Lifelines pp 225-228 | Cite as

Suicide: A Legal Perspective

  • Henry A. Beyer


Suicide presents such an extreme and irreversible attack upon normal societal standards that it merits special attention in both medical and legal literature.* Some persons argue that every individual has the right to end his own life, at least when one has sufficient reason, and several organizations have been established to defend and advance that view.+ But Anglo-American law traditionally has prohibited suicide (or, at least, attempts at suicide), and many states have had specific statutes to that effect.


Patient Suicide Legal Perspective Mental Health Staff Civil Commitment Legal Literature 
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  1. 1.
    Ruben HL: Managing suicidal behavior. JAMA 241(3):282–284, January 19, 1979PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Doctor and the law: On expert guidance and the suicide risk. Medical World News 15:46E, March 1, 1974Google Scholar
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    Cooper TR: Medical treatment facility liable for patient suicide and other self-injury. J Legal Med 3:20–29, January 1975Google Scholar
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    Seiden RH: Suicide among youth: A review of the literature, 1900–1967. Joint Commission on Mental Health of Children, December 1969 (A supplement to the bulletin of suicidology)Google Scholar
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    Morgan HG: Death wishes? The Understanding and Management of Deliberate Self-Harm. New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1979.Google Scholar
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    Holden C: Briefing. Science 209:1096–1097, 1980Google Scholar
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    Markson DS: The Punishment of Suicide—A Need for Change, 14 Villanova Law Review 463–483 (1969)Google Scholar
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    Brooks AD: Law, Psychiatry and the Mental Health System. Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1974, p. 701Google Scholar
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    Searle v. Allstate Life Insurance Company, as reported by the New York Times, September 4, 1979Google Scholar
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    Cooper TR: Medical treatment facility liability for patient suicide and other self-injury. J Legal Med 3:20–29, 1975Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dinnerstein v. United States, 486F. 2d 34 (2nd Cir., 1973)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    382 N.Y.S. 2d 128 (New York Superior Court, Appeals Division, 1976)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry A. Beyer

There are no affiliations available

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