A bridge over troubled watersBMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39114.462674.59 (Published 15 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:372
- Piyal Sen, consultant forensic psychiatrist, Blenheim Secure Services, Milton Keynes
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the world's greatest tourist destinations. It is also, however, one of the most popular suicide locations. More than 13 000 people have killed themselves by jumping from the bridge since it opened in 1937. Amazingly, despite such startling evidence, no suicide barrier has ever been erected. The reasons put forward have included concerns about engineering, effectiveness, cost, and aesthetics. This in the country that perhaps attributes the highest cost to human life and in one of its wealthiest and most liberal states, California.
The Bridge focuses on suicide as a public health issue. There are almost twice as many suicides in the United States as there are homicides, yet the public focus remains firmly on homicide and the “moral panic” surrounding it. A particularly worrying trend in all industrialised …