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Suicide - A Christian Perspective

By Keith W Munday

What causes people to want to take their own lives? There must be some strong compelling force to bring them to such a final and irrevocable decision.

Until recent times suicide or felo-de-se, (literally felon of himself) was regarded as a criminal act, and the aiding or abetting of it still is. There was the case of Mrs Pretty who wanted her husband to help her end her life because of her unbearable illness. She took her case to the European Court of Human Rights but it failed. She did die naturally a few months afterwards.

The perpetrator of suicide obviously could not be charged, but certain things that followed showed society's attitude to it. There was a time when the body would be buried at a cross-road with a stake driven through it. This may have been something to do with eastern European folklore belief in vampires, but that barbaric procedure ended in 1834.

When a suicide takes place the coroner orders an inquest to establish the cause of death. Was it accidental such as the unintentional taking of a drug overdose? Was the deceased murdered by a third party who staged the circumstances to look like a suicide? Or a person using a gun at the time could have been killed if it back-fired.

Index to the topic

Suicide - A Christian Perspective
Reasons for Suicide
Attempted Suicides
Is Suicide a Sin?
Preventative Measures

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