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Suicide is the act of killing oneself and a form of murder; it is a sin throughout all of Judaism and Christianity, and a mortal sin in Roman Catholic tradition; it is not a sin in the Islam culture if one engages in a homicide attack. Christians should remember that they are given life to love and to serve the Lord, and during times of desperation to remember the words of Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God."

United States

In the United States suicide was – technically – a crime in a few states until the early 2000s; however assisted suicide is considered a crime in most states (often akin to homicide). Oregon,[1] Washington,[2] and Montana[3] are the only states in the United States which currently allow assisted suicide. The states enforce strict mandates on the availability and administration of the procedure.

Many advocates for assisted suicide claim that this is one of the few situations where the act itself is legal, and yet the assistance of the act is a crime.[4]

Scope of the Problem

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the world, claiming over one million lives globally in 1999. The suicide rate in the United States in 1999 was 10.7 per 100,000; the homicide rate that same year was only 6.2 per 100,000. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth 15–24 years old. White males over 85 have the highest rate of suicide, about 65 per 100,000. Suicide rates are also elevated in some ethnic groups. For example, suicide is about 1.5 times more prevalent than average among native Americans. While whites continue to have higher suicide rates than blacks, the gap seems to be narrowing in young males. Suicides in males outnumber those in females in almost all nations, including the United States. While males are more likely to complete suicide, females are more likely to attempt suicide.

Suicide in the Military

The United States Army, which has about one million soldiers, reported 99 suicides in 2006, which is less than 0.01%. About half were soldiers/officers under 25. According to Colonel Elspeth Ritchie, psychiatry consultant to Army Surgeon General Major General Gale Pollock, the primary motivation for these suicides had nothing to do with military service, and instead were due to "failed intimate relationships, failed marriages."[5]

Suicide and Liberalism

Liberal teachings, such as accepting homosexuality and downplaying the sanctity of life and are undeniably one of the major causes of suicide. Countries such as France, Denmark, and Canada all have much more liberal tendencies than the US as well as higher suicide rates.[6]



See also

Forms of suicide

Related topics

Further reading