Suicide pacts and the internet

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1298 (Published 2 December 2004)
Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1298

Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

  1. Sundararajan Rajagopal (Sundararajan.Rajagopal@slam.nhs.uk), consultant psychiatrist
  1. South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Adamson Centre for Mental Health, St Thomas's Hospital, London SE1 7EH

    Complete strangers may make cyberspace pacts

    The recent deaths of nine people in Japan, in October 2004, apparently in two suicide pacts1—seven suicides in one pact and two in the other—have brought the relatively rare phenomenon of suicide pacts into the limelight. What is unusual is that these pacts seem to have been arranged between strangers who met over the internet and planned the tragedy via special suicide websites. This is in contrast to traditional suicide pacts, in which the victims are people with close relationships.

    A suicide pact is an agreement between two or more people to commit suicide together at a given place and time. In England and Wales, for epidemiological purposes, people who have committed suicide within three days of each other in the same registration subdistrict are considered potential victims of a suicide pact.2 A related phenomenon is homicide-suicide, in which a person commits a murder and then ends his or her own life. Dyadic death is a term that encompasses both suicide pacts and homicide-suicides.3 A suicide …

    Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

    Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

    Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

    Article access

    Article access for 1 day

    Purchase this article for £20 $30 €32*

    The PDF version can be downloaded as your personal record

    * Prices do not include VAT

    THIS WEEK'S POLL