Year: 1989 Source: Milbank Quarterly, v.67, suppl.1, (1989), p.69-91 SIEC No: 19910896

Dynamics of the decriminalization & secularization of suicide between 1660-1800 are discussed, & reflections are offered on the causes of change & implications of the history of suicide for historians. The role of the medical laymen in defending the medical explanation & seeking to alleviate the effects of suicide laws on survivors is emphasized. The change in societal attitudes & responses to suicide illustrates the negotiated quality of disease definition. (90 refs.)