Assisted Suicide and the X-Men …

I hope to say much more about assisted suicide in the near future, but when I do it will follow the sort of argument that I’ll raise here, based on an old Uncanny X-Men story that I’ll relate here.

When Forge was introduced, he had created a gun that would take away the powers of any superbeing shot by it. Through a series of accidents, Storm was shot by it and lost her powers. Forge saved her from drowning and tried to restore her to health. She comments early that it would have been better for him to have let her drown and talks about choosing death instead of having to live without her powers.

At which point, Forge comments that living like a normal person and not a goddess must be such a tough break for her (in a much better piece of dialogue).

So, the questions that come out of that are:

How should normals — non-mutants and perhaps mutants of lower power levels or with more problematic powers like Rogue or Wolverine or the Morlocks — feel that Storm would rather die than live like them?

Can we say that Storm’s opinion that her life isn’t worth living without her powers is objectively wrong and, if we can say that, that she should not be allowed to choose to die with all the power we can reasonably muster?

Essentially, for almost all cases where someone thinks that their life is no longer worth living, someone else is living that life. It seems like an insult to think that if we considered it rationally and objectively that we could say that the person who wants to die rather than live that life is correct in any case beyond themselves. But what that seems to leave us with is leaving it entirely up to the choice of the individual, and what they think about whether that is a life worth living. But then we give up ever being able to say that they’re objectively wrong or stopping someone who is just distraught and not thinking clearly from throwing their life away needlessly, and we cannot objectively judge their reasons for deciding to die. Neither of these seem, to me, like good options, and I don’t see any third option that can compromise between the two; this seems like a legitimate dichotomy.


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