I believe the issue of the right to suicide is one that Anarchists should pay closer attention to. Indeed, it is clear, I hope, that the right to euthanasia is fairly basic and uncontestable, but I would also argue that suicide as a whole is something that should be protected, and that we should speak in favor of.
Suicide is seen with great suspicion and repulsion in our statist society. Why is that? I believe it is seen with repulsion for the same reason that Anarchy or atheism are seen with repulsion: because they represent a negation of a certain part of society, of the collectivist impulse.What they tell to the believer is this: “all that indoctrination you had to buy into, all that doubt-suppression you did, all that suppression of your own values that you did, I reject those processes, and find them useless.”
After all, religion and the State constantly tell us that suicide is a sin and that suicide is a disease, and this is understandable, as belief systems could hardly survive if their believers killed themselves, and the State needs as many bodies as possible. So a person who wants to kill himself is denying the validity of all that indoctrination. I imagine this is hard for a lot of people to take. Also, insofar as religion goes, believers tend to be more anxious about death, and this pushes them to obsess over the notion of the afterlife (consider that in the Bible very little is said about Heaven or Hell, but this has not stopped Christians from making up all sorts of myths and stories about it).
But I think we should consider suicide as a form of self-expression, and vital for a free society. Do you doubt that suicide is a form of self-expression? But you will not deny that it is possible. The famous example of Thich Quang Duc (who protested the persecution of Buddhists in Vietnam by self-immolation in 1963) demonstrates that suicide can definitely be a form of self-expression, at least in some cases.
But what about more ordinary cases of suicide? Excluding euthanasia, of course, we have the stereotype of the lonely teenager driven to suicide by emo-like depression or losing his girlfriend. But is not suicide the desire to have the ultimate control over one’s life: control over its end? To do this seems to be no less self-expression than other choices about one’s life (such as what we wear or where we go).
If we look at the statistics, suicide levels are lowest in the Middle East and African countries, societies where self-expression is most repressed. This makes perfect sense, although one could of course draw different conclusions from this fact.