Intended for healthcare professionals


Internet sites may encourage suicide

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 07 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:337
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    Internet sites advising on methods of suicide may be discouraging people from seeking psychiatric help, warns a report published this week.

    More than 100000 sites about suicide now appear on the world wide web Many of these seem to condone suicide and forbid entry to anyone offering to dissuade users from taking their own lives, said the report's author, Dr Susan Thompson, senior house officer in child psychiatry at the Ealing, Hammersmith, and Fulham NHS Trust. Suicide is not illegal in the United Kingdom, but the 1951 Suicide Act prohibits others from encouraging the practice. This could provide the legal grounds for intervention, she suggested, arguing that these internet sites raise ethical issues about whether there should be …

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