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Abortion, the expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it has reached the stage of

viability (in human beings, usually about the 20th week of gestation). An abortion may
occur spontaneously, in which case it is also called a miscarriage, or it may be brought
on purposefully, in which case it is often called an induced abortion.
An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting
in or caused by its death, when artificially induced bychemical, surgical, or other means.
When a fetus is expelled from the womb spontaneously it is called a miscarriage or
"spontaneous abortion." (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Abortion)
Abortion is the ending of pregnancy through the removal or forcing out from
the womb of a fetus or embryo before it is able tosurvive on its own. An abortion can
occur spontaneously, in which case it is often called a miscarriage. It can also be
purposely caused in which case it is known as an induced abortion. The
term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy. The
similar procedure after the fetus may be able to survive on its own is medically known
as a "late termination of pregnancy". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion)

Kinds: (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1498/abortion)

a. Spontaneous abortions, or miscarriages, occur for many reasons, including

disease, trauma, genetic defect, or biochemical incompatibility of mother and
fetus. Occasionally a fetus dies in the uterus but fails to be expelled, a condition
termed a missed abortion.

b. Induced abortions may be performed for reasons that fall into four general
categories: to preserve the life or physical or mental well-being of the mother; to
prevent the completion of a pregnancy that has resulted from rape or incest; to
prevent the birth of a child with serious deformity, mental deficiency, or genetic
abnormality; or to prevent a birth for social or economic reasons (such as the
extreme youth of the pregnant female or the sorely strained resources of the
family unit). By some definitions, abortions that are performed to preserve the
well-being of the female or in cases of rape or incest are therapeutic, or
justifiable, abortions.

Kinds: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion)
a. Induced
Reasons for procuring induced abortions are typically characterized as either
therapeutic or elective. An abortion is medically referred to as a therapeutic abortion
when it is performed to save the life of the pregnant woman; prevent harm to the
woman's physical or mental health; terminate a pregnancy where indications are that
the child will have a significantly increased chance of premature morbidity or mortality or
be otherwise disabled; or to selectively reduce the number of fetuses to lessen health
risks associated with multiple pregnancy. An abortion is referred to as an elective or
voluntary abortion when it is performed at the request of the woman for non-medical

b. Spontaneous
Spontaneous abortion, also known as miscarriage, is the unintentional expulsion of an
embryo or fetus before the 24th week of gestation. A pregnancy that ends before 37
weeks of gestation resulting in a live-born infant is known as a "premature birth" or a
"preterm birth". When a fetus dies in utero after viability, or during delivery, it is usually
termed "stillborn". Premature births and stillbirths are generally not considered to be
miscarriages although usage of these terms can sometimes overlap.
Only 30% to 50% of conceptions progress past the first trimester. The vast majority of
those that do not progress are lost before the woman is aware of the conception, and
many pregnancies are lost before medical practitioners can detect an embryo. Between
15% and 30% of known pregnancies end in clinically apparent miscarriage, depending
upon the age and health of the pregnant woman. 80% of these spontaneous abortions
happen in the first trimester.
The most common cause of spontaneous abortion during the first trimester
is chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo or fetus, accounting for at least 50% of
sampled early pregnancy losses. Other causes include vascular disease (such
as lupus), diabetes, other hormonal problems, infection, and abnormalities of the
uterus. Advancing maternal age and a patient history of previous spontaneous abortions
are the two leading factors associated with a greater risk of spontaneous abortion. A
spontaneous abortion can also be caused by accidental trauma; intentional trauma or
stress to cause miscarriage is considered induced abortion or feticide.

Kinds: (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Abortion)

a. Spontaneous abortion

Spontaneous abortions, generally referred to as miscarriages, occur when

an embryo or fetus is lost due to natural causes before the twentieth week of gestation.
A pregnancy that ends earlier than 37 weeks of gestation, if it results in a live-born
infant, is known as a "premature birth." When a fetus dies in the uterus at some point
late in gestation, beginning at about 20 weeks, or during delivery, it is termed a
"stillbirth." Premature births and stillbirths are generally not considered to be
miscarriages although usage of these terms can sometimes overlap.

Most miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy. The risk of spontaneous abortion
decreases sharply after the eighth week. Between 10 percent and 50 percent of
pregnancies end in miscarriage, depending upon the age and health of the pregnant
woman. In most cases, they occur so early in the pregnancy that the woman is not even
aware that she was pregnant.

