40 years of faulty wiring

The Cultural Dynamics of Suicide

When I was an undergrad at York University I took a course in sociology about suicide. The one knowledge I gleaned from the course was that people the world over commit suicide for lots of different reasons. It was the first time I learned about the Jonestown Massacre, which wasn’t truly a mass suicide involving 909 people; it was a killing spree. My professor was Japanese and so I begin my self-directed cultural study of suicide in Japan. Watch Jonestown Massacre: News Reel

Japan has always had a cultural tolerance for suicide. It is regarded as an act of honour and an act of retribution. There is a suicide in Japan every 15 minutes. Watch Suicide in Japan   Japanese views on honour and religion led to seppuku, one of the most painful methods of suicide. Seppuku was intended to be respected as a means to atone for mistakes or failure, or as a form of protest during the samurai era. In the 20th century, suicide in the form of self-immolation has been used as a form of protest, and in the form of kamikaze and suicide bombing Watch Seppuku ceremony. The age of suicides is getting younger;  between the ages of 15 – 35.

Throughout the world, medically assisted suicide ( euthanasia, or the right to die) is a controversial issue involving people who are terminally ill and/or have minimal quality of life. A recent controversy in Oregon, U.S.A. involves a 91-year-old grandmother who creates and markets a “Suicide Hood“.  91-year-old grandmother arrested for selling suicide kits The hood is pulled down over the suicide’s head.The hood has an attachment with a hose that is hooked up to a source containing carbon monixide or helium. However Oregon outlawed the hood claiming the grandmother has no medical license and cannot claim the hood is for a medical purpose. See my blog Suicide Hood is no Robin Hood Story in Oregon. Read Oregon votes to outlaw sale of suicide kits

Can this euthanasia thing get out of control? Of course it can. Ailing people might be “guilt-tripped” by relatives over their illness as a drain on the family’s resources. Dr. Death (Joseph Kervokian) was notorious for his “suicide machine” and his fight against the legal system for the right to commit euthanasia. He documented an assisted suicide with a patient and aired it on 60 Minutes. Read Assisted Suicide He paid the price with 7 years in prison. Dr Kerbokian dies            Watch November 22, 1998 Kervokian 60 Minutes Death by Doctor

Russia has the highest teen suicide rate in the world. 4,000 attempts are made annually. What is depression? Emotional stressors include family disagreements, problems with girl/boyfriends and managing academics. A lack of time for parents to become involved in their children’s lives is a significant factor contributing to teen suicide. Some parents do not recognize the signs of suicide and others avoid it purposefully. Luke’s Story – Teen Suicide

In the Western world suicide is looked upon as a tragedy committed when a person is emotionally distraught and without resources for help. Watch Suicide Why? The typical suicide is white people over 85, followed by youth 20 – 24 years. The incidence of suicide increases as people age probably due to isolation, lack of family ties, and  poverty. Suicide is the second highest cause of teenage deaths, the highest being  car accidents. Most people have an increased risk of suicide if a close relative has committed suicide. suicide prevention at risk 

watch 2 swedish twins attempt suicide on camera after being questioned by police


June 24, 2011 - Posted by | Crime and Punishment, Human psychology, Politics | , , , ,

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