Resources and Tactics for Preventing Suicide

This article reviews the major tactics for preventing suicide, including medications, psychotherapy for suicidal clients, emergency management & treatment, crisis intervention centres, education programmes for physicians, restricting access to lethal methods, school education programs, & groups for survivors. A brief paragraph discusses resources for those wishing to die by suicide. Evaluative data is presented for […]

Video Guide to Suicide is Shown on Television

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One Reaction to “Final Exit” Panel

Self-Deliverance or Self-Destruction?

The author discusses the controversy over voluntary euthanasia & the “right to die” from the perspective of someone who works in suicide prevention. He explores how those in such a situation can take the opportunity to clarify their own values & contribute to the developing consensus by proposing “ground rules” for this rapidly changing intellectual […]

Do-it-Yourself Suicide on the air and the web

This article describes a video & a webpage that provides explicit information on how to complete suicide. The video, based on Derek Humphry’s book Final Exit, is criticized as reckless & providing the means to die by suicide when motivated by impulsiveness. The webpage is described as a Dutch-language site that provides step-by-step instructions on […]

Final Exit: Suicide Manuals, Rational Suicide and Ethics

Final Exit is a do-it-yourself suicide manual aimed at the terminally ill. This book was originally banned in Australia but this decision was later overturned. Participants in this session debated the censorship of Final Exit & similar manuals. It was anticipated that this debate would touch on issues of rational suicide, censorship, euthanasia & the […]

Suicide Contagion (IN: Review of Suicidology, 1997, edited by R W Maris, M M Silverman & S S Canetto)

This chapter reviews 2 distinct traditions within the literature on suicide contagion among adolescents & adults with a focus on studies published since 1986. The discussion of cluster suicides highlights the methodological & qualitative shift from descriptive to inferential studies. The section on media portrayals includes a discussion of fictional & nonfictional materials. The role […]

“Final Exit” and Suicide Assessment in a Forensic Setting

This letter to the editor descibes the case of a 54-year-old male who had been in a maximum security state forensic hospital for 14 years after murdering his wife. When he requested the book, “Final Exit”, library staff contacted the clinical team. Although he initially denied it, the patient later acknowledged suicidal thoughts. This case […]

The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Book: a How-to Suicide Guide is Linked to Four B.C. Deaths

This article reports on four suicides in British Columbia, all linked to the book “Final Exit” by Derek Humphry. Only one death involved a terminally ill patient who suffered from AIDS. The rest were depressed young adults. B.C. chief coroner condemmed the book as a “facilitator” of tragedy. Vancouver chief coroner defended the book. A […]

Facts and Fables in 1995 Suicide Prevention and Suicidology: Toward Control (Books, Drugs, and Guns)

In this article the author warns of the dangers in shifting suicidology from suicide prevention to suicide promotion. It discusses facts & fables surrounding issues such as physician-assisted suicide, how-to-do-it books, & anti-depressants.

Suicidal Cyanide Ingestion as Detailed in Final Exit

This case history reports on the suicide of a physically healthy 30-year-old black male. His diary was found to contain instructions for suicide copied verbatim from “Final Exit”. The decedent’s history, the scene investigation & the external examination strongly suggested an underlying psychiatric disorder. It is argued that the case illustrates the abuse potential of […]

Ethics and the Role of the Medical Librarian: Health Care Information and the new Consumer

This paper compares the values & goals of the library & medical professions in the provision of health care information. Rothstein challenges medical librarians to reconsider their duties to nonprofessional clients & to clarify the goals of the health science library profession regarding the provision of information. Numerous examples, e.g. a young man who wants […]

Court Refuses to Declare Suicide Booklet Unlawful

In April 1983, the Queen’s Bench Division refused to declare the booklet, “A Guide to Self Deliverance” unlawful. The court ruled that the supply of this booklet in specified circumstances was not an offence under Section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961 (UK) since to do so would amount to declaring that future conduct was […]

“Final Exit”: the Slippery Slope Begins?

It has been suggested that “Final Exit” may facilitate suicide in impressionable adolescents & in clinically depressed, physically healthy patients. However, such misuse has not been documented. This letter to the editor presents the case of a previously healthy 30-year-old black male who completed suicide using a method detailed in “Final Exit”. Although the victim’s […]

From Suicide Prevention to Suicide Promotion

The purpose of this presentation was to raise a number of issues concerning the situation of suicidology & suicide prevention. Soubrier does a retrospective of his own work, saying that he believed suicidology had made progress over the last 25 years. However, the emergence of right-to-die groups, i.e. the Hemlock Society, & publications like “Suicide, […]

Suicidality and “Final Exit”

In this report, the authors describe a series of 3 patients who presented to the psychiatric emergency room after reading “Final Exit”. Two patients actually made suicide attempts while the third expressed suicidal ideation. Closer examination, however, made it difficult to conclude that the book had any impact on method or intent. Based on these […]

Increase in Fatal Suicidal Poisonings and Suffocations in the Year “Final Exit” was Published: a National Study

“Final Exit” recommends poisoning & suffocating by plastic bag as methods of suicide for those with terminal illnesses. The authors sought to determine if the number of suicides using these methods increased in the USA in 1991, the year the book was published, compared to 1990. Asphyxiation involving a plastic bag increased 30.8%, & poisonings […]

Innovative Suicide Plans Based on “Final Exit”

This Letter to the Editor describes a serious suicide attempt plan based on the “Final Exit” book by Derek Humphrey. Through deception & cunning & visits to 2 physicians, a patient obtained a lethal combination of medications. Her innovative plan was discovered & prevented by a family member. The authors advise that anyone requesting medication […]

A Reexamination of Euthanasia: Issues Raised by “Final Exit”

The debate over euthanasia continues to be a concern for nurses & consumers of health care. The publication of “Final Exit”, a book addressing euthanasia & how to commit suicide, has stirred much controversy. The authors present an examination of the current legal, religious, & professional issues surrounding euthanasia. Nursing implications are described in relation […]

Final Exit and Depressed Patients

This article is comprised of two letters to the editor regarding the effects of the book “Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying”. Both letters address the lack of discussion within the book about depressed indivduals. (This book is aimed at suicide as an option for terminally ill individuals)

Letter to the Editor & Reply to Humphry

This article is a letter to the editor by D. Humphry, who makes two corrections regarding reviews of his book “Final Exit: Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying”.

Increase in Suicide by Asphyxiation in New York City After the Publication of “Final Exit”

The authors of this study sought to determine whether the number of suicides involving methods recommended in “Final Exit” increased in New York City during the year after its publication. They found a substantial increase in the number of asphyxiations by means of plastic bags but insignificant changes in the number of suicides by other […]

Public vs. Professional Opinion on Libraries: The Great Divide?

This article discusses a University of Illnois Library Research Center survey of 1,181 people, which focussed on library services, materials, goverance & financial support. It found that most of the public did not support full access to books that describe how to commit suicide. Only 10% of the public felt they should be available to […]