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June 1981

Increased Suicide Risk: Fact or Artifact?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Provincial Suicidologist 10030 107th St South Tower, Ninth Floor Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3E4, Canada

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(6):720-721. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780310120016

Dr Boyd has pointed out an important problem in suicide research—the use of official statistics. I agree that attention should be paid to the accuracy and consistency of the death certification process. I do not agree, however, that our findings can be explained as an artifact of that process.

Are the findings due to a trend for coroners to diagnose suicide more freely than they did in the past, with a bias in favor of making that diagnosis when the deceased is young?

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