Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 613–622

Scientism as a Social Response to the Problem of Suicide


DOI: 10.1007/s11673-015-9662-4

Cite this article as:
Fitzpatrick, S.J. Bioethical Inquiry (2015) 12: 613. doi:10.1007/s11673-015-9662-4


As one component of a broader social and normative response to the problem of suicide, scientism served to minimize sociopolitical and religious conflict around the issue. As such, it embodied, and continues to embody, a number of interests and values, as well as serving important social functions. It is thus comparable with other normative frameworks and can be appraised, from an ethical perspective, in light of these values, interests, and functions. This work examines the key values, interests, and functions of scientism in suicidology and argues that although scientism has had some social benefit, it primarily serves to maintain political and professional interests and has damaging implications for suicide research and prevention.


Scientism Suicide Suicidology Ethics 

Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Rural and Remote Mental HealthThe University of NewcastleOrangeAustralia

Personalised recommendations