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September 17, 1938

Cases of Attempted Suicide in a General Hospital: A Problem in Social and Psychologic Medicine: A Report on a Local Condition, Including a Survey of 1,147 Records of Attempted Suicide Cases Admitted to the Boston City Hospital

JAMA. 1938;111(12):1131. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790380073038

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Abstract

This short report is an extremely interesting one and would well bear perusal by those who have to do with the operation of general hospitals and by psychiatrists. The author has recognized the fact that the increasing number of cases of attempted suicide brought into the Boston City Hospital is well worthy of study. His investigation is not particularly deep—actual mechanisms of suicide or attempted suicide are not analyzed in terms of deep psychiatry, psychoanalysis or even complicated statistical methods, but quite a number of traits are tabulated, charted, and briefly discussed in a competent fashion. Some of these traits are the age distribution, superficial motives such as economic, domestic, health and love problems, method of attempt, frequency of poisons taken by mouth, and other features which are equally interesting and significant. The author, on the basis of the observations, proposes that a large general hospital with "special protective wards"

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