OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

The Ethics of Suicide: Historical Sources

ISBN : 9780195135992

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Author: 
Margaret Pabst Battin
Pages
752 Pages
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Paperback
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179 x 255 mm
Pub date
Oct 2015
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The spectrum of views about the ethics of suicide-from the view that suicide is profoundly morally wrong to the view that it is a matter of basic human right, and from the view that it is primarily a private matter to the view that it is largely a social one-lies at the root of contemporary practical controversies over suicide. This collection of primary sources-the principal texts of philosophical interest from western and nonwestern cultures, from the major religious traditions, and from oral cultures where observer reports of traditional practices are available, spanning Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, and North and South America-is intended to facilitate exploration of such current practical issues by exhibiting the astonishingly diverse range of thinking about suicide throughout human intellectual history, in its full range of cultures and traditions. This collection has no interest in taking sides in these debates; rather, it hopes to expand the character of what have been rather linear recent debates on issues like physician-assisted suicide, suicide in social protest, and suicide bombings by making them multidimensional.

Index: 

I. Introduction: Sources of Conflict in Contemporary Controversies about Suicide
II. Selections
Egyptian Didactic Tale (c. 2180-c. 2050 B.C.)
Dialogue of a Man With His Soul
The Vedas, Brahmanas, and Upanishads (c. 1500-c. 500 B.C.)
Rig Veda
Brahma Purana
Padme Purana
Skanda Purana
Chandogya Upanishad
Isha Upanishad
The Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha (c. 12-1st centuries B.C.)
Genesis The Prohibition of Suicide
Exodus: The Ten Commandments
Judges: Samson and the Philistines
I Samuel-II Samuel: Saul and his Armor-Bearer
Job: The Sufferings of Job
II Maccabees: The Suicide of Razis
Daniel: Shadrach, Meschach, Abednego and the Fiery Furnace
Homer (c. 8th century B.C.)
The Iliad: The Deaths of Hector and Achilles
Dharmashastra (c. 600 B.C. - 200 A.D.)
Gautama Sutra
Apastamba Sutra
Vasistha Sutra
The Laws of Manu
The Jain Tradition (599-527 B.C. to 5th century A.D.)
Acaranga Sutra: Liberation
Tattvartha Sutra: Passionless End is Not Suicide
Upasakadasah: Ten Chapters on Lay Attenders: The Story of Ananda
Confucius (551-479 B.C.)
The Analects
The Book of Filial Piety
Sophocles (c. 496-406 B.C.)
Ajax
Oedipus at Colonus
Euripides (c. 484-406 B.C.)
Suppliant Women:
The Suicide of Evadne, Watched by her Father
The Hippocratic Corpus (c. 450-c. 350 B.C.)
The Hippocratic Oath
About Maidens
Plato (c. 424-c. 348 B.C.)
Apology: On Being Condemned to Death
Phaedo: The Death of Socrates
The Republic: On Medicine
The Laws: Recidivist Criminals and Penalties for Suicide
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
Nicomachean Ethics
Mencius (c. 372-c. 289 B.C.)
The Mencius
Qu Yuan (c. 340-278 B.C.)
Embracing Sand
Chrysippus (c. 280-c. 206 B.C.)
The Stoics' Five Reasons for Suicide
Sima Qian (145 or 135-86 B.C.)
Records of the Grand Historian: The Basic Annals of Xiang Yu
Records of the Grand Historian: The Assassin and his Sister
Letter in Reply to Ren Shaoqing
Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
Tusculan Disputations
On Ends
On Old Age
The Questions of King Milinda (c. 100 B.C.-c.200 A.D.)
On Suicide
Livy (c. 59 B.C.-17 A.D.)
The History of Rome: The Rape of Lucretia
Seneca (4 B.C.-65 A.D.)
