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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.