Stephen Habgood (chairman of the national suicide prevention charity Papyrus) in the ‘Guardian’:
Coroners are understandably reluctant to reach a verdict of suicide. Many families who have lost loved ones to suicide, particularly when the deceased are their children, do not want to hear that they ended their own life. Yet the stigma that exists around suicide is still very damaging and not helped by high-profile examples where coroners have concluded that the deceased died because of an accident, or where a narrative verdict has been returned when the evidence clearly shows that the person took their own life.
If it assuages the grief of the families, after all…
New analysis by Professor Colin Pritchard at Bournemouth University suggests that if coroners used the civil standard of proof – “on the balance of probabilities” – we would see a 30-50% increase in recorded suicides. His research validates the view held by Papyrus that the current arrangements mask the true number of suicides in the UK.
Aha! So what Stephen really wants is more cases for his charity to pontificate over, to keep him in ‘business’. And damn the feelings of the families.
Many still use the phrase “committed suicide”, which can be offensive and perpetuates a sense of criminality.
No, it’s simple semantics.
In a November 2014 meeting with the then justice minister Simon Hughes, the MoJ argued that a change to the law would offend faith groups. In Papyrus’s view the determination of a cause of death should be about establishing the facts, not about appeasing any particular sector of the community.
Dream on! The minute this starts to affect one particular faith group will be the minute any support you might have had from the progressives begins to fade away like mist in the morning…