The risk or miscarriage is greater in those with a known history of several spontaneous
abortions or an induced abortion, those with systemic diseases, and those over age 35.
Other causes can be infection (of either the woman or fetus), immune response, or
serious systemic disease. A spontaneous abortion can also be caused by accidental
trauma; intentional trauma to cause miscarriage is considered an induced abortion.

b. Induced abortion

A pregnancy can be intentionally aborted in many ways. The manner selected depends
chiefly upon the gestational age of the fetus, in addition to the legality, regional
availability, and doctorpatient preference for specific procedures.

Methods of Surgical abortion


In the first twelve weeks, suction-aspiration or vacuum abortion is the most common
method. Manual vacuum aspiration, or MVA abortion, consists of removing
thefetus or embryo by suction using a manual syringe, while the electric vacuum
aspiration or EVA abortion method uses an electric pump. These techniques are
comparable, differing in the mechanism used to apply suction, how early in pregnancy
they can be used, and whether cervical dilation is necessary. MVA, also known as "mini-
suction" and menstrual extraction, can be used in very early pregnancy, and does not
require cervical dilation. Surgical techniques are sometimes referred to as STOP:
"Suction (or surgical) Termination Of Pregnancy." From the fifteenth week until
approximately the twenty-sixth week, a dilation and evacuation (D and E) method is
used. D and E consists of opening the cervix of the uterus and emptying it using
surgical instruments and suction.

Dilation and curettage (D and C) is a standard gynecological procedure performed for a

variety of reasons, including examination of the uterine lining for possible malignancy,
investigation of abnormal bleeding, and abortion. Curettage refers to cleaning the walls
of the uterus with a curette. The World Health Organization recommends this procedure,
also called "sharp curettage," only when MVA is unavailable.

Other techniques must be used to induce abortion in the third trimester. Premature
delivery can be induced with prostaglandin; this can be coupled with injecting the
amniotic fluid with caustic solutions containing saline or urea. Very late abortions can be
induced by intact dilation and extraction (IDX) (also called intrauterine cranial
decompression), which requires surgical decompression of the fetus's head before
evacuation. IDX is sometimes termed as "partial-birth abortion." A hysterotomy abortion,
similar to a caesarian section but resulting in a terminated fetus, can also be used at
late stages of pregnancy.

From the twentieth to twenty-third week of gestation, an injection to stop the fetal heart
can be used as the first phase of the surgical abortion procedure.

Methods of Surgical abortion (http://www.birthmothers.org/extras/types-of-


1. Manual Vacuum Aspiration: within 7 weeks after last menstrual period

Dilators (metal rods) are used to stretch the cervical muscle until the opening is wide
enough for abortion instruments to pass through the uterus. A hand-held syringe is
attached to tubing, which is inserted into the uterus. The fetus is suctioned out.
2. Suction Curettage: after 14 weeks from the last menstrual period
The abortionist uses a dilator or laminaria to open the cervix. Laminaria are thin sticks
from a kelp species that are inserted hours before the procedure and allowed to slowly
absorb water and expand, thereby dilating the cervix. Once the cervix is dilated, the
abortionist inserts tubing into the uterus and attaches the tubing to a suction machine.
Suction pulls apart the fetus body and out the uterus. After suction, the doctor and
nurses must reassemble the fetus dismembered parts to ensure they have all the

3. D & C (Dilation and Curettage): within first 12 weeks

The cervix is dilated. A suction device is placed in the uterine cavity to remove the fetus
and placenta. Then the abortionist inserts a curette (a loop-shaped knife) into the
uterus. The abortionist uses the curette to scrape any remaining fetal parts and the
placenta out of the uterus.

4. D & E (Dilation and Evacuation): within 13-24 weeks after last menstrual period
The fetus literally doubles in size between the 11th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. Soft
cartilage hardens into bone at 16 weeks, making the fetus too large and strong to pass
through a suction tube. The D & E procedure begins by inserting laminaria a day or two
before the abortion, opening the cervix wide to accommodate the larger fetal size. The
abortionist then both tears and cuts the fetus and uses the vacuum machine to extract
its remains. Because the skull is too large to be suctioned through the tube, it must be
crushed by forceps for removal. Pieces must be extracted very carefully because the
jagged, sharp pieces of the broken skull could easily cut the cervix.

