laws on suicide

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Alexpt2, Jan 5, 2009.

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  1. Alexpt2

    Alexpt2 Well-Known Member

    I've seen alot of different viewpoints presented here on this site in regards to the legality of suicide. Some say that suicide is illegal on the grounds that suicide = murder and murder is illegal therefore suicide is illegal, while others say its not illegal. I'm wondering how suicide is actually viewed in the eyes of the law.
    My question there an actual law on the books anywhere making suicide a criminal offense?

    I'm not asking for anyone's personal opinion on this. I just want to know strictly from a legal standpoint, is suicide illegal? And if so, has anyone ever heard of someone being tried criminaly after a failed suicide attempt?

    Any lawyers or even law school students here that could clarify this?
  2. icerain

    icerain Well-Known Member

    Prior to 1961, under English Criminal Law, you could be prosecuted for a failed attempt.

    'Under English criminal law, the Suicide Act 1961 decriminalised the act of suicide so that those who failed in the attempt would no longer be prosecuted.'

    now you can only be prosecuted for up to 14 years if you are prosecuted in 'assisting':

    'A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or attempt by another to commit suicide shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years".

    that is what i believe to still be true, although i am not in the legal profession... but i thought at least this might help you
  3. Alexpt2

    Alexpt2 Well-Known Member

    yes thank you, that was helpfull.
    So I guess as of 1961, the act of suicide is no longer viewed as a criminal act.

    I wonder how far the "assisting" law extends. I mean, say someone comes to you wanting to die and they allready have there chosen method but they dont know how to obtain it and all you do is provide them with knowledge of how to obtain it should they so chose to.....
    I wonder if thats viewed as criminal if you provide someone with the nowledge they are seeking?
  4. icerain

    icerain Well-Known Member

    i think if there is a way to obtain any evidence, yes, you could be charged...but without evidence, there is nothing to prosecute...

    the theory is that a person would counsel against the act, and seek help for the individual...

    i do know that, by law, anybody in any authority is regulated by law to report anybody who they know of to be suicidal. doctors, nurses, teachers, coaches, etc...

    it sucks, but that is the way it is.

    is there anything you want to talk about? do you know of someone? or are you trying to seek counsel on how to...
  5. White Dove

    White Dove Well-Known Member

    i myself am not so sure if they are required to report it. reason i say this is simply because i told a minister ( even sent him an email ) that i was going to attempt and he did nothing, he ignored it so i dont think that is actually true for USA. Also i have sent emails to another minister here and this was in the past year, he also ignored it and i made my attempt which obvisuly failed again, but i highly doubt that law is in USA.

    Also i think its a stupid law.. why make a law where someone who wants to die can end their life illegal in the first place, most that want to die will aventually attempt again and succeed in it, thus that makes it harder on the family because they have to go through not one but more attempts. that should be outlawed because your making the family sufer more, why not just let them do it, succed the first time so the family can get over it..
  6. icerain

    icerain Well-Known Member

    Hi White Dove,

    i am not in the us, but it presumed to be within their boundries as well.

    the ministers that you have e-mailed should have done something, anything, for you. i cannot answer why they did nothing...but if they did not counsel you on how to do it, there is nothing to say that they have 'assisted' in any way and cannot be legally held responsible.

    i am sorry they did nothing to help you.
  7. White Dove

    White Dove Well-Known Member

    no they did not assist it, they just did nothing..

    i mean i gave the date, time, and place.. i assume they thought it to be a lie... story of my life there, everyone thinks its a joke or lie, but it is not in any way a joke nor lie.. and i know i am going to attempt again.. its a given fact or statement if you want to call it a statement.. they can just go on think it be a lie its really better that way because they cant interfear which means i will succeed in it..

    trying to find a way not to or a reason not to is just not helping especially when i have a funeral to attend to this friday, and them and others ignoring me makes it easier on me to succedd plus that and telling me not to post a tonight thread or date etc, also helps, cause now they dont know my intentions, date, etc... really is better for me cause at least i know now that i wont be missed even here..

    sorry for the little rant there about me and my stupid self lol, but nope they did nothing to stop it..
  8. icerain

    icerain Well-Known Member

    it is inexcuseable that they did nothing. it is a law that every life is legally protected WHEREVER you are in the WORLD:

    1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No-one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

    this is part of the Human Rights act.

    ranting is good. you are not stupid...otherwise you would not be here having coherent conversation. funerals suck, and from what i understand, you would rather be the one in the casket. i have been there. but it is not your time. you have helped people here and they still need you.
  9. White Dove

