Psychologist pushes for decriminalization of laws on suicide

Thu, 10 Sep 2020 Source: atinkaonline.com

Psychologist and lecturer at the University of Ghana, Emmanuel Assampong has called for the decriminalization of suicide laws.

Emanuel Assampong’s statement is in line with the commemoration of the 2020 World suicide Prevention Day.

The 2020 theme for the commemoration, “Working Together to Prevent Suicide” seeks to call the attention of stakeholders to the urgent need to contribute to the decriminalization of the prevention of suicides.

Over 800,000 people take their lives annually, according to available statistics at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking in an interview with Ekourba Gyasi on Atinka FM’s AM Drive, Mr Assampong said suicidal thoughts are classified as mental illness which should not be criminalized.

According to Act 29 section 57, subsection 2 of the Consolidation of Criminal

Code (1960), “whoever attempts to commit suicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Ghanaian law also criminalizes the abetment of suicide. According to Act 29, section 57, subsection 1 of the penal code, “Whoever abets the commission of suicide by any person shall whether or not the suicide be actually committed, be guilty of first degree felony.”

“When people have Malaria, we take them to the hospital and not the  police station. I strongly believe that laws on suicide should not be criminalized, but persons who come out of suicidal thoughts should be taken through some social interventions to make prevent them from going through a similar phase in the future”, he added.

He cautioned the general public to comfort and assist suicide victims who do not get help after their first attempt because more often than not, these persons when left unattended to, try hard to succeed at the next attempt.

Source: atinkaonline.com
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