Moral Letters to Lucilius
Letter 70: On the Proper Time to Slip the Cable
Letter 77: On Taking One's Own Life
Letter 78: On the Healing Power of the Mind
Valerius Maximus (fl. c. 14-c. 31)
Memorable Doings and Sayings
Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.)
Natural History
Of God
Nature of the Earth
Ignatius of Antioch (c. 30 or 50-117)
Epistle: To the Romans
Josephus (37-c. 100)
The Jewish War
The Defeat at Jotapa
Mass Suicide at Masada
Plutarch (c. 46-c. 120)
Moralia: The Women of Miletus
Parallel Lives: Cato the Younger
The New Testament (c. 50-c. 150)
Matthew: The Death of Judas
Acts: Paul Prevents a Suicide
I Corinthians: The Body as Temple
Philippians: Paul in Prison: On the Desire to Die
The Lotus Sutra (c. 50-c. 200)
Tacitus (c. 55-c.117)
The Annals: The Death of Seneca
Epictetus (c. 55-c. 135)
Discourses
How From the Doctrine of Our Relationship to God We Are To
Deduce its Consequences
How We Should Bear Illness
Of Freedom
Pliny the Younger (62-113)
Letters
To Calestrius Tiro
To Catilius Severus
To Marcilius Nepos
To Calpurnius Macer
Justin Martyr (c. 100-165)
The Second Apology: Why Christians Do Not Kill Themselves
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 215)
The Praises of Martyrdom
Those Who Offered Themselves for Martyrdom Reproved
Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220)
To the Martyrs
The Crown of Martyrdom
Bhagavad-Gita (3rd century)
The Way to Eternal Brahman
Genesis Rabbah (compiled 3rd-5th century)
Commentary on Genesis 9:5
Plotinus (204/205-270)
from The Enneads
Fourth Tractate: On Happiness
Seventh Tractate: On the Primal Good and Secondary Forms of Good
Ninth Tractate: The Reasoned 'Dismissal'
Lactantius (c. 240-c. 320)
The Divine Institutes
Eusebius (c. 260-339)
Ecclesiastical History
Ambrose (337/340-397)
Of Virgins: Letter to Marcellina
Augustine (354-430)
The City of God
On Free Choice and the Will
The Babylonian Talmud (3rd-6th centuries)
Bava Kama
Avodah Zarah
Gittin
Semahot
Bana (late 6th century-early 7th century)
Harsha-Carita, The Death of the Great King: On Sati
Kadambari
The Quran (traditional date c. 632-c.650)
Surahs 2.54, 2.154, 2.195, 2.207, 3.145, 3.169-70, 4.29-30, 4.66, 4.74-80, 9.111, 18.6
Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari and Muslim al-Hajjaj (810-870
c. 817/821-875)
Hadith
Ya'qub al-Qirqisani (c. 890-c.960)
The Book of Lighthouses and Watchtowers
Ahmad ibn Fadlan (fl. 920s)
The Risala: By the River Volga, 922: Viking Ship-Burial
Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi (922/932-1023)
Borrowed Lights: On Suicide
Murasaki Shikibu (970-1031)
The Tale of Genji
Jetsun Milarepa (c. 1052-c. 1135)
Songs of Milarepa
Abu-Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (1056-1111)
Revival of the Religious Sciences
Tosafot (12th-14th centuries)
On Avodah Zarah 18a
Tosafot on the Torah
Henry de Bracton (c. 1210-1268)
On the Laws and Customs of England: Where a Man Commits
Felony Upon His Own Person
The Norse Sagas (c. 1220-c.1400)
Ynglinga Saga: Odin Marks Himself with a Spear [1930] [1844
Gautrek's Saga: The Family Cliff
Njal's Saga: The Burning of Njal
Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)
Summa Theologiae: Whether One is Allowed to Kill Oneself
Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)
The Book of Divine Consolation
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
The Divine Comedy: Inferno
Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Battuta (1304-1368/69 A.D.)