5. Saline: after 15 weeks of pregnancy

This procedure is conducted in the same manner as amniocentesis (a prenatal test
used to diagnose a fetus potential chromosomal abnormalities). A long needle is
inserted into the womans abdomen, directly into the amniotic sac. It is at this point that
a saline abortion and amniocentesis differ. In a saline abortion, amniotic fluid is removed
from the woman and replaced by a strong saline (salt) solution. As the fetus lungs
absorb the salt solution, it begins to suffocate. It may struggle and may even have
convulsions. The saline also burns off the fetus outer layer of skin. Saline abortion can
take one to six hours before the fetus is no longer viable. The woman begins labor after
approximately 12 hours, and she may take up to 24 hours to deliver. Because the
procedure is often quite long, many times the woman is left to labor alone.

6. Prostaglandin: after 15 weeks of pregnancy

This procedure is conducted in the same manner as a saline abortion, except
prostaglandin (a hormone that causes the woman to start labor) replaces saline.
Prostaglandin activates contractions. It can cause overly painful or intense labor; there
have been cases in which the violence of the contractions ruptured the mothers
uterus.1 This type of abortion is not preferred by abortionists because there is a 40%
higher chance of a live birth.

7. Hysterotomy: after 18 weeks

This procedure is the same as a cesarean section (in which the doctor cuts through the
abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby), except that in a hysterotomy, no medical
attention is given to the baby upon delivery to help it survive. Most often, a wet towel is
placed over the babys face so it cant breathe. Sometimes the baby placed in a bucket
of water. The goal is to have a baby that wont survive.

8. D & X (Dilation and Extraction): from 20 weeks after last menstrual period to full
term. Also called partial birth abortion.
This procedure takes three days. During the first two days, the womans cervix is
dilated. She is given medication for cramping. On the third day, she receives medication
to induce labor. As the woman labors, the abortionist uses an ultrasound to locate the
babys legs. The abortionist then grasps a leg with forceps and delivers the baby up to
its head. Next, using a scissors, the abortionist creates an opening in the base of the
babys skull. A suction catheter is inserted into the skull opening, and the babys brains
are suctioned out. The skull collapses, and the rest of the babys body is delivered
through the birth canal.

Period of Viability

The period of viability refers (traditionally) to the period after the twenty-eighth
week, or more recently the twenty-fourth week, of gestation when a human fetus is
capable of living outside of the womb. Whether the fetus is in the period of viability has
legal ramifications as far as the fetus' rights of protection are concerned.


Euthanasia, also called mercy killing , act or practice of painlessly putting to death
persons suffering from painful and incurable disease or incapacitating physical disorder
or allowing them to die by withholding treatment or withdrawing artificial life-support
measures. Because there is no specific provision for it in most legal systems, it is
usually regarded as either suicide (if performed by the patient himself) or murder (if
performed by another). A physician may, however, lawfully decide not to prolong life in
cases of extreme suffering, and he may administer drugs to relieve pain even if this
shortens the patients life. In the late 20th century, several European countries had
special provisions in their criminal codes for lenient sentencing and the consideration of
extenuating circumstances in prosecutions for euthanasia.

Euthanasia is translated from Greek as "good death" or "easy death." As originally used,
the term referred to painless and peaceful natural deaths in old age that occurred in
comfortable and familiar surroundings. That usage is now archaic. As the word is
currently understood, euthanasia occurs when one person ends the life of another
person for the purpose of ending the killed person's pain or suffering.

Euthanasia (from Greek: -, eu, "good," , thanatos, "death") is the

practice of terminating the life of a human being or animal with an incurable disease,
intolerable suffering, or a possibly undignified death in a painless or minimally painful
way, for the purpose of limiting suffering. It is a form of homicide; the question is
whether it should be considered justifiable or criminal.

Euthanasia refers both to the situation when a substance is administered to a person

with intent to kill that person or, with basically the same intent, when removing someone
from life support. There may be a legal divide between making someone die and letting
someone die. In some instances, the first is (in some societies) defined as murder, the
other is simply allowing nature to take its course. Consequently, laws around the world
vary greatly with regard to euthanasia and are constantly subject to change as cultural
values shift and better palliative care or treatments become available. Thus, while
euthanasia is legal in some nations, in others it is criminalized.

