Friday, April 11, 2008

Suicide Promotion more common than Prevention in web searches.

New laws to discourage aiding, abeting and counseling suicide on the Internet are necessary to discourage suicide among teenagers and other vulnerable groups.

A recent article published in British Medical Journal and reported in Insidermedicine proved that when web searches are done on the major search engines for suicide information the main sites that come up are suicide promotion sites.

The author of the report stated: 
“Overall, the searches uncovered 240 unique sites about suicide, just under half of which provided information about how to commit suicide. Nearly one-fifth of the hits as well as the top three most frequently occurring sites were for pages that promoted suicide. Only 13% of the sites were dedicated to suicide prevention and support, and only 12% actively discouraged suicide. Most of the sites -- even some of those dedicated to suicide prevention -- provided information on methods of suicide.”
According to the article statistics show that:
• Worldwide, about one million people die from suicide every year. It is a leading cause of death in teens and young adults.
• Most people who commit suicide are suffering from a mental illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Euthanasia activists, such as Philip Nitschke - Australia’s Dr. Death, who promoted suicide information on the internet for years that resulted in legislation in Australia a few years ago to ban aiding, abeting and counseling suicide via the internet and other communications medium.

People who contact these suicide information services are mainly vulnerable people who society should be trying to help and protect. These people are victims of radical activists rather than people who are "freely choosing" to die.

Most people who seek assisted suicide meet a similar profile as people who attempt suicide. People who are seeking assistance in suicide need good mental health care and support and not suicide assistance.

Suicide Promotion More Common Than Prevention in Web Searches
(April 10, 2008 - Insidermedicine)

1 comment:

Jen Webb said...

There are so many things wrong with this, and I'll just mention a few that come to mind. As someone who has lost a close friend and a cousin to suicide (both were in their 30s) I find this extremely disturbing. When I think of how common depression is in our culture, the thought of people who are emotionally hurting seeing websites like this is scary. Teenagers are especially vulnerable, since those years can be so difficult, and something like a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend can seem like the end of the world. Or in the case of my cousin in his 30s, his divorce.

It just makes me wonder about the number of people who consider suicide, but don't go through with it. And this is helpful?!?

Thanks for doing all you do.
J. Webb