from Rihla: On Sati and Religious Suicide
Thomas More (1478-1535)
Utopia
A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Table-Talk
Francisco de Vitoria (c.1483/92-1546)
Lecture on Homicide
Commentary on [Thomas Aquinas] Summa Theologiae IIa IIae Q. 64
John Calvin (1509-1564)
Sermons on Job
Solomon ben Jehiel Luria (1510-1573)
On Bava Kamma
Central and South American Native Cultures
(documented 1526-1621)
Aztec
Codex Chimalpopoca (1570)
The Death of Quetzalcoatl
Letters from Mexico (1519-20)
(Hernan Cortes, 1519-20)
General History of the Things of New Spain (The Florentine Codex)
The Festival in the Month of Toxcatl
The Sun, Moon, and Stars, and the Binding of the
Years
(Bernardino de Sahagun, c. 1565)
Monarchia Indiana
Chimalpopoca's Victory in Death
(Juan de Torquemada, 1609-15)
In Defense of the Indians
(Bartolome de Las Casas, 1548-1550)
Maya:
Popol Vuh:
History of the Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque
How the People Obtained Fire
(dictated in K'iche', c. 1554-1558
Francisco Ximenez, c. 1701)
An Account of the Affairs of Yucatan
Ixtab: Goddess of the Gallows
(Diego de Landa, c. 1570)
Caribbean:
Natural History of the West Indies
Suicide on the Death of the Chief
(Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, 1526)
La Historia General de las Indias
Suicide, Smallpox, and the Arrival of the Spaniards
(Francisco Lopez de Gomara, 1552)
Hhistory of the New World
Suffering at the Hands of the Spaniards
(Girolamo Benzoni, 1565)
Inca:
The Indias
The Burial of Wives
(Pedro de Cieza de Leon, 1553)
Natural & Moral History of the Indies
Of Superstitions They Used to the Dead
(Jose de Acosta, 1589)
La Extirpacion de la Idolatria en el Peru
What Those Who Hang Themselves Really Are
(Pablo Jose de Arriaga, 1621)
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592
Of Cannibals
A Custom of the Island of Cea
Abu'l Fazl ibn Mubarak (1551-1602)
Biography of the Emperor Akbar: On Jauhar and Saka
Willliam Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Antony and Cleopatra
John Donne (1572-1631)
Biathanatos
Robert Burton (1577-1640)
Anatomy of Melancholy
John Sym (1581?-1638)
Lifes Preservative Against Self-Killing
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Leviathan
A Dialogue of the Common Laws of England
Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)
Ethics
Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694)
Of the Law of Nature and Nations )
John Locke (1632-1704)
Second Treatise of Government: "
Samuel Pepys (1633-1703)
Diary, January 21, 1668
Huang Liuhong (1633-c. 1710)
A Complete Book Concerning Happiness and Benevolence
North American Native Cultures (documented 1635-1970)
Northeast:
Ojibwa:
Mrs. Cochran Becoming a Windigo
(R. Landes, 1932-1935)
Micmac:
The Gaspesians: Suicide, Shame, and Despair.