    White Dove Well-Known Member

    i dont know if i have helped anyone at all here.. heck for all i know i may have led them to attempt:blink:

    you know i can guarentee you if i was to send an email to a minister or even a friend saying well tonight i will die ( which may actually happen tonight ), they would not do a dang thing! they would ignore it.

    heck when my brother passed away, i waited until about 7 am , i could not sleep and he passed at like 130 am but i waited to make sure bernie was awake, then i called him cause i was hurting badly and needed someone to talk to and bernie just said well its not like he lives right next door, that hurt and it still hurts today cause i can still hear his words, he had no love nor compassion at all and he is a minister.. i could have killed myself that day. but i had not had the means to do it with, tonight i have the means to do it with..i can do it any time i choose to do it.. and when i attempt this time, it will work, i wont be back and that will be that.. part of why i posted that i wont be missed, because i have intentions, just wont post what they are, how i will do it because a mod told me not to post anymore tonight threads or dates, so i wont post them, it will just happen and white dove will be gone, will be no more here..
  10. icerain

    icerain Well-Known Member

    hey, if i didn't want to reply, i wouldn't. but you would be missed as i would be talking to myself. i get it. it hurts. it sucks. but hang on. another day will come. i don't want to admit the same, but it is true, i have the means and want to do it too. lets hang on together, and tomorrow we will see what happens next. you can do it if i can.
    i won't be on till later tomorrow, but i would like a response from you then.
    sleep well.
  11. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    It's a very funny law. What are they going to do... put your dead body behind bars?
    I suppose if it's illegal it would only come into affect on failed attempts.
    It's still a ridiculous law.
  12. icerain

    icerain Well-Known Member

    it is no longer a law, as of 1961 - only if you aid someone else can you be charged with assisted suicide.
  13. crookxshanks

    crookxshanks Well-Known Member

    i think if you are somewhere where it is illegal you just arent allowed a burial in a graveyard or anything like that if you do actually succeed with the attempt
  14. d-pressed

    d-pressed Well-Known Member

    In practice, at least in the West, this doesn't really happen i.e. people who attempt suicide are not prosecuted. They may not have changed the law to say that suicide is not illegal in the US (I don't actually know whether or not that is the case), but that doesn't mean it is enforced. If someone is reported by the police/medical professional they'll probably be sectioned and have treatment against their will (at least in the UK. I have no idea how it works in the US as the health system is private. Perhaps they get relatives to pay up)

    As for the minister you e-mailed, he may have thought it was simply a hoax as you were clearly provoking a response which would put him in a position of responsibility etc etc.

    As for your comment about family suffering because they have to 'go through several attempts''s missing the point a bit in several ways. One is that it doesn't ease a family's suffering to know that their relative has managed to killed him or herself the first time around! Second, I don't think a family that knew their relative was trying to commit suicide would just sit and watch them try it again!
  15. ~Claire

    ~Claire Well-Known Member

    I remember watching a programme a few years ago & a guy was sitting on a bridge threatening to jump in front of the trains passing below. He was eventually talked down & he was subsequently arrested for a public order offence/breach of the peace. They arrested him because all the trains were delayed as they shut the line in case he jumped. Alternatively they can take you for a Mental Health Assessment.

    I think it was Traffic Cops or something along those lines, they pretty much said that you could be arrested if you try to commit suicide in a public place.

    I dunno if their stance has changed any in the past few years.
  16. Rosenrot

    Rosenrot Forum Buddy

    It is generally assumed that when one wishes to end their life, that they are not in the right state of mind; therefore, sent to a hospital rather than charged.
  17. White Dove:

    I think if you told people here about a planned attempt and the place was reachable by a member, then they would go there to try and help you. I know I would, if it was within a distance I could drive to.

    In reply to the original post:

    I studied law last year, and was certainly told then that attempting suicide, whether successful or not, was illegal (here in the UK). I can't remember what the punishment would would be though if the suicidal person was prosecuted. I do, however, remember being told that somewhere in America the punishment for attempted suicide was, ironically, death.
  18. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member


    Old joke: If attempt and succeeded then you could be tried for first-degree capital murder. :laugh:

    Suicide is a mental health issue as viewed in the states, and it is ludricous to prosecute for attempted suicide because if such were the case people in dire need of help would be afraid to seek it out.

    To my understanding the aforemented principle has been LONG established. People can't be just "tried" for murder for having reached a suicidal mental-health crisis, makes no sense.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2009
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