Classification of Euthanasia
Euthanasia may be classified according to whether a person gives informed
consent into three types: voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary.
There is a debate within the medical and bioethics literature about whether or not the
non-voluntary (and by extension, involuntary) killing of patients can be regarded as
euthanasia, irrespective of intent or the patient's circumstances. In the definitions
offered by Beauchamp and Davidson and, later, by Wreen, consent on the part of the
patient was not considered as one of their criteria, although it may have been required
to justify euthanasia.However, others see consent as essential.

Voluntary euthanasia
Euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia.
Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the U.S. per Cruzan v. Director,
Missouri Department of Health. When the patient brings about his or her own death with
the assistance of a physician, the term assisted suicide is often used instead. Assisted
suicide is legal in Switzerland and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, Montana and

Non-voluntary euthanasia
Euthanasia conducted where the consent of the patient is unavailable is termed non-
voluntary euthanasia. Examples include child euthanasia, which is illegal worldwide but
decriminalised under certain specific circumstances in the Netherlands under
the Groningen Protocol.

Involuntary euthanasia
Euthanasia conducted against the will of the patient is termed involuntary euthanasia.

Passive and active euthanasia

Voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia can all be further divided into
passive or active variants. Passive euthanasia entails the withholding of common
treatments, such as antibiotics, necessary for the continuance of life. Active euthanasia
entails the use of lethal substances or forces, such as administering a lethal injection, to
kill and is the most controversial means. A number of authors consider these terms to
be misleading and unhelpful.

Suicide, the act of intentionally taking ones own life. Because this definition does not
specify the outcome of such acts, it is customary to distinguish between fatal suicide
and attempted, or nonfatal, suicide.

Throughout history, suicide has been both condemned and condoned by various
societies. It is generally condemned by Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, and suicide
attempts are punishable by law in many countries. The Brahmans of India, however,
tolerate suicide; and suttee, the theoretically voluntary suicide of an Indian widow, now
outlawed, was highly praised at one time. In ancient Greece, convicted criminals were
permitted to take their own lives, but the Roman attitude toward suicide hardened
toward the end of the empire as a result of the high incidence among slaves, who thus
deprived their owners of valuable property. Jews committed suicide rather than submit
to ancient Roman conquerors or Crusading knights who intended to force their
conversion. Buddhist monks and nuns have committed sacrificial suicide by self-
immolation as a form of social protest. The Japanese custom of seppuku (also called
hara-kiri), or self-disembowelment, was long practiced as a ceremonial rite
among samurai. Japans use of kamikaze suicide bombers during World War II was a
precursor to the suicide bombing that emerged in the late 20th century as a form
of terrorism, particularly among Islamic extremists (see September 11 attacks).
Members of some New Religious Movements, notably the Peoples Temple (Jonestown,
Guyana, 1978) and Heavens Gate (San Diego, California, U.S., 1997), committed mass
suicide. (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/572110/suicide)