(Chrestien Le Clercq, 1675-1686)
Huron:
Le Jeune's Relation
(Jean de Brebeuf
Father Paul le Jeune 1635-36)
The Suicide of Children
(Anthony F.C. Wallace, citing LeMercier, 1600's)
Iroquois:
Suicide
(Father Joseph Francois Lafitau, 1712-17)
Suicide of the Widowed
(Baron de Lahontan, 1703)
The Song of Death
(Baron de Lahontan, 1703)
Seneca:
Murder and Suicide (Mrs. Mary Jemison, 1817)
The Code of Handsome Lake
(Edward Cornplanter, Arthur C. Parker, 1850, 1913
The Suicide as Earthbound
(Jesse Cornplanter)
Southeast:
Cherokee:
Varieties of Shame: Time of Death, Pollution, and the Disfigurement of Smallpox
(James Adair, 1775)
Natchez:
The Favorite Wife of the Chief Sun
(Jean-Bernard Bossu, 1751-1762)
Great Plains:
Comanche:
Elderly Persons "
(Ernest Wallace & Edward Adamson Hoebel, 1933, 1945)
Suicide from Overwhelming Shame
(Edward Adamson Hoebel, 1940)
Arapaho:
The Rarity of Suicide
When the Camp Moved
(M. Inez Hilger, 1935-1942)
Sioux:
Suicide among Sioux Women
(John Bradbury, 1809-11)
Cheyenne:
Two Twists in Battle
(Karl N. Llewellyn and Edward Adamson Hoebel, 1941)
Mandan:
Smallpox and the End of a Household
(Alfred W. Bowers, 1930-1931)
Crow:
Crazy-Dog Wishing to Die
(Robert H. Lowie, 1913)
The Lowest of the Low
(William Wildschut, 1918-1927
1960)
Gros Ventre:
Singing the 'Brave-Song'
(Regina Flannery, 1940-48)
Blackfoot:
Suicide to Avoid Marriage
(George Bird Grinnell, 1888)
The Sandhills
(Adolf Hungry Wolf, 1977)
Kit-sta-ka Rejoins her Husband After the Sun Dance
(Walter McClintock, 1910)
When Wakes-Up-Last Murdered All of his Children
(Walter McClintock, 1968)
Southwest:
Navajo:
Notes on Navajo Suicide
(Leland C. Wyman and Betty Thorne, 1945)
The Destination of Witches and Suicides
(Leland C. Wyman, W.W. Hill, and Iva Osanai, 1942)
Reasons for Suicide
(D. Leighton and C. Kluckhohn, 1947)
Ending One's Life by Wishing to Die
(Franc Johnson Newcomb, 1915-1940)
Crazy Violence
(B. Kaplan and D. Johnson, 1964)
Navajo Suicide
(Jerrold E. Levy, 1965)
Hopi:
Making Arrangements for Suicide
(Edmund Nequatewa, 1936)
How the Hopi Marked the Boundary Line
(Edmund Nequatewa, 1936)
Girls Going Qovisti
(Mischa Titiev, 1932-1940)
Ute:
Postmenopausal Women
(John Wesley Powell, 1867-1880)
Pueblo:
Suicides as Cloud Beings
(Elsie Clews Parsons, 1939)
Ritual Revenge
(Ruth Benedict, 1934)
Jicarilla Apache:
Apache War Customs
(M.E. Opler, 1936)
Mojave:
The First Death: Matavilye, and Suicide in Childbirth, Weaning, and Twins
(George Devereux, 1961)
West and Northwest Coast:
Pomo:
Psychological Suicide
(B.W. Aginsky, 1934-35)
Wintu and others:
Suicide in Northeastern California
(Erminie W. Voegelin, 1937)
Klamath:
The Stigma of Suicide
(Lucy Thompson, 1916)
Salish
Strained Sex Relations
(V. F. Ray, 1928-1930)
Salish
Suicide by Hanging
(W. Cline, 1930)
Kwakiutl
Shame
(Ruth Benedict, 1934)
Chilkotin/Talkotin
Barbarities Practised on Widows
(Ross Cox, citing M'Gillivray 1794-95)
Tlingit
Holding Others Responsible for Suicide
(Aurel Krause, 1881-1882
1956)
Slaves: An Honor to Die at the Master's Funeral
(Albert F. Niblack, 1887)
Paying Damages for Suicide
(Livingston F. Jones, 1893-1914
1914)
Kaska
Suicide and Intoxication
(John Joseph Honigmann, 1943-1945)
Daidoji Yuzan (1639-1730)
Beginner's Book of Bushido
Increase Mather (1639-1723)
A Call to the Tempted
Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725)
The Love Suicides at Sonesaki
John Adams (1662-1720)
An Essay Concerning Self-Murther
Cotton Mather (1663-1728)
Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
A Defense Against the Temptation to Self-Murther
Montesquieu (1689-1755)
Persian Letters
Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans
and their Decline
The Spirit of the Laws
Voltaire (1694-1778)
Philosophical Dictionary
Caleb Fleming (1698-1779)
