The cunning of the suicidal impulse is so baffling and the result such a deplorable frustration of medical effort that the dangers cannot be too often emphasized nor the importance of a continued search for a better understanding of the underlying factors overstressed. At the suggestion of Dr. Adolf Meyer, a careful study of 100 cases of suicidal attempts was made for the medical and nursing staff of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, of which some of the deductions may be of wider interest.
Historically, it has been found that the attitude of the individual and of the public toward suicide has undergone many changes throughout the past centuries. Among the Greeks and Romans1 it was an outgrowth of individualism and was not associated with shame but was rather considered a matter of honor, a custom present today in Japan, where hara-kiri, or honorable suicide, still exists. During the
FAIRBANK RE. SUICIDEPOSSIBILITIES OF PREVENTION BY EARLY RECOGNITION OF SOME DANGER SIGNALS. JAMA. 1932;98(20):1711–1714. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730460015006