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NCJ Number: 64924 Find in a Library
Title: IS COOPERATION IN SUICIDE A HOMICIDE CRIME?
Journal: REVISTA MEXICANA DE CIENCIAS PENALES  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:(ENERO-JUNIO 1978)  Pages:165-185
Author(s): C ROXIN
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 21
Format: Article
Language: Spanish
Country: Mexico
Annotation: THE EXTENT OF CRIMINALIZATION OF THE ACT OF SUICIDE IN GERMAN PENAL LAWS ALSO DETERMINES THE EXTENT TO WHICH SO-CALLED 'COOPERATION' IN SUICIDE CONSTITUTES A CRIME OF HOMICIDE OR AT LEAST OF COMPLICITY.
Abstract: SINCE ACTIVE COOPERATION IN A SUICIDE IS AN UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE, WHAT IS USUALLY MEANT BY 'COOPERATION' IS PERHAPS SOME FORM OF INSTIGATION TO COMMIT THE ACT, BUT, MORE FREQUENTLY, FAILURE TO PREVENT IT. SUICIDE ITSELF IS NOT CRIMINALIZED EVERYWHERE, AND THE CURRENT WORLDWIDE TENDENCY IS TO CONSIDER THE VOLUNTARY TERMINATION OF ONE'S LIFE AN INALIENABLE HUMAN RIGHT. THE LEGAL OPINIONS OF GERMAN LEGAL SCHOLARS DIFFER WIDELY IN THEIR INTERPRETATION OF THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF SUICIDE AND OF THE DEGREE OF CULPABILITY WHICH CAN BE ASSIGNED TO THE PERSON WHO COMMITS IT. LEGAL PRECEDENTS ARE UNDERSTANDABLY FEW, SINCE THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES REMAINS IN MOST CASES A MOOT POINT, EXCEPT WHEN THE ATTEMPT AT SUICIDE FAILS. INTERNATIONAL STATISTICS PROVE THE FUTILITY OF TRYING TO PREVENT SUICIDE BY LEGISLATION. SO-CALLED COOPERATION IN THE ACT OF SUICIDE IS NO MORE CRIMINALIZABLE OR PENALIZABLE THAN SUICIDE ITSELF. SUICIDE PREVENTION IS A MATTER FOR PSYCHIATRIC HELP, SINCE THE WOULD-BE SUICIDE OFTEN HAS PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS THAT CANNOT BE HANDLED BY FAMILY MEMBERS; THE LATTER OFTEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE PRESENCE OF A PERSON WITH SUICIDAL TENDENCIES IN THEIR MIDST TO THE POINT THAT THEY ARE OFTEN 'INFECTED' BY THE SAME DEATH WISH AND FOLLOW THE SUICIDE TO THE GRAVE. IT WOULD BE AN EVEN GREATER HUMAN TRAGEDY IF THE SUICIDE'S RELATIVES WERE ALSO LIABLE TO THE CHARGE OF BEING ACCESSORIES TO A CRIME. EXPANDING THE DEGREE OF CRIMINALIZATION AND PENALIZATION OF THE ACT OF SUICIDE WOULD NOT INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF ITS PREVENTION. INSTEAD, IT WOULD BE DESIRABLE TO DECRIMINALIZE, OR AT LEAST DEPENALIZE SO CALLED 'COOPERATION' IN THE ACT OF SUICIDE AS IT NOW STANDS IN THE GERMAN CRIMINAL CODE, THE PROVISIONS OF WHICH ARE AMBIGUOUS INDEFINITION BUT OVERGENEROUS IN PRESCRIPTION OF PENALITIES. EXCERPTS FROM GERMAN CRIMINAL LAWS AND LEGAL OPINIONS ARE PROVIDED. --IN SPANISH. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Accessories to crimes; Criminal codes; Criminal responsibility; Germany; Homicide; Suicide
Note: TRANSLATED BY MOISES MORENO
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