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Lecture 8

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Religious Studies
Sherry Smith

Ruth Goodman -91 year old, who committed suicide -she was worried that she was becoming a burden and she was beginning to lose her independence -she wrote a suicide note to her son, saying that she’s old, tired, and becoming dependent. She also killed herself to make a change- says that people should have the right to choose when to end their lives Suicide -questions about intention and choice are essential in understanding suicide -people who contemplate, attempt, and do suicide cannot be put into a stereotype -can be male, female, rich, poor, failures, or successful -worldwide problem, and not limited to any particular class Statistical Issues -10 leading cause in developed countries -modernization makes it much more difficult for people to feel connected and secure within a familiar and predictable society Female suicide rates -red= highest rate -5.3 per hundred thousand= suicide rate -red= highest rate Male -2989 total -red= highest rates Suicide in the United States -a person takes their life every 13.7 minutes -experts believe that the rates are actually higher: people find it difficult to believe that a child would commit suicide or be capable of doing so, so the rates for a child are underestimated. Also, many deaths don’t know is there was a suicidal component to them. Instead of doing an autopsy, it’s just ruled that they died due to their terminal illness, not to their own hand -Some people might cover up a suicidal death because no death benefit would be paid out if it was a suicide -guns are the most common use by men (56%), poison is the most common use by women (40%) -overall, guns are the most common method, followed by hanging, then poisoning Suicide Patterns in the United States -white males are at a greater risk than females or any other race, at any age -great depression of the 1930’s= suicidal peak in the US -rural areas have higher suicide rates -lack or social support or connectedness are key factors -suicide is often an impulsive act, especially among young people. Alcohol is a contributing factor is all adult ages -prolonged discomfort, disability, become more prevalent in older years, and that leads to more suicides -ALS- most physician assisted suicides High Risk Situations for Suicide -victims of floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, after 9/11 -risk of suicide is 20% higher for this group (HIV/AIDS) -places associated with gambling, eg Vegas, have a higher suicide rate -bullies as well as those who are being harassed. Homicidal acts might also occur -cyberbullying Suicide- Individual Meaning -reunion with a lost loved one. It’s a way to join the deceased by killing themselves and being with them. Children are specially vulnerable with this, because they feel incomplete without them. Some adults remain relatively childlike with their dep
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