Friday, April 29, 2005

Two separate suicide websites based in Taiwan have been shut down by the local police. Coincidentally both had also posted the complete contents of a suicide manual written by Tsurumi Wataru (whose name was mispelled in the article written in English that was edited by a person named Elmarie Jack). Since the owners of the sites are being charged with helping other folks suicide rather than with copyright infringement, we can be reasonably sure that the RIAA is not involved .

BTW, Tsurumi's book, "The Complete Manual of Suicide", is a bestseller in Japan.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

It seems that most adults in the U.S. favor physician-assisted suicide.

Friday, April 22, 2005

ISPs in Japan are being pressured to provide information on individuals to the police on request when the police think that person is involved in a suicide pact. In the past, when the police have approached the ISPs about such things they have been asked to provide a search warrant before they'll be given the information, but since declaring one's intent to participate in a suicide pact isn't a crime, the search warrant can't be issued.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

UK woman charged with manslaughter for not intervening on her husband's suicide.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Canadian man is on trial for assisting the suicide of his wife.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Another group suicide in Japan, but this time it appears to be a woman and three children. Since only one of the people involved was an adult, i'd hesitate to call this a suicide pact.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The CDC lists the following as risk factors that increase the likelihood of a person committing suicide:

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders, particularly depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or suicidal thoughts
  • Cultural and religious beliefs—for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

Now, don't those risk factors cover just about every person in the U.S.of A. if not the world? And if an "unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma..." is a risk factor, perhaps the CDC should add another factor to their list, namely:
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the risk of being drugged and incarcerated against one's will.

Not having access to the resources required to study suicide 'scientifically', I can only guess as to how many people have killed themselves because they did not want to lose control over themselves the way a person loses control when he is the object of a forced intervention. But I do know that there are people who have done that. And until the Mental Health Profession is willing to explicitly examine the ways in which it actually encourages suicide, it is going to fail to fully understand the reasons why people suicide.

Friday, April 08, 2005

According to Madelyn Gould, who conducts research at the New York Psychiatric Institute, "some school officials are worried about being blamed if students harm themselves after taking a survey [that asks them if they are suicidal]". In other words, one of the reasons discussion of suicide is taboo is that people are concerned that merely mentioning it will provoke it, even though the evidence suggests otherwise.

But what does happen to a teenagers identified by such a survey as being suicidal? Do they get counseling that actually helps them to cope with their day to day existence? Are they respected as human beings or are they forcibly drugged and/or tossed into a mental ward until their morale improves?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Suicide pact reported in Korea. Evidently the couple met online.

Monday, April 04, 2005

In the case of Laura Rhodes, it seems that the school officials blamed her for being bullied. I guess that's because it's easier to blame the victim than to actually do something about it.

I wonder how these same officials would feel if Laura had turned around and bombed the school instead of committing suicide.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Insert joke about light here.