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Drugs and diseases reference index

Definition of «Suicide»


Suicide: The process of purposely ending one's own life. Suicides accounts for approximately one million deaths annually worldwide. There are from 10 million to 20 million suicide attempts annually. About 30,000 people reportedly kill themselves each year in the United States. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in males and the 16th leading cause of death in females.

Suicide is viewed differently according to culture and religion. Some societies consider suicide honorable in certain cases, while other societies may treat it as a crime.

Physician-assisted suicide is the ending of a life of a person who is terminally ill in a way that is either painless or minimally painful, for the purpose of ending suffering of the individual. It is also called euthanasia and mercy killing. In 1997, the United States Supreme Court ruled against endorsing physician-assisted suicide as a constitutional right but allowed for individual states to enact laws that permit it.

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