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Religious Studies
Sherry Smith

th Relig St 2N03 February 10 2014 Ruth Goodman - Healthy, independent, Vancouver senior that commited suicide in bid to change right to die law - Was worried she was becoming a burden, beginning to lose independence - Wrote a suicide note to her son, said to him that she is simply old, tired and becoming dependent. - Her son gave letter to media - Wanted people to have the choice to end their lives - According to alec shadenburg, she did it on her own, no law was broken, so no need to change law Suicide - Suicides documented throughout history - Most complex and least understood of human behaviours - No single answer to explain why - Occurs at every age, from childhood onwards - Worldwide issue - Does not discriminate o Although some groups at more risk than others Statistical issues - WHO estimates 1 million suicides a year th - 13 leading cause of death worldwide th o 10 leading cause in developing countries - More prevalent among youth th - 4 leading cause of death for youth - Modernization factor o Modernization makes it much more difficult for people to feel connected and secure in a familiar and predictable society Statistical issues- Canada - 3890 suicide sin Canada (2009) - Rate is 3x higher for males - Highest rates: age 40-59 - Married people had lowest rates o Lower than single, divorced, widowed United States - 33000 deaths per year - Approx. 90 suicides a day - Ranks 11 as leading cause of death - All suicides may not be reported o In very young may be underestimated, people cannot comprehend why a child would take their own life o Also suicides of ailing, elderly may be underestimated- thought it was heart attack or their illness o Medical examiners known to shade the facts when there is ambiguity about cause of death  To protect family  If you commit suicide family does not receive death benefits - Highest suicide rate is elderly men- 75 and older - 8 million americans consider suicide each year - Guns are most common method used my men, poison most common used by women - Overall guns are most common followed by hanging then poisoning Suicide patterns in U.S - Completed suicides occur most often among white males - The white male suicide rate increases with age, but females and non white males reach their peak vulnerability earlier in adult life - The male suicide burden encompases indigenous American and Alaskan, and Hispanic populations – but not African American, Asian or pacific islanders - Suicide remains the third leading cause of death among youth (15-24) o Because spares them from heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness you would have later in life - Bad economic times are usually associated with an increase in suicide rates o Peak during great depression - Suicide rate is higher among people who: o Suffer from depression or psychiatric problems o Use alcohol when depressed o Suffer from physical, irreversible illness  Prolong discomfort, disability, fear of increased disability o Deal with challenges and frustration in an impulsive way o Are divorced o Have lost important relationship through death or breakup o Live in certain areas of the country(USA)  More in rural areas  Maybe less support services High risk situations for suicide - Natural or human made disaster o Victims of floods, earthquakes, hurricanes o Happened after 9/11 - People with HIV /AIDS o Risk of suicide 20% higher among this group - Gambling o Las vegas, have high suicide rate o Pathological gamblers who are depressed are at risk - Bullying o Schoolyard bullies increased risk of suicide for victims but also for themselves o When victims do not have support, situation becomes worse o Bullying victims and bullies more suicidal ideation o Homicidal thoughts might also occur o In recent years, cyber bullying new form of harassment. Suicide- individual meaning - Reunion o May be reunion with a lost loved one o Children vulnerable to reunion fantasies o Some adults are childlike in dependency on others o Usually when person lacks a fully developed sense of self hood- can’t live without that person o Person was a significant source of support - Rest and refuge o Way out of a burdensome and depressing situation o May be the way children or adolescents feel that are
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