Posts tagged suicide
Did Kurt Cobain’s Death Lower the Suicide Rate in 1994?

David A. Jobes was sitting in a hotel dining room surrounded by fellow suicide researchers when news of the highest-profile suicide in decades flashed across a screen. It was April 9, 1994.

“Literally, I was at a suicide-prevention conference with some guys from the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention],” Jobes, a professor of psychology at the Catholic University of America, recalled this week. “We were having breakfast, and the lead story was on Kurt Cobain’s suicide.”

Shock at the news of the Nirvana frontman’s death quickly gave way to alarm. Everything Jobes had studied suggested that there would be an epidemic of copycat suicides in the Seattle region and beyond, given the artist’s massive cultural reach. History backed up the fear. The national suicide rate rose by more than 10 percent the month after Marilyn Monroe died—and that was before 24/7 media coverage.

But that’s not what happened in 1994. Largely the opposite did.

Did Kurt Cobain’s Death Lower the Suicide Rate in 1994?

David A. Jobes was sitting in a hotel dining room surrounded by fellow suicide researchers when news of the highest-profile suicide in decades flashed across a screen. It was April 9, 1994.

“Literally, I was at a suicide-prevention conference with some guys from the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention],” Jobes, a professor of psychology at the Catholic University of America, recalled this week. “We were having breakfast, and the lead story was on Kurt Cobain’s suicide.”

Shock at the news of the Nirvana frontman’s death quickly gave way to alarm. Everything Jobes had studied suggested that there would be an epidemic of copycat suicides in the Seattle region and beyond, given the artist’s massive cultural reach. History backed up the fear. The national suicide rate rose by more than 10 percent the month after Marilyn Monroe died—and that was before 24/7 media coverage.

But that’s not what happened in 1994. Largely the opposite did.

The medical profession was really ill-prepared to deal with the terminally ill. So the elderly patients were often just shunted aside. I was as guilty as anyone else—what can you do when someone is dying? You just look in through the door and say, ‘Hello, how’s everything going?’ and then you slip out as quickly as possible. And I thought, this was nonsensical. We should be doing this.
An assisted-suicide doctor tells us how he plans on using Oregon’s controversial Death With Dignity Act to end his own life sometime in the very near future—a law he helped establish.

A quick update from the trial of former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi, charged with spying on his roommate Tyler Clementi (who later committed suicide):http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/2_dorm_mates_of_clementi_ravi.html

shortformblog:

Ravi faces charges of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and hindering apprehension. Prosecutors say he watched his roommate, Tyler Clementi, during an intimate moment with another man and wanted to expose Clementi as gay and intimidate him.

Several other people were in the room on Rutgers’ Busch campus when an incident of alleged spying occurred, including Cassandra Cicco, who lived across the hall from Ravi and Clementi. She shared a room with Molly Wei, who was also arrested in September 2010 but was admitted into a pre-trial probationary program in return for testifying against Ravi.

Cicco was in the room when Ravi, Wei and others allegedly activated a webcam in Ravi’s room from Wei’s computer across the hall, which showed them what was going on in Ravi’s room, where Clementi had a guest over.

“it came up for a split second, it was a quick video, we saw two males leaning against the bed making out,” Cicco said.

“We were all just like, ‘Oh okay, that happened,’ and that was the end of it,” Cicco said.

Clementi’s 2010 death sparked a nationwide anti-bullying movement (the “It Gets Better” movement), whose impact is felt to this day.

If you haven’t read the New Yorker’s feature on the subject, we’d recommend you get to that this weekend.

(via shortformblog)