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March 26, 1982

The Final Months: A Study of the Lives of 134 Persons Who Committed Suicide

Author Affiliations

The Elizabeth General Hospital and Dispensary Elizabeth, NJ

JAMA. 1982;247(12):1765-1766. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320370067045

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Vivienne: The Life and Suicide of an Adolescent Girl,  by John E. Mack and Holly Hickler, 237 pp, $13.95, Boston, Little Brown & Co, 1981.While our knowledge in the field of suicide rapidly accrues, as evidenced by these two volumes, the solution to this serious public health problem continues in large measure to elude us. In The Final Months Robins has made a unique contribution to the clinical understanding of suicide. This work of Robins' is in a tradition of clinical investigation that has become synonymous with his name, and is the kind of book that settles arguments in the field. In this work he summarizes every one of the 134 case studies from his St Louis series of 1956-1957. His conclusions from that study are presented in lucid form with refreshing simplicity.An issue frequently raised in suicide studies is that of the "normal" suicide, ie, the person