Background: Over the last century the medical view of suicide (that it is always or almost always the result of a mental disorder) has prevailed. It has been refuted but it persists. We are of the view that a more realistic path to suicide can be characterized by three components 1) people may find life unpleasant and a cause of suffering, 2) death by natural causes allows escape from life-based suffering, and 3) suicide achieves an escape from life-based suffering at a time determined by the individual. Aim: To seek evidence supporting the contention that life may be unalterably unpleasant, and that suicide is selected by the individual as a means of terminating that unpleasantness, at a time of the individual's choosing. Method: History, philosophy, literature and poetry texts of the last 2500 years were examined and statements of belief by publicly recognized individuals which supported the three assertions were collected. Results: 30 statements on life, 25 on death and 25 on suicide were selected and tabulated. There was strong agreement with each of the three assertions/facts listed above. Conclusion: Evidence from capable publicly recognized individuals (free of mental disorder) supports that some individuals find life unpleasant and a cause of suffering and choose suicide as a means of escaping their distress.