I am a software engineer.  I have little formal education in nutrition or bio-mechanics.  I have been failed by the medical industry, have a decent reading comprehension skill, and am willing to self-assess risks for self-experimentation.

You should similarly self-assess risk for yourself.  Read everything you can, talk to everyone you can, and weigh the opposing opinions and sift out the facts and opinions from each other.
"The Health it is pointed out that HEALTH is a very individual matter and should be taken care of by the individual him/herself; anyone else, including medicine man or woman, can only give a second opinion." - John K.H. Kong, "The Art of Tai Chi: John Kong Tai Chi 100 Forms"
If your friend jumps off a bridge, you should assess the success of his/her endeavor, and if there are any extenuating circumstances that would make this a less safe activity for yourself.  How many people have successfully jumped off this bridge? Are there any studies for or against bridge jumping? Do you have a similar physical profile and set of equipment to those who have successfully jumped off this bridge? Do you have the prerequisite skills/fitness to jump off this bridge? Do you know how to swim if you successfully jump off the bridge into the water? Is there something you can do first to better prepare for jumping off the bridge? Are the arguments of your mother or your bungee jumping instructor more persuasive? Was the literature you read about bridge jumping based on facts or opinions? Only you can decide if it's right for you to jump off the bridge.