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SUICIDE - The act of killing oneself intentionally Untill the 16th century suicides were condemmed by both the church and the state (the state would confiscate the suicides belongings), and burial in consecrated ground was prohibited. Traditionally suicides were buried at a crossroads with a stake through their body. Even as recently as 1823 burial was at night , without a service and with a stake driven through the heart.
Until 1961 it was a criminal offence in English law if suicide was commited while of sound mind, and to aid anothers suicide is an offence.In Japan the act of commiting suicide, or Hara-kiri, is considered honourable, as is Suttee in India. Where there is a suicide pact, if one survives they may be charged with manslaughter. In 1988, there were 4,193 suicides in England and wales. Statisticaly four times as many young men kill themselves as women. In China there are 140,000 suicides a year, 70% of them are women.