Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Suicide on TV

Why we must defend suicide in fiction

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 18 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4743
  1. Marco Scalvini, lecturer1,
  2. Flandina Rigamonti, psychodynamic psychotherapist and counsellor2
  1. 1Global Dimensions Programme, LSE Enterprise, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London WC2A 3PF, UK
  2. 2London, UK
  1. m.scalvini{at}

Arendt and colleagues call for regulation on the way that film and television companies depict suicide on screen.1 They argue that 13 Reasons Why violates guidelines for suicide portrayal in the media and might inspire increased risk behaviours in some vulnerable young people.

Cinema and literature have sought to illuminate the human urge to end life rather than endure the pain life brings. We advocate the moral merits …

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