II Monograph: Suicide Free Society (Contd.): Paradigm shift

Home | Indexing | About us | Why Mens Sana? | Conceptual Foundations of MSM | Contact Us


Paradigm  Shift

The outlook towards suicide has undergone a distinct paradigm shift. First was the theological approach, which considered suicide to be a sin. Then came the moral approach of philosophers, which debated whether suicide was rational or irrational. (The debate still continues ofcourse.) This was followed by the legal  approach, which considered it a crime. Later came the Sociological, which concentrated on finding societal factors responsible for suicides. More recent has been the psychological wherein the internal psychodynamics of the suicidal person was studied. Finally we have come to the Psychiatric or Mental Health approach wherein clinical diagnosis, treatment and prevention have become prominent. The paradigm shift involved can be summarized in a few words : treating has replaced preaching (Heyd and Bloch, 1984). The suicidal subject is regarded as  a victim of external forces, or as a patient; he is thus absolved from any moral responsibility for the act. It is easy for society to label suicide as moral cowardice, virtuous heroism, mortal sin, or even demoniac intervention (Heyd and Bloch, 1984). What is probably more important is to face it as a social and psychological problem whose cause is still not fully clear, but within the scope of health care delivery systems to manage, of course in liaison with other care givers.

Mens Sana Monographs [MSM]: A Mens Sana Research Foundation Publication



Enter content here

Enter supporting content here