Rent Death-Seeking

Stephen Habgood (chairman of the national suicide prevention charity Papyrus) in the ‘Guardian’:

Coroners are understandably reluctant to reach a verdict of suicide. Many families who have lost loved ones to suicide, particularly when the deceased are their children, do not want to hear that they ended their own life. Yet the stigma that exists around suicide is still very damaging and not helped by high-profile examples where coroners have concluded that the deceased died because of an accident, or where a narrative verdict has been returned when the evidence clearly shows that the person took their own life.

Well, yes. They are indeed fond of returning what the layman would regard as perverse decisions, but so what?

If it assuages the grief of the families, after all…

New analysis by Professor Colin Pritchard at Bournemouth University suggests that if coroners used the civil standard of proof – “on the balance of probabilities” – we would see a 30-50% increase in recorded suicides. His research validates the view held by Papyrus that the current arrangements mask the true number of suicides in the UK.

Aha! So what Stephen really wants is more cases for his charity to pontificate over, to keep him in ‘business’. And damn the feelings of the families.

Many still use the phrase “committed suicide”, which can be offensive and perpetuates a sense of criminality.

No, it’s simple semantics.

In a November 2014 meeting with the then justice minister Simon Hughes, the MoJ argued that a change to the law would offend faith groups. In Papyrus’s view the determination of a cause of death should be about establishing the facts, not about appeasing any particular sector of the community.

Dream on! The minute this starts to affect one particular faith group will be the minute any support you might have had from the progressives begins to fade away like mist in the morning…

6 comments for “Rent Death-Seeking

  1. barnacle bill
    January 22, 2017 at 10:48 am

    There is a fine balancing act here Julia between the “needs” of the family for closure on their sad event and that of a proper record of what is going on in society. It’s one I do not have an answer to.

    We are told there is an increase in male suicides, if that is so then we do need the “facts” to enable proper research into this problem.

    However, I do wonder if we need a new ruling to cover the cases of those that have decided to end their lives because of an incurable illness or, the future quality of their lives?

    A very near family member took this route, announcing to all and sundry this, yet we ended up with an “Accidential death” ruling. It has not been challenged as we all have our lives to get on with. But in the quiet hours one does wonder?

  2. January 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Topped himself?

  3. The Jannie
    January 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    We had an experience relevant to this when a family “friend” was killed by a train. The coroner returned a suicide verdict despite the police being sure and we being sure that it had been accidental. She locked her car at the station – which, according to the PC in charge – suicides rarely do, she was carrying luggage, ditto. We knew that had it been suicide she would have written beforehand to everyone in the family blaming them for her demise!

    • January 29, 2017 at 7:31 am

      Coroners seem to differ widely across the country. Is there no objective standard they must be held to?

  4. Hereward Unbowed.
    January 23, 2017 at 12:07 am

    This may seem crass, it is a very emotive subject, however from a different but another, one slant, I recall reading a report [no link sorry] about and on hospital deaths, during the recent spate of scandals inclusive of MRSA, Clostridium Difficile and Streptococci of variant genomes, if it appears that particular hospital wishes to keep it’s records straighter than is the truth, then doctors record other ‘versions of death’ – if you ken what I mean.

    It works the other way with particularly tobacco smoking, where if a patient has smoked and dies from complications from something not directly related to smoking – smoking always gets the nod – if you know what I mean.
    It may be that skunk was the major culprit, a crackhead, someone who broke a leg in a skiing accident and contacted a sepsis like blood disorder resulting in death – but if he smoked!! – whatever, the doctors are masters and recorders of death and convenience and statistics ALWAYS need to be massaged.
    Even suicide verdicts can cover up a cornucopia of malpractice – who knows, who could know, we never get to question God or even the NHS.

    Morals? Ethics? Patient care? – all gone out of the fucking window mate.

    • January 29, 2017 at 7:31 am

      Sadly, only too true.

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