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Brief overview on suicide and its societal perceptions through recorded history

Journal: Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 003-006

Keywords : Religion. Euthanasia. Werther effect.;

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A society is an organisation of people who have the same way of life. In ancient Greece, from the earliest days of the Stoic School the problem of suicide is a problem of the free will. Followers of Judaism observe the value of life. Christians who died of their own hands were not to be buried in the grace of the church. Islam considers suicide is one of the greatest sins and utterly detrimental to one’s spiritual journey. Hinduism generally considers suicide a violation of the code of Ahimsa. “Santhara” is non-violent fasting to death by Jain Munis. Buddhism in its various forms affirms that, while suicide as self-sacrifice may be appropriate for the person who is an “Arhat”, one who has attained enlightenment. Durkheim primarily focused on social correlates. Views on suicide have been influenced by broader cultural views on existential themes: religion, honour, meaning of life. In India, there are large variations of suicide rates across states. Farmers’ suicides are another highlight. Assisted suicide is when the patient brings his/her own death with the assistance of physician. Werther effect predicts not only increase in suicide, but the majority of the suicides will take place in the same or similar way as the one publicised. It is hoped that a world society free of discrimination would lead to a society free of suicide!

Last modified: 2013-12-15 02:06:51