the "blue line" patients experience and decide from. So, now we know from your experience that there is out there alternative possibilities to all situations if we only seek. The Ayurveda in you is pretty well balanced in that you don't let it get you down which shows in your ability to heal where others have given up hope. And you are right about one reading the other comments first to learn really what is being discussed. Thankyou.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Depends if the 'medical treatment' would kill him faster then avoiding it would. In this light I would refuse treatment as well and avoid self-destuction, by not allowing medical-personal to destroy me sooner then I would like; but that's just me.

    Source(s): It's too bad the medical-profession has forgotten some of their roots, mainly the 'Hypocratic Oath' of 'doing no harm'; Harming has become more of the rule, then the exception in my experience.
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  • 4 years ago

    It is difficult to even picture that a book can assist people to alter their fates however } countless guys and ladies, individuals that they have actually benefitted in a huge

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  • 1 decade ago

    Critical or uncritical, every one has a right to refuse treatment based on religious, ethical or personal beliefs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    its just the meranda rights which is freedom of speach , and chouse . and thay cant realy do any thing about it unless thay are in a mintelstae that a gardeion is needed or do to age of concent . it all comes down to freedom of choys

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  • Betsy
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    No I don't see that refusing medical treatment is the same as self-destruction. But refusing any treatment is - meaning that if one refuses medical treatment, then they should be seeking some kind of alternative treatment.

    I have good reason to believe that we all have sufficient energy and resources deep within ourselves, we have resources unknown that are quite powerful that can heal us. This is unknown to us, only because we haven't tapped into this innate power to heal which we all have. The reason why we don't tap into it and access this healing power, is because we attach to the existing structure, which is basically our self and all that we believe is true about ourselves. Healing is a process, and when one comes to the point, to take it one oneself, then it is a necessary step to become independent from authorities. I see it like taking the reins into one's own hands, and learning how to become a creator or healer of oneself. One can only fully heal oneself, by stepping out of the way - by removing one's blocks, the main block being our holding to the existing form. There is only one method or technique or protocol needed to do this, it requires no desire to heal something, nor any intention to have one's healing happen in the way one thinks it should happen. The only thing one has to do to heal is to surrender, to surrender one's identification with one's reactionary habit of being the personality. This is basically known as the meditative state. When one is in a meditative state or an altered state of consciousness, this is when healing happens. You trust, that your innate healer knows how to heal you and will do it, if you will only get out of the way and allow that to happen. more you dont' need to know. every second of true meditative state counts - this is what heals you - so I see the task is to discern the difference between what is surrendered and what is not. seek to increase surrendered and withdraw wasted energy from not being surrendered. I know of a meditation/technique which one can do which immediatelly rises one's energy - provokes expanded states of awareness or meditative state - which makes it easier to surrender, simply because one's energy is higher. This is good to do when one is sick or losing energy, because then normal sitting medition and/or daily awareness moments is harder to pull off the more one is sick, tired or losing energy. One needs a boost. No intention is needed - on what to heal or how to do it - the healing will happen by itself in the most efficient and intelligent way. In fact, You or 'you' can never figure it out. That's the beauty of becoming fully healed, you do it by surrender. Slowly, then your innate being takes over, making the changes needed to allow that to happen. The only thing people need to learn to do to heal themselves is to use their will to find ways to increase and lengthen one's ability to enter into surrendered states. I think it's good to try different things (forms of meditation), if you aren't getting the result you wanted. think of it like an experiment, zero in and see what works and what doesn't. as one goes one gets more discerning to be able to clearly see the difference. I say nearly every day as a reminder to myself when the talker gets activated: every second counts, just shut up and let the healing happen. Each day I am drawn more to the quiet, tingly feeling of just relaxing and being healed. it feels almost like an incubating state when one is healing/quiet/meditative.


    PS: i think healing happens when one's energy is raised up, when there is extra energy left to do the healing. there are many ways that energy can be raised/freed from held structure - personality - and released back to the system to be used for healing. Sleep at night is a main healing that happens when we shut up each night, medication can chemically fix energy problems *temporarily* so also can rise the energy. so if one takes an aspirin for pain, it can release the grip on id with pain in one's body. meditation releases the grip the the holder and so heals us when in meditative state. fasting rests eneryg needed to digest, so raises our free energy. exercise strengths muslces and nueron flows inthe body so raises our energy by boosting our flows. good diet takes less eneryg to process than junk food, etc. massage releases stress/tension, hot baths, etc. walks in nature. healing happens in the space of most treatments, it happens because one energy is simply *temporarily* higher. that's how i see it anyway. of course pills aren't a cure, but neither is massage or a good diet. the cause of problems is holding onto the existing, the cure comes from letting go. Put all one's energy into letting go, which is not really a doing, more like an unknown. then Trust.

    edit: if the last edit was directed at me, then I just want to try to clear something up. In no way am I saying that meditation is not the most effective thing, on am in any way trying to convince people to no do it. my whole answer is about meditation and the surrender state. what i was saying is that is someone's energy is very low, then it can be that when they do a sitting meditation, then what can often happen is that they fall asleep. this is not bad in any way, it's what they need, so they sleep. what i was trying to say is that if one is very ill, tired, sick, etc., then it might be helpful to add in other things, ways, aspects to rise one's energy higher - to get a boost - so that there is more time spent in a healing state. i think healing happens in sleep, but healing is more effective when one is meditativley aware. so i see the challenge when sick is to find ways to lengthen/strengthen the amount of time spent in conscious meditatoin.

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