This seems to be the prevailing notion.
The question is: Is suicide indeed a selfish act?
1st of all, I should start by saying that I understand why many people have such thoughts, because I used to think the same way- when you commit suicide, you only think about your own suffering and leave behind people who love you and care about you, you don't think of people who are not as lucky as you, who don't have the same advantages and privileges as you, you're too cowardly to face life, you choose the easy way, you have no courage to deal with the consequences of your actions and to solve your problems, you let others clean up your mess...
But can we judge?
Do we know why people killed themselves? Do we know what led them to that final decision? Do we know what they faced and how they felt and how they tried to cope with life in the months or years before committing suicide? Do we know how they struggled with the idea only to finally choose death over life? Do we know what pushed them over the edge? Do we know what was the last thing on their minds when they were about to go through with the act?
Because the truth is, we don't. We can't tell. In a distance we may think a person doesn't fully appreciate his or her advantages but each of us never knows the thoughts and emotions and experiences of another person and there's always a distance between 2 people, however close they are.
Because the truth is, if you have coped with depression for years and thought of suicide very often but, when you're so close to it, very, very close to it it, and can't go through with the act, and afterwards realise that you don't really choose life- it's a passive choice, you just don't choose death, you'll understand that suicide isn't easy as it sounds but is in fact very difficult to go through. I don't believe suicide's caused by a single incident, except when a person (officer, leader, criminal, member of an organisation, etc) kills themselves to avoid being captured, and in some rare cases I haven't thought of, but generally I don't believe suicide's caused by a single incident. Sadness like the kind we experience ourselves once in a while would never be strong enough a motive.
So whatever your ideas about suicide you can keep to yourself, if you think it's not the right thing for you to do, you don't do it, but don't say suicide's a selfish act and condemn those who commit suicide instead of trying to understand their reasons.
Note: How one chooses to kill oneself is another matter, however. I must say that if some people commit suicide in a gruesome way without thinking how it may scar and haunt others, especially if they 'display' themselves in public, that's rather selfish, or at least insensitive.