A Dissertation Upon the Unnatural Crime of
Self-Murder (1773)
John Wesley (1703-1791)
Thoughts on Suicide
David Hume (1711-1776)
Essay on Suicide
To John Home of Ninewells
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Julie, or The New Heloise, Letters 114, 115
William Blackstone (1723-1780)
Commentaries on the Laws of England: Homicide
Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789)
The System of Nature
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
The Metaphysical Principles of Virtue: Man's Duty to Himself Insofar as
He Is an Animal Being
Lectures on Ethics: Duties Towards The Body in Regard to Life
Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
Of Crimes and Punishments
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
A Bill for Proportioning Crimes and Punishments in Cases Heretofore Capital
Letter to Dr. Samuel Brown, July 14, 1813
Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745-1797)
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus
Vassa, the African, Written by Himself
Richard Hey (1745-1835)
Dissertation on Suicide
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
Principles of Penal Law
Principles of Judicial Procedure
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
The Sorrows of Young Werther
Poetry and Truth from My Own Life
William Godwin (1756-1836)
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice
Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)
The Science of Ethics as Based on the Science of Knowledge
Ephraim Zalman Margolioth (1762-1828)
Bet Efrayim
Ann Louise Germaine de Stael (1766-1817)
On the Influence of the Passions
Reflections on Suicide
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)
The Philosophy of Right
Novalis (1772-1801)
Novices of Sais
Jean-Etienne-Dominique Esquirol (1772-1840)
Mental Maladies: Treatise on Insanity
Rammohun Roy (1774-1833)
Conference Between an Advocate For, and an Opponent Of, the Practice of Burning Widows Alive
Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859)
Essays in Philosophy: On Suicide
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
The World as Will and Idea
Studies in Pessimism: On Suicide
Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)
Dialogue between Plotinus and Porphyry
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
Autobiography
Deaths of Casimir Perier and Georges Cuvier
Penal Code for India
Diary, March 8, 1854
On Liberty
Forbes Winslow (1810-1874)
The Anatomy of Suicide: Can Suicide
Be Prevented by Legislative Enactment?
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Peuchet on Suicide
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
Note, Christmas Eve, 1850
From Nightingale's draft novel
Draft for Suggestions for Thought to Searchers After Religious Truth (1860)
Notes on Nursing
Note to Benjamin Jowett (c. 1866)
Reflections on Robert Falconer (1868)
" 1871 or later
Mysticism and Eastern Religions
Oceanic Cultures (documented 1820-1983)
Melanesia
Fiji:
The Principal Wife of the Chief
(William Mariner, 1820)
Elderly Parents and the Time to Die
(Charles Wilkes, 1845)
Deaths of the Old Chief and his Wives (Thomas Williams, 1858)
Solomon Islands:
Tikopian Attitudes Towards Suicide
(Raymond Firth, 1967)
Papua New Guinea:
Kiriwina/The Trobriand Islands:
Suicide as an Act of Justice
Expiation and Insult: Jumping from a Palm
(Bronislaw Malinowski, 1916, 1926)
The Kaliai: Good Death, Bad Death
(David R. Counts and Dorothy Ayers Counts, 1983-84)
Micronesia:
Guam:
A Tale of Two Lovers: Tying Their Hair Together
(Freycinet, 1819)
Chuuk:
Sea Spirit Spasms
(Frank Joseph Mahony, (1950-1968), 1970)
Group Rejection and Suicide
(Thomas Gladwin and Seymour Bernard Sarason, 1953)
Polynesia:
Samoa:
"Who Will Go With Me?"
