Human is subject to very short life span, sickness and death according to Buddhism Cosmology.

Suicide is somehow wrong livelihood in Buddhism.

If one very old age and with the issues below.

  1. Diagnose with late stage of cancer
  2. 2 more operations for kidney failure and heart disease
  3. Have financial issues and need public donation for the above 2.

If under this situation, the patient decided to end the life peacefully by taking pain killer that approved doctor. Patient wants to minimize the suffering and minimize the spread of negativity to surrounding.

Does this consider wrong livelihood ?

What this patient should do?

I saw a Buddhism teaching video before, if one suicide will decent to deepest level of hell. So, does this scenario applicable?

I understand only certain monk can do similar kinda suicide. Anagami monk ( 3rd level attained ) or Arhant monk ( 4th level attained )

  • There are several other, similar topics (with answers) on this site that are tagged suicide.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 7:45
  • Ya @ChrisW but not same. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 7:52

3 Answers 3


Killing oneself does not stop one to be born again to another form of life, according to Buddhism. It does not stop the fruit of karma. Suicide will only change the form of suffering you may have. If you don't want whatever illness you currently have and want to stop it, then you will still get the similar kind of suffering after the death you committed, but in another form of life.

What the patient should do? As a buddhist, he/she may try to renunciate, accept whatever happen to him/her as manifestation of the law of karma. Doing meditation may support him/her to deal with that situation.

  • Take note if keep struggling to this total useless body may spread negativity to others. Not sure is waste of public tax money and time. Better keep it for someone need it more. If karma needs to carry forward then gotta face the fact. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 7:23
  • Better keep it for someone need it more --> at least not selfish and do some good deed before dying right? Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 7:32
  • If you don't want to spread negativity to others, just go somewhere else like monastery may be. You will eventually die, right. And you cannot stop people from hate you or love you. Some people may hate you with all negativity, but some people may love you and don't want you to die that soon. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 7:41
  • already ask the monastery. They normally not accept unless u have a lot money Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 7:53
  • Or you may just go home then. Together with the ones who love and care about you. They will take benefit of your presence, it is also a good deed. Don't be biased. Some people may not want you, but some others may need you badly. Just let everything go as they are. Take a lot meditation, so you don't disturb anybody. Do less complaint, be easily taken care of. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 8:04

the patient decided to end the life peacefully

I'm not one to talk but maybe the better decision would be, "the patient decided to live the life peacefully".

A "decision to end life" sounds like "killing" -- which is not recommended in the canon, and is not the same as "dying".

Even the phrase "a peaceful suicide" in the title sounds like "describing the advantages of dying" which is a kind of action that would be considered an "offence of defeat" if done by a monk.

What this patient should do?

The canon says something about what makes a patient easy to care for -- see AN 5.123.

minimize the spread of negativity to surrounding

My wife allowed people (including me) to care for her when she was dying of cancer:

  • Followed doctors' prescriptions, including pain killers but no more than prescribed
  • Advised us on (i.e. helped us plan) what we should do after she was gone
  • Thanked the doctors for "saving her life"
  • And, as I said, allowed us to care for her

I guess that could be called a peaceful death -- more importantly an "end of life", focussing on the "life" not on the "end", i.e. on her and other people's intentions and behaviours while she was alive and with us.

If you really want to minimize people's suffering, the way to do that may be to be "enlightened" (and with them).

  • i need more study before "enlightened" or attempt on it. It's seem like nothing at Nibbana and not too sure what you can do there? Do they have hobby ? Do they have "happy" feeling ? Do they feel bored ? Tushita seems better place? The next Buddha, Maitreya is there. They have 500 Million years life span, plenty time to study Buddhism. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 10:54
  • glad that your Wife has a good "enlightened" hubby. Not all hubby/wife willing to take these kinda patient. Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 11:09

Better to invite monks to continuously teach, good householder, as there are a lot of possibilities to gain path toward real peace once having gained a human existance, which isn't sure at all if letting such change go. Killing, call for, encourage, agree, approve, assist... that's all killing, taking live, with it's hard consequences... short life, pains misserable existances... The wheel of suffering doesn't end by cutting of life but by seeing and understanding cause Dukkha clear, and even one short teaching could be enough.

Much place to make huge good deeds here, so good to waste no time. Death is for sure, the Gems to meet not.

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