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Will this Death be an “Irrational Suicide” or a “Voluntary Death”?

by James Leonard Park

Criteria for differentiating rational from irrational self-delivered death.

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  1. Mr. Parks makes an excellent point in arguing that the term “voluntary death” should replace “suicide” in those cases where it applies. I disagree, though, with calling it “cause of death”. The underlying condition killed the person, not the fact that they chose to step off the elevator a floor or so from the bottom.

    If you’re ever speaking with someone who intends to kill themselves, I’ve found a quick test to distinguish suicide from voluntary death. Does the person who’s planning to kill themselves intend to take an emetic and a laxative the day before? A person planning suicide will be indifferent or hostile to those who find the corpse. A person planning voluntary death will be considerate of what those who find the body are going to go through.

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