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March 24, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(12):759. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460120055015

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In an address before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, published in a recent issue of The Lancet, Sir John Sibbald, late commissioner in lunacy for Scotland, analyzes the statistics of suicide in that country, and questions some often expressed beliefs on the subject. He does not find suicide more frequent in urban than rural districts, though there are local peculiarities pointing to a race element in the case, showing the Saxon is much more suicidal than the Celt. One striking fact noticed is that the ratio of suicide by hanging, the one method that leaves the least doubt as to its motive, has been unchanged for thirty years, while the increase from other methods in the later statistics is compensated for by a decrease in the reported deaths by accident from the same causes. From this it would appear the more probable that the apparent increase of self-murder is due

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