Causes of Suicide

1. Mental illness
Among the most common causes of suicide is that of mental illness. Although there are
a variety of treatment options for people with mental illnesses, they are far from perfect.
Most people end up trying a variety of psychiatric drugs and/or talk therapies. After
years of trying various medications (and cocktails), going through medication
withdrawals, and experimenting with therapies, some people are stuck in a constant
state of mental pain and despair.
Anxiety: Having generalized anxiety, social phobia, panic attacks, or obsessive-
compulsive disorder (OCD) can drive a person crazy. Some forms of anxiety make it
extremely difficult to maintain friendships, finish school, or hold down a steady job. The
combination of loneliness and fear can lead a person to contemplate suicide.
Bipolar disorder: There are a couple of subtypes of Bipolar disorder, but essentially it
involves fluctuations in mood from states of severe depression to elevations in mood
such as mania and hypomania. These mood fluctuations can make it difficult for people
with this disorder to maintain relationships and a balanced life. Additionally the
depression can lead a person to feel suicidal.
Depression: Major depression is a leading cause of suicide throughout the world.
People that do not treat their depressive symptoms have a greater risk for following
through with suicide. Individuals with major depression are typically genetically wired in
a way that makes it difficult to feel pleasure and happiness in life. 90% of people who
commit suicide suffer from untreated depression.
Schizophrenia: This is a highly severe mental illness with an array of symptoms
including severe depression, hallucinations, and cognitive impairment. Having this
illness makes it difficult to function in life and can serve as a major challenge due to the
fact that most medications to treat this illness carry severe side effects. Anywhere from
20% to 40% of people with this illness attempt suicide.
2. Traumatic Experience
Any type of traumatic experience can lead a person to feeling helpless, guilty, and/or
ashamed. If you were victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or dealt with trauma
in war, you are much more likely to end up with post-traumatic stress disorder. This
disorder and the feelings associated with traumatic experiences can lead a person to
become suicidal.
PTSD: Many people with PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder develops after a
person is faced with a traumatic experience such as warfare, being seriously injured, or
assaulted. The illness is characterized by flashbacks and numbing or blockage of
memories surrounding the traumatic experience. People with this illness often live in a
state of intense, and sometimes debilitating anxiety and/or fear that can interfere with
leading a normal life. When people feel helpless about their situation and permanently
traumatized, they may turn to suicide.
Physical abuse: People who are victim to physical abuse either growing up or in a
relationship can be traumatized. They may harbor feelings of guilt and shame that stay
trapped inside for years. When someone is abused it may go unrecognized and
unreported for an extended period of time. A person who is being physically abused
may view suicide as the only way in which they can escape their situation.
Sexual abuse: Any form of sexual abuse can lead a person to feeling depressed and
suicidal. In cases of molestation and rape, a person is forced to perform sexual acts
against their will. This can result in significant psychological trauma caused to the
victim. When unreported or not addressed, this trauma can make a person feel highly
War: Being involved in a war can lead a person to see death, horrendous injuries, and
feel fearful for their own life. This intense anxiety and paranoia over whether the soldier
will stay alive coupled with seeing others die and injured can lead to trauma. People see
things in war that make them physically sick and in many cases, they have a tough time
mentally healing. The lack of support for veterans and not understanding their
psychological diagnosis can sometimes result in suicide.
3. Bullying
Most people experience bullying to some degree while growing up and going through
school its an inevitable part of life. Bullying can have a profound effect on the way
people think and how they feel. Most people that are bullied end up feeling extremely
depressed, worthless, and hopeless to change their situation.
Unfortunately in many cases, bullying goes completely unrecognized until the victim
cant take it anymore and sees suicide as the only way to escape the pain that they are
experiencing. Some kids view bullying others as a way to fit in and/or prove themselves
in regards to social hierarchy. Kids that get bullied are often viewed as being either
physically weak and/or socially weak to not come up with witty responses.
Additionally, now there is a phenomenon called cyber bullying in which people fall
