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Article
September 21, 1895

SUICIDE AS A MENTAL EPIDEMIC.

Author Affiliations

SENIOR PHYSICIAN TO THE BRITISH HOSPITAL FOR MENTAL DISORDERS, EUSTON ROAD, LONDON: LATE LECTURER ON INSANITY, CHARING CROSS HOSPITAL. LONDON.

JAMA. 1895;XXV(12):471-475. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430380001001

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Abstract

The question of suicide is one which for some time has occupied public attention. During the present year, in consequence of the alarming increase of suicide, I have decided to choose this subject for our consideration, hoping that perhaps what I shall place before the society may prove of interest to its members and draw their serious attention to a grave question.

All human actions are under the influence and power of example more than precept, and consequently self-destruction has often been justified by an appeal to the laws and customs of past ages. An undue reverence for the authority of antiquity induces us to rely more upon what has been said or done in former times than upon the dictates of our own feelings and judgment. Many a mistaken individual has formed the most extravagant notions of honor, liberty and courage, and, under the impression that he was imitating

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