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Book and Media Reviews
June 13, 2012

Medical Conditions Associated With Suicide RiskMedical Conditions Associated With Suicide Risk

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (dprabhakar@med.wayne.edu).

JAMA. 2012;307(22):2437-2438. doi:10.1001/jama.307.22.2437-b

Although the underlying cause of a completed suicide is fervently debated in the living rooms of surviving relatives, treatment team meetings, and hospital conferences, the relatively unchanging rate of suicide mortality remains an important public health concern. Some continue to contemplate whether cartesian dualism has been an impediment to the efforts of scientific community in effectively addressing morbidity and mortality associated with suicide. Nevertheless, dualism to some extent has informed the separation of “mind-related” illnesses from physical illnesses in academic curricula, adversely affecting the suicide risk–assessment skills of medical practitioners. Even though suicide is considered a “psychiatric” concern, completed suicides occur often in medical and surgical settings.