victim to being bullied online. This happens on social media sites, comments sections of
websites, and various blogs that aim to ruin peoples reputations and make people feel
ashamed. When a person is bullied online and/or has privacy exposed online, they may
view a ruined reputation as the end of the world and feel helpless to change their
situation which could lead to suicide.
4. Personality Disorders
Personality disorders can be closely related to mental illness, but are considered a set
of traits that make it difficult to function within society. People with a personality disorder
may have trouble maintaining relationships, holding down a steady job, and/or coping
with life. For example, someone with dependent personality disorder may be too afraid
to leave an abusive relationship. This dependency may lead the person with this
disorder to consider suicide as an escape from their circumstances.
On the same token, avoidant personality disorder can lead individuals to avoid social
contact because they are afraid they will be rejected or wont fit in. This can result in
feelings of isolation and a person thinking that they will never have any friends. An
individual with a personality disorder may feel as if there is no hope for escaping the
problems caused by their personality and may consider suicide.
The bottom line is that if you have a personality disorder, you are at increased risk of
suicide. The personality disorder that is most associated with increased suicide risk is
that of borderline personality disorder (BPD). This disorder is characterized by impulsive
behavior, difficulty regulating emotions, and instability in relationships.
5. Drug Addiction / Substance Abuse
People that are addicted to drugs and/or abuse drugs or alcohol on a consistent basis
are more likely to become depressed. Many people use drugs to escape painful feelings
of depression and hopelessness of their current life situation. Being addicted to drugs or
alcohol may provide some short-term relief from the pain that they feel, but over the
long term, drug use tends to alter brain functioning and neurotransmitters.
Eventually a person will build up such a high tolerance to whatever drug they are
addicted to, that they wont experience anymore lift in mood that they got when they first
started using. In many cases, substance abuse can temporarily change the way we
think by altering neurotransmitter levels and overall brain function.
If you have an addiction, it could escalate to feelings of deep depression. You may feel
helpless to overcome whatever addiction you face and some people see suicide as an
only way out of the addiction trap.
6. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are defined as a series of dysfunctional eating patterns that satisfy the
person in ways other than nutrition. Many eating disorders are thought to be caused by
body image problems, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues. It is thought that
eating disorders are a way a person attempts to cope with unrelated issues such as:
abuse, troublesome emotions, communication problems, or an identity crisis.
By eating in a certain way it allows the person to feel a sense of control over their life
and situation. A common disorder is that of anorexia, which is the refusal to eat enough
food to maintain a healthy body weight. Others include: bulimia, compulsive overeating,
and purging disorder. All of these disorders tend to affect both physical and mental
health negatively.
A person dealing with an eating disorder may constantly feel suicidal as a result of a
nutrient-deficient diet. Poor diets can lead a person to feel depression and constant
negative emotions. Only when the diet is corrected can a person experience
improvements in mental health and pain associated with their situation. Additionally in
cases of eating disorders, other underlying issues usually need to be addressed in
therapy before progress can be made.
7. Unemployment
Being unemployed can lead to feelings of isolation and make your life feel as if it is void
of purpose. With a poor economy, many people lose their jobs and look for new work,
but since the competition is fierce, landing a new job can be difficult. In many cases
being unemployed not only makes people feel as if they have no purpose in life, it can
lead to depression over lack of an income as well.
Individuals who are unemployed arent earning any money and may get especially
stressed out when it comes time to pay bills. Being unable to earn money and provide
for yourself and/or a family can result in significant depression and anxiety. In addition to
unemployment, hating your current job can also lead to suicidal thoughts and possibly
actions if you feel as if there is no alternative option.
Employment provides most people with a sense of purpose and belonging to a specific
group or company. If you are unemployed you may find yourself socially isolated and
lacking purpose and structure in your day. Being employed helps individuals stay busy
and can actually take their mind off of

