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June 13, 1990

Suicide: Understanding and Responding, Harvard Medical School Perspectives

Author Affiliations

Elizabeth (NJ) General Medical Center

Elizabeth (NJ) General Medical Center


edited by Douglas Jacobs and Herbert N. Brown, 505 pp, $60, ISBN 0-8236-6695-6, Madison, Conn, International Universities Press Inc, 1989.

JAMA. 1990;263(22):3092. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440220120047

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This is a volume that updates the field of suicidology and provides the clinician with a comprehensive textbook on the subject. Thirty-three authors follow an orderly and economic format, resulting in a systematic offering on all significant patient checkpoints and portals into the care system where suicidological issues may arise.

A recurrent theme fundamental to the field of suicide and its prevention is the complex, multidetermined perspective required for study. From the molecular through the international, every level in the biological hierarchy has a bearing on suicidal acts. Any public health issue of consequence, such as suicide, invokes such a consciousness of its complexity. It is, however, an awareness particularly important in the case of suicide because of the deep values touched on by the act of suicide and the efforts at prevention.

The topic of suicide touches the most fundamental of human concerns, death, and evokes every ideological facet