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  1. #1

    Website blamed for student suicide

    Website blamed for student suicide
    Thursday 18th November 2004
    By Lucy Sherriff, The Register

    A Coroner has condemmed an online suicide guide after a medical student hanged himself following directions on the site. Liverpool Coroner Andre Rebello asked Yahoo! to pull the plug on the Holland-based site, but the company refused.

    Arwel Davies, 22, was found hanging from a hook on his bedroom door, the Coroners court heard. Police were called to the scene by Davies' friend, Andrew Baker, who became concerned when he couldn't reach Davies by mobile phone. He discovered the body after breaking into Davies' bedroom.

    Authorities suspect messages posted on the site encouraged Davies to end his life. The police found a nine-page print-out from the site, detailing various methods of committing suicide, along with notes on preparing for death, The Sun reports.

    Rebello said Davies had become obsessed with suicide and self-harm. He had been treated for depression after a failed suicide attempt earlier in the year. He had tried to overdose on paracetamol. The Coroner told the court: "It is the height of irresponsibility to publish a site which could encourage someone to be tipped over the edge. The internet is there to educate and improve life, not destroy it."

    This is far from the first time the internet has been implicated in a suicide. In October this year, seven young Japanese men and women were found dead in a car, apparently as the result of an internet suicide pact.

  2. #2

    Website blamed for student suicide

    I think that's horrible. :(

  3. #3

    Website blamed for student suicide

    It is. And whatever problems SpaceTime may have, it's what was wrong with what some of the flamers were posting at the other forum he complained about.

    I'm pleased to see those threads have been removed now (at the other forum I mean) -- I'm not sure if ThatLady had anything to do with removing them but at least it's nice to see saner minds prevailing even on a gaming site.

  4. #4

    Website blamed for student suicide

    thanks for sharing this..
    while that website has some blame, and yes the internet can be quite influencial, do you(anyone whos reading) believe that its truly just that website's fault?
    sorry, not trying to convince anything, or challenge anyone's pov.
    while i totally agree that

    The internet is there to educate and improve life, not destroy it."
    Liverpool Coroner Andre Rebello asked Yahoo! to pull the plug on the Holland-based site, but the company refused.
    if someone really did want to self-harm, and was determined, if that website were not there, there's so many other websites all over the internet.

    how can society decrease these happenings? will making a site close down really do the trick? if so, a lot of websites would be in trouble, and the internet is currently quite a 'free' place for websites of all sorts. comments?

    no offence to anyone out there.. ^^
    Friendship is a virtue, a link to the future, a link to the past, one that will never break

  5. #5

    Website blamed for student suicide

    No offence taken, hkfiesta.

    You're right, to a point. If you remove one of those sites, there are doubtless others, or new ones will appear. On the other hand, one can say the same thing about other antisocial acts... For example, if someone is propagating hate literature, do you turn away saying, "Oh what's the point -- if I arrest him, someone else will take his place"? Or if you see someone breaking into your neighbor's house, do you say, "No point in doing anything - if I stop him, someone else will come along and take his place"? I think part of what we are doing is saying, "That is simply unacceptable to those of us who live in this society -- it is WRONG and we will not stand by and do nothing".

    You are also correct in that a person who is determined to commit suicide, as perhaps was the case for the individual in this news story, he or she will eventually do it. As a therapist, I have been faced with that possibility in clients in the past. But I see one of the things I can do is delay it, and while I am delaying that possibility do what is within my power to convince the individual that that option is neither necessary nor desirable. Even doing nothing might allow the person to come to the same conclusion; encouraging him or her to simply go ahead and "helping" the person with suggestions on methods is, in my firm opinion, completely wrong, unacceptable, and abhorrent.

  6. #6

    Website blamed for student suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    encouraging him or her to simply go ahead and "helping" the person with suggestions on methods is, in my firm opinion, completely wrong, unacceptable, and abhorrent.
    I agree. And, in my mind, it should be illegal. I actually found a couple of those websites a few months back at a really dark point in my life and they sickened me.

  7. #7

    Website blamed for student suicide

    From what I have seen, there are basically two different kinds of suicide sites. There are the ones that actively promote suicide and say that life, in general, is not worth living. Other, more professional Internet suicide sites (like those by the Hemlock Society) are more neutral in their publication of suicide methods and are intended more for the terminally-ill crowd.

    There is no objective, scientific study that I have seen that shows that any Internet site or book has increased the rate of suicide overall, though certainly some people would be alive today if it were not for "Final Exit" and pro-suicide Internet sites.

    According to the research I have seen, the publication of "Final Exit" did not result in an increase in suicide though it did help change the popularity of different suicide methods.

    My point is simply that suicide internet sites may actually decrease the suicide rate in some subtle ways while also increasing the suicide rate.

    Given the fact that over 19,000 Americans are permanently disabled each year due to botched suicide attempts, I would be hesitant to take away books or web sites like "Final Exit." However, suicide web sites that actively promote suicide--rather than simply inform--should be taken down since they are pathological from the start.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8

    Website blamed for student suicide

    Perhaps.

    But I am also opposed adamantly to doing anything to promote such sites. Both for reasons of personal principle and for ethical and legal reasons.

    For the record (I'm not accusing anyone of anything here -- just taking the opportunity to mention it), this forum will not permit any links to pro-suicide web sites or publications to be posted. I accept that this policy may seem unfair to some, but I ask that everyone respect it anyway.

  9. #9

    Website blamed for student suicide

    The real problem, it seems to me, is the sheer number of suicide websites and the number of people in suicide newsgroups. A vulnerable, depressed person could easily get "tunnel vision" by going from one negative site to the next.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10

    Website blamed for student suicide

    I just can't see blaming an internet sight on it. After all, that person took the time to figure out what he was going to do. If someone is indeed suicidal, more than likely they're going to do themselves in.

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