8. Social Isolation / Loneliness

Being socially isolated from society can take a toll on mental health and lead a person
to become depressed and consider suicide. Socializing and interacting with other
people is a basic human need. If social needs are not met, a person can start to feel
lonely which leads to depression and possibly suicidal thoughts. Loneliness is defined
as a general feeling of sadness as a result of being alone or feeling disconnected from
Isolation is being separated from others in your environment. Someone can become
isolated based on circumstances (i.e. employment) or as a result of personal decisions.
Various reasons that a person could feel lonely or isolated include: living alone, death of
a close friend or family member, poor physical health, mental illness, being introverted,
fear of rejection, and/or retirement.
Living isolated from others can lead to an array of problems including mental health
conditions, low energy, substance abuse, negative feelings, and/or sleep problems. If
the loneliness and/or social isolation is not addressed, it may lead someone to consider
suicide as an escape from their situation.
9. Relationship problems
Many people struggle with relationships including: being in abusive relationships, not
feeling appreciated, and/or going through break-ups. There are many different types of
relationships that a person could struggle with. Some people may have difficulties
making friends and maintaining a close group for socialization. Others may struggle with
staying in abusive relationships just so that they can avoid feeling isolated and lonely.
The need for human belonging is so strong that some people are willing to join gangs
and/or humiliate themselves just to be in a relationship with another person. As far as
romantic relationships are concerned, the act of a break-up can trigger intense feelings
of depression, anxiety, guilt and panic leading a person to deal with a lot of emotional
pain. Often times in the news we read about people committing suicide as the result of a
break-up with a significant other.
Among individuals that are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered, the leading
cause of suicide isnt family rejection, its relationship troubles. Most research suggests
that these individuals deal with significantly more relationship stress than those who are
10. Genetics / Family History
A lot of suicide risk has to do with genetics and family history. Those who are from a
family in which suicide is common are more likely to commit suicide themselves.
Additionally if a mental illness is inherited such as major depression, this can further
increase risk of suicide. Family, twin, and adoption studies have all established genetic
links to suicidal behavior.
Various traits including: aggression, borderline personality disorder, cognitive inflexibility,
and stress sensitivity are all linked to influencing suicidal behavior. If you inherit any of
these traits, they could put you at an increased risk of suicide. Although there is a
genetic link, it is not certain as to what degree this affects someones decision to follow
through with the act of suicide.
Additionally epigenetics or the activation or deactivation of genes based on
environmental factors is thought to play a role. In other words, your circumstances, the
people you hang out with, where you live, etc. could all influence your genetic
expression and thus be partially influential in determining whether a person becomes
11. Philosophical Desire / Existential Crisis
When life seems void of meaning, people tend to question why they are even living
and/or the entire purpose of their existence. This is often referred to as an existential
crisis and can be difficult to overcome because people dealing with this issue often
think themselves in circles of logic as to why there is no point to life. In many cases,
people facing an existential crisis consider suicide because they feel as if their entire
existence is void of purpose.
This crisis can result from major depression, trauma, loneliness, seeking meaning
and/or general dissatisfaction with life. Some reports suggest that this crisis may affect
individuals with above-average levels of intelligence. Facing an existential crisis can be
difficult and can take awhile to get over. Usually the individual needs to make some sort
of changes in life for their existential outlook to change.
12. Terminal Illness
Many people with terminal illnesses that have no hope of improving their situation based
on current science and medicine may become depressed. This depression is usually a
result of feeling powerless to ones condition. People with terminal illnesses arent able
to treat or make any sort of improvement towards getting better. In many cases they are
simply living and being controlled by the impairments that their illness causes.
Terminal illnesses such as various types of cancer usually leave a person frustrated,
shocked and feeling hopeless. Other terminal illnesses end up causing physical or other
handicaps and take a serious toll on a persons energy levels, willpower, and ability to
partake in daily functions. Many elderly individuals who are terminally ill have fought for
euthanasia rights and/or traveled to other countries where it has been legalized.

13. Chronic Pain

If you have chronic pain, it means that you have had daily pain that has persisted for
between three and six months. This pain often impairs your ability to function throughout
the day and can affect mobility, the ability to perform certain tasks, and even a persons
mental health. Although pain levels differ among chronic pain sufferers, one thing that
they all have in common is an inability to escape the daily discomfort associated with
their pain.
They may take painkillers just to make it through the day, but these painkillers are not
considered a cure, and many people find them relatively ineffective once they build up
a tolerance. There arent many promising treatment options for people that have chronic
pain other than various forms of therapy and medication. Dealing with pain on a daily
basis can drive some people into depression, and in some cases, suicide.
14. Financial Problems
People who are struggling financially sometimes see no end in sight to their debt and
bills. The financial stress can take a major toll on a persons mental health. There have
been cases of even millionaires committing suicide because they spent all of their
money or had to file for bankruptcy. In a difficult economy, unemployment is linked to
increased financial stress, but even if you are employed, you may still have financial
Those who have accumulated a serious amount of debt as a result of an unforeseen
emergency, excessive shopping, and/or medical bills may panic and feel suicidal when
they cant pay their bills. The stress of having a poor credit score and constant phone
calls from bill collectors may make some people feel ashamed and hopeless to change
their financial situation.
Although most people in financial troubles eventually end up working their way out of
debt, some people are afraid to deal with this situation. In the event that a person
becomes embarrassed about their finances and feels depressed about their debt, they
may consider suicide as a way to escape this situation.
15. Prescription Drugs
The side effects of various prescription drugs such as antidepressants can result in
suicidal ideation. In other words, these drugs affect levels of neurotransmitters that can
sometimes put a person at increased risk for suicide. Some antidepressants actually
end up making people significantly more depressed because they are targeting
neurotransmitter levels, when the original cause of depression wasnt a result of a
chemical imbalance.
Although many people respond well to SSRIs that prevent the reuptake of serotonin,
thereby increasing serotonin levels in the brain, others have poor reactions. There are
black box warnings on most antidepressants stating that they may cause an increase in
suicidal thinking. In addition to feeling suicidal while on antidepressants, many people
end up with a chemical imbalance upon withdrawal from these drugs. It is also disputed
as to whether dopamine vs. serotonin is more important or whether low norepinephrine
causes depression.
The chemical imbalance is usually caused by changes in neurotransmitter levels and
functioning as a result of taking an antidepressant. In many cases serotonin levels are
abnormally low when a person withdraws from an SSRI, leaving the person to feel even
more depressed and suicidal than they originally were. It takes the brain awhile to
recover after withdrawal and reestablish normal serotonin levels. Further recommended
reading: Do antidepressants cause a chemical imbalance?
Other psychiatric drugs that can lead a person to feel suicidal include: antipsychotics
and benzodiazepines. It is always important to monitor sudden changes in mood while
taking a psychiatric drug so that suicide can be prevented. Most people are lead to
believe that psychiatric drugs will always work to prevent suicide, when in reality if
someone has a bad reaction, they can actually trigger these thoughts.


