Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The suicide cult

For many years, those in preventive medicine knew that when the press reported a suicide, that other suicides would follow> That is why they alway recommended to newspapers to minimize the story and NOT to be sympathetic to the person or to his/her action.

Well, in recent years, the pro suicide movement has been glamourizing suicide for those unhappy with life. My cynical take is that this is a forerunner to the idea that the old/handicapped/brain injured should be offed by their docs, with or without the consent of their families or themselves. And the reason behind it is not compassion but to save money.

So ScienceDaily reports on why the suicide rate of white men is so high.

Particularly pernicious for this group may be the belief that suicide is a masculine response to "the indignities of aging." This is a script that implicitly justifies, and even glorifies, suicide among men.
 As illustrations, in her article Canetto examines two famous cases. Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman died of suicide in 1932, at age 77. His biographer said Eastman was "unprepared and unwilling to face the indignities of old age." Writer Hunter S. Thompson, who killed himself in 2005 at age 67, was described by friends as having triumphed over "the indignities of aging."
Both suicides were explained in the press through scripts of conventional "white" masculinity, Canetto asserts.
"The dominant story was that their suicide was a rational, courageous, powerful choice."
 Canetto's research challenges the notion that high suicide rates are inevitable among white older men. As additional evidence that suicide in this population is culturally determined, and thus preventable, Canetto points out that older men are not the most suicide-prone group everywhere in the world. For example, in China, women of reproductive age are the demographic group with the highest suicide mortality.
 Among the implications of Canetto's research is that attention to cultural scripts of suicide offers new ways of understanding and preventing suicide. As cultural stories, the "indignities of aging" suicide script as well as the belief that suicide is a white man's powerful response to aging can and should be challenged, and changed, she says.

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