(George Turner, 1884)
Tonga:
The Love-Sick of Vavau
(Basil Thomson, 1886-1891, 1894)
Niue Island:
Traditions of Niue
(Edwin M. Loeb, 1926)
Pukapuka, Cook Islands:
After Defeat in Fighting: Burying Oneself Alive
(Ernest Beaglehole and Pearl Beaglehole, 1938)
Marquesas:
Coconut Rites for Suicide
Tahia-noho-uu (E. S. Craighill Handy, 1920-1921, 1923, 1930)
Mangareva, Gambier Islands:
Cliff Suicide: The Privilege of Women
(Te Rangi Hiroa [Sir Peter H. Buck], 1938)
New Zealand:
The Maori Myth of Tane
The Myth of Rakuru
(John White, 1887)
Maori: Tupu and Mate
(J. Prtyz Johansen, 1954)
The Spirit
The Dying Maori Chief and his Old and Young Wives
(Frederick Edward Maning, 1922)
Hawaii
The Secrecy of the Bones of a Chief
(Laura C. Green and Martha Warren Beckwith, 1926)
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)
The Diary of a Writer
In Lieu of a Preface on the Great and Little Bears, on the
Prayer of the Great Goethe, And, Generally, on Bad Habits
Two Suicides
The Verdict
Arbitrary Assertions
A Few Words About Youth
On Suicides and Haughtiness
The Boy Celebrating His Saint's Day
The Dream of a Strange Man: A Fantastic Story
Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899)
Is Suicide a Sin?
A.B. Mitford, Lord Redesdale (1837-1916)
An Account of the Hara-Kiri
Arctic Cultures (documented 1840-1940)
Eskimo of Diomede Island
Father and Son
(documented by Weyer 1932)
Aleut
Are the Aleut Prone to Commit Suicide?
(documented by Veniaminov, 1840)
St. Lawrence Eskimo
Notes on Eskimo Patterns of Suicide
(documented by Leighton and Hughes 1940)
Ingalik
Suicide as Shameful or Insane
(documented by Osgood, 1937)
Copper Eskimo
Death Taboos
(documented by Rasmussen 1921-24)
Suicide as Rare
(documented by Jenness 1913-18)
Eskimo of Cumberland Sound
Man's Two Souls: The Afterlife
(documented by Boas 1883-84)
Caribou Eskimo
Moral Rights, Social Obligations
(documented by Birket-Smith 1921-24)
Netsilik Eskimo
Famine
On the Treatment of the Aged
(documented by Rasmussen 1921-24)
Iglulik Eskimo
The Moon Spirit
Death, and Life in the Land of the Dead
Those Who Were Left Behind
(documented by Rasmussen 1921-24)
Hudson Bay Inuit
Desertion of Old Women
(documented by Turner 1882-84, 1889-90)
Eskimo of Baffin Island
Theological Questions
(documented by Hall 1860-62)
Tribal Life
(documented by Bilby 1923)
Labrador Eskimo
Respect for the Aged
(documented by Hawkes 1914)
Greenland Eskimo
The Old Woman and the Cliff
(documented by Nansen 1893)
Eduard von Hartmann (1842-1906)
Philosophy of the Unconscious
William James (1842-1910)
The Principles of Psychology
Is Life Worth Living?
