Is it Illegal to Commit Suicide?

It is not illegal to commit suicide depending on what country you are in. In the United States it is not illegal to commit suicide. In England and Wales the Suicide Act of 1961 decriminalized suicide. Northern Ireland drafted the same wording in 1966. In Scotland suicide was never a crime.

If you are having suicidal thoughts take a look at the below Amazon workbook before acting on those thoughts!

Where is Suicide Illegal?

Suicide is still illegal in some countries. For instance Nigeria has a law against suicide. They were under British rule and adopted British Laws prior to the Suicide Act of 1961. They have not changed the prior British law against suicide. The following 26 countries have laws against suicide-

  1. Gambia
  2. Ghana
  3. Kenya
  4. Malawi
  5. Myanmar
  6. Nigeria
  7. South Sudan
  8. Sudan
  9. Tanzania
  10. Uganda
  11. Bahamas
  12. Guyana
  13. Bangladesh
  14. Brunei
  15. Jordan
  16. Lebanon
  17. Malaysia
  18. Nepal
  19. Oman
  20. Pakistan
  21. Syria
  22. United Arab Emirates
  23. Yeman
  24. Cyprus
  25. Georgia
  26. Papa New Guinea

Laws against suicide largely stem from moral or religious obligations dictated by society. There are no religions that condone suicide. They commonly believe that human life belongs to God.

Islam and Suicide

Islam does not condone suicide despite the existence of many more muslim suicide bombers than other religions. Suicide is forbidden but some who suicide attack consider themselves on a martyrdom operation in order to testify faith to God. Muhammed warned muslims against suicide. Hadith warns against suicide and he shall face hell-fire

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 23 Hadith 446

Is Assisted Suicide Illegal?

Assisted suicide is illegal in many areas. In the U.S. assisted suicide is legal in 10 jurisdictions-

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Hawaii
  5. Montana
  6. Maine
  7. New Jersey
  8. Oregon
  9. Vermont
  10. Washington

Canada, Columbia, Netherlands and Switzerland allow medical assisted suicide. Other countries that apparently allow non assisted medically assisted suicide are as follows:

  • China
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Luxembourg

Assisted Suicide vs. Euthanasia

Assisted suicide involves usually terminally ill person who initiates the barbiturates to end their life . During medically assisted suicide (in Canada, Columbia, Netherlands and Switzerland), or euthanasia, another person (usually a doctor) administers the lethal dose.

What is an Example of a State Law Against Assisted Suicide?

Under Texas assisted suicide penal law, an actor who aids in suicide or aids in the attempted suicide is only liable for a class C ticket and $500 fine. But if the actor assisting causes the person to result in serious bodily injury that assistant is facing up to 2 years in a state jail facility. See my animal cruelty blog quoting the penal code definition of serious bodily injury.

In Ohio if convicted under Ohio assisted suicide law a person can go to prison for 5 years. This means or participating in a physical act by which a person commits or attempts to commit suicide is guilty of a felony in the third degree as follows:

§ Sec. 3795.04
(A) No person shall knowingly cause another person to commit or attempt to commit suicide by doing either of the following:
(1) Providing the physical means by which the other person commits or attempts to commit suicide;
(2) Participating in a physical act by which the other person commits or attempts to commit suicide.
(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of assisting suicide, a felony of the third degree.

What Countries Have the Highest Rate of Suicides?

The top five countries with suicide rates were as follows:

  1. Guyana (South America)
  2. Lesotho (Africa)
  3. Russia (Europe)
  4. Lithuania (Europe)
  5. Suriname (South America)
  6. Ivory Coast (Africa)
  7. Kazakhstan (Asia)
  8. Equatorial Guinea (Africa)
  9. Belaras (Europe)
  10. South Korea (Asia)

Most countries average 3 out of 4 suicides as being men.

The break down of ranking suicide numbers rater per 100,000 people by region is below:

  1. Europe
  2. Southeast Asia
  3. Global (The World)
  4. Western Pacific
  5. Americas
  6. Africa
  7. Eastern Mediterranean

Why Do People Commit Suicide?

Of course each person is different. There are major factors that have come into play with previous suicides such as high suicide risk factors as follows:

The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Being in prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as a family member, peer, or media figure
  • Medical illness
  • Being between the ages of 15 and 24 years or over age 60 

Suicide rates in the United States between 1999 and 2014 were 3 times higher for men. The suicide method of suffocation or hanging increased over the 15 year period. A study of suicides in Scientific American show 43 percent of suicides were because of genetic factors and 57 percent were attributed to environmental factors.

Warning Signs of Suicide

A major sign of suicidal thoughts is to talk about it or act out a suicidal method. Talking about hopelessness and increasing in drug or alcohol abuse are possible signs as well. Sometimes there are no signs at all predicting a suicide. For a person with suicidal thoughts there is a suicide hotline. The person has to take the step of seeking help.

For more information on our website take a look at

“In much of the world, suicide is stigmatized and condemned for religious or cultural reasons. In some countries, suicidal behaviour is a criminal offence punishable by law. Suicide is therefore often a secretive act surrounded by taboo, and may be unrecognized, misclassified or deliberately hidden in official records of death.”[3]— World Health Organization (2002)

If you are having thoughts of suicide seek assistance before acting. Below is an Amazon book that can help you process your situation before taking action.

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.