Reporting Suicide: Safety Isn't Everything

(With M King) “Reporting suicide: safety isn’t everything” (2013) 5(1) Journal of Primary Health Care 82–85.

Posted: 7 May 2019

See all articles by Mike King

Mike King

Bioethics Centre, University of Otago

Colin Gavaghan

University of Otago - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

New Zealand youth suicide rates are among the worst in OECD countries. Given that this age group is considered to be particularly vulnerable to peer pressure and ‘copycat’ behaviour, it is perhaps no surprise that significant attention is being paid to media reporting on suicide. Most of this has focused on whether media depictions of suicide are likely to increase or decrease the numbers of suicides, but these are not the only considerations that should inform the area. In this article, the authors consider the current law on suicide reporting in New Zealand and discusses the need to weigh public reporting of the details of suicides against any risk of encouraging further incidents of it. The article concludes that a sophisticated and informed balancing of multiple interests and values would be the most appropriate way to reach a decision on suicide reporting in each case.

Keywords: Youth suicide, Ethics, Media and the law, New Zealand, Health law

JEL Classification: K00, K10

Suggested Citation

King, Mike and Gavaghan, Colin, Reporting Suicide: Safety Isn't Everything (2013). (With M King) “Reporting suicide: safety isn’t everything” (2013) 5(1) Journal of Primary Health Care 82–85.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368595

Mike King

Bioethics Centre, University of Otago ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9010
New Zealand
6434795324 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://otago.ac.nz/law/genome

Colin Gavaghan (Contact Author)

University of Otago - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin North
Dunedin, 9016
New Zealand

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