The Guardian chooses now to tear down the stigma attached to the act of suicide:
//A brilliant but tortured individual has taken his own life, and this is a tragedy. But levelling ignorant accusations of selfishness certainly won’t prevent this from happening again. People should never be made to feel worse for suffering from something beyond their control.//
We should have pity for Robin Williams and sympathy for his family. We will never know, but we should charitably indulge the assumption that Williams was irrational when - if - he killed himself.
But because we are rational, we should also be willing to describe suicide as a the epitome of a selfish act. Suicide damages the people left behind and it is the ultimate statement of an ego demanding that its wants be satisfied no matter who else is damaged.
We should also clearly teach that suicide is evil because that teaching - the moral opprobrium and shame associated with the act - may have some deterrent value on the margins, more at least than a social acceptance of suicide as something that, you know, some people just do.