Determination of death

No explicit criteria exist to assist in determining whether a death is a suicide. Therefore,

several factors, e.g., uncertainty about what evidence is necessary and pressures from
families or communities, may influence a coroner or medical examiner not to certify a
specific death as a suicide. Because the extent to which suicides are underreported or
misclassified is unknown, it has not been possible to estimate precisely the number of
suicides (2-6), identify risk factors, or plan and evaluate preventive interventions.

To address these problems, a working group representing coroners, medical examiners,

statisticians, and public health agencies* developed operational criteria to assist
coroners and medical examiners in determining suicide (7). Following are the working

Self-Inflicted: There is evidence that death was self-inflicted. This may be determined by
pathologic (autopsy), toxicologic, investigatory, and psychologic evidence and by
statements of the decedent or witnesses.

Intent: There is evidence (explicit and/or implicit) that, at the time of injury, the decedent
intended to kill himself/herself or wished to die and that the decedent understood the
probable consequences of his/her actions. This evidence may include:

Explicit verbal or nonverbal expression of intent to kill self; Implicit or indirect evidence
of intent to die, such as

preparations for death inappropriate to or unexpected in the context of the decedent's

life, expression of farewell or the desire to die or an acknowledgment of impending
death, expression of hopelessness, expression of great emotional or physical pain or
distress, effort to procure or learn about means of death or to rehearse fatal behavior,
precautions to avoid rescue, evidence that decedent recognized high potential lethality
of means of death, previous suicide attempt, previous suicide threat, stressful events or
significant losses (actual or threatened), or serious depression or mental disorder.

In vitro fertilization

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which eggs (ova) from a woman's ovary are
removed, they are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized
egg (embryo) is returned to the woman's uterus.

IVF is one of several assisted reproductive techniques (ART) used to help infertile
couples to conceive a child. If after one year of having sexual intercourse without the
use of birth control a woman is unable to get pregnant, infertility is suspected. Some of
the reasons for infertility are damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, hormonal imbalance,
or endometriosis in the woman. In the man, low sperm count or poor quality sperm can
cause infertility.

IVF is one of several possible methods to increase the chances for an infertile couple to
become pregnant. Its use depends on the reason for infertility. IVF may be an option if
there is a blockage in the fallopian tube or endometriosis in the woman, or low sperm
count or poor quality sperm in the man. There are other possible treatments for these
conditions, such as surgery for blocked tubes or endometriosis, which may be
attempted before IVF.

IVF will not work for a woman who is incapable of ovulating or with a man who is not
able to produce at least a few healthy sperm.
( http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/Fi-La/In-Vitro-Fertilization.html#ixzz3caEMcPvs)

Stem cell technology

Stem cell technology is a rapidly developing field that combines the efforts of cell
biologists, geneticists, and clinicians and offers hope of effective treatment for a variety
of malignant and non-malignant diseases. Stem cells are defined as totipotent
progenitor cells capable of self renewal and multilineage differentiation.Stem cells
survive well and show stable division in culture, making them ideal targets for in vitro
manipulation. Although early research has focused on haematopoietic stem cells, stem
cells have also been recognised in other sites. Research into solid tissue stem cells has
not made the same progress as that on haematopoietic stem cells. This is due to the
difficulty of reproducing the necessary and precise three dimensional arrangements and
tight cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions that exist in solid organs.
However, the ability of tissue stem cells to integrate into the tissue cytoarchitecture
under the control of the host microenvironment and developmental cues, makes them
ideal for cell replacement therapy.