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Thus Spake Zarathustra: Voluntary Death
The Twilight of the Idols: A Moral for Doctors
African Traditional SubSaharan Cultures (documented 1853-)
African Origin Myths: Man Desires Death
[compiled by Hans Abrahamsson]
Dogon:
The Souls of the Dogons
[documented by Solange de Ganay, field date 1937-39]
LoDagaa:
The Day of Death: Restraining the Bereaved to Prevent Suicide
[documented by Jack Goody, 1962]
Akan:
The Detection of Witches: Ordeal and Punishment
Ashanti:
Law and Constitution: A Suicide's Trial
[documented by Capt. R. S. Rattray, 1929]
Funeral Rites for Babies and Kings
[documented by Capt. R. S. Rattray, 1929]
[1923/27]
The Price of Intrigue with Women of Royal Blood
[documented by A. B. Ellis, 1887]
Fante:
Killing Oneself Adjuah Amissah
[documented by Brodie Cruickshank, 1853]
Ga:
The Prohibition of Death
[documented by M. J. Field, 1937]
Ewe:
The Criminality of Suicide
[documented by A.B. Ellis, 1890]
Yoruba:
The Kings of the Yoruba
[documented by Samuel Johnson, 1897]
Sango: The God of Thunder and Lightning
The King's Natural and Official Mothers
Children Born to Die
Wearing the Death Cloth
The Fate of Despots
Yoruba Laws and Customs: Suicide
[documented by A. K. Ajisafe, 1924]
Igbo:
Evil Spirits
[documented by Northcote W. Thomas, 1913]
Sacrifices, Death, and Burial
[documented by G. T. Basden, 1938]
A Murderer Must Hang Himself
An Old Woman's Prearranged Funeral
[documented by G. T. Basden, 1921]
Zulu:
The Timely Death
Godusa: The Old Woman and the Antbear's Hole
[documented by R.C.A. Samuelson, 1929]
Ukugodusa: The First Woman Who Became a Christian
[documented by L. H. Samuelson, 1912]
The Burial of a King
[documented by R.C.A. Samuelson, 1929]
Banyoro:
The Ghost of a Suicide
Dinka:
The Folktale of the Four Truths
Burial Alive: The Master of the Fishing-Spear
Hindu Widow, Anonymous (1889)
Hindu Widows. By One of Themselves
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Contributions to a Discussion on Suicide
Mourning and Melancholia
The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman
The Economic Problem of Masochism
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
Suicide
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)
The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Suicide Note, August 17, 1935
The Right to Die-I
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
Indian Home Rule
An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Non-Violence in Peace and War
Alfred Adler (1870-1937)
Suicide
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
Letters:
July 10, 1946

July 25, 1946

Oct. 13, 1951

Nov. 10, 1955
John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964)
Is Suicide Justifiable?
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
Mrs. Dalloway
A Room of One's Own
Journal, May 15, 1941
Letter to Leonard Woolf, March 18, 1941
Paul Tillich (1886-1965)
The Courage to Be
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)
Notebooks 1914-1916
Letters
Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
The Suicide of Miss Zhao
Szmul Zygielbojm (1895-1943)
Letter to the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
Paul-Louis Landsberg (1901-1944)
The Moral Problem of Suicide
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
Ethics: Last and Penultimate Things
Albert Camus (1913-1960)
The Myth of Sisyphus
Notebooks
Japanese Naval Special Attack Force (Kamikaze Corps) (b. 1920s)
Last Letters Home (1944-1945)
Murtaza Mutahhari (1920-1979)
The Martyr: On Jihad, Suicide and Martyrdom
Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-)
The Lotus in a Sea of Fire
Mary Rose Barrington (1926- )
Apologia for Suicide
Daniel Callahan (1930- )
Reason, Self-determination, and Physician-Assisted Suicide
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
The Bell Jar
Peter Y. Windt (?-)
The Concept of Suicide

About the author: 

Margaret Pabst Battin is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Ethics, at the University of Utah. She has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited some twenty books, among them a study of philosophical issues in suicide; a collection on age-rationing of medical care; a text on professional ethics; and a collection of her essays on end-of-life issues, The Least Worst Death (Oxford, 1994). A second collection of her essays (and fiction) on end-of-life issues, entitled Ending Life, was published in spring 2005 by Oxford University Press. She is the lead author of two multiauthored projects, Drugs and Justice: Seeking a Consistent, Coherent, Comprehensive View (Oxford, 2008) and The Patient as Victim and Vector: Ethics and Infectious Disease (Oxford, 2009).

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