Right. So straight off the bat, I should clarify that I am not suicidal. I love my life and life in general as well and I think killing oneself is a horrendously stupid thing to do. But having said that, I must admit I have often found myself objectively considering suicide and the way human society in general regards it.
Suicide is a sin according to religion, a crime as per the law, and a generally wrong thing to do. But the other day I saw someone smoking and this person is not in denial about the effects of smoking. He believes that ‘smoking kills’ and yet he smokes. I wonder if this counts as suicide. It is possible to argue that suicide is when someone acts in a way that is sure to kill him or her at a point of time in the immediate and foreseeable future. So while my acquaintance might smoke in the knowledge that it may kill him, it is the ‘may’ in the sentence that keeps it from being classified as suicide.
Now to the point about suicide being morally wrong. When someone dies protecting someone else, is that a suicide? If yes, is it still morally wrong? Were the Samurai doing something wrong when they committed Harakiri after being disgraced? More than a few soldiers in the history of war have courted certain death. Have they done something morally wrong? And let us not even go into the topic of euthanasia. Plenty of moral mess there.
I personally do not believe so. I have never had any sympathy for people who have killed themselves and left broken families behind. I view it as an act of abject cowardice, but I have come to make a distinction